Doing Business Brilliantly goes swimmingly

By Anita Jaynes on 12 October, 2022

Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership’s (SWLEP) Annual Conference & Expo, which had a theme of ‘Doing Business Brilliantly’ reached new shores again this year with delegates logging in from as far away as India, Netherlands, Pakistan, Spain and the US.

The digital event which took place on Thursday 6th October provided Swindon and Wiltshire businesses an opportunity to share their approach to ‘Doing Business Brilliantly’ to an international audience, putting the spotlight on growing local organisations and sharing why our area is such a great place to live, work and grow a business.

Following a welcome message from SWLEP Chief Executive Officer Paddy Bradley, the day began with a keynote speech delivered by data storyteller Sam Knowles. Sam believes that insight is the superpower that drives innovation and organisational success. His keynote followed the theme of the day and was all about ‘Doing Business Brilliantly by asking smarter questions’, which ignited much intelligent discussion and questioning in the chat. 

Throughout the day, delegates had the opportunity to attend numerous virtual networking sessions, exhibition stands and over 20 workshops run by local SMEs tackling subjects such as ‘Doing Customer Experience Brilliantly’, ‘Brilliantly Social’, ‘Building a Brilliant Skills Pipeline’, ‘Doing Cyber Brilliantly’ and ‘Avoiding Late Payments Brilliantly.’

Paddy Bradley also hosted a SME panel session with guests Sam Dharmasiri of Swindon-based tech firm Seer365, Rob Hibberd of Amesbury-based Nationwide Engineering, Hayley Lambert of Marlborough’s zero waste shop, Packaging Not Included, and Laura Ward, founder of luxury tennis clothing brand, Exeat. They discussed the importance of sustainability in business, exporting successfully, branding, marketing and more. 

Paul Moorby OBE, SWLEP Chair, addressed the audience with a special message sharing his views on the future of business brilliance in our region and beyond. He said, “What does doing business brilliantly mean? It means constant evolution and life-long learning.”

Continuing the business evolution and life-long learning theme, event sponsors and founders of Clinical Partners, Adrian Clarke and Barny Guthrie joined Paula Harsley, SWLEP Events and Communications Co-ordinator in an ‘in conversation’ session discussing the growth and learnings of the firm since its inception in 2011.

Clinical Partners is one of the UK’s leading providers of mental health services, working both privately and with the NHS to help people and families experiencing mental and emotional difficulties to get the support they need.

Adrian and Barny shared with the audience their very different backgrounds and approach to business. They discussed how viewing things in  differing ways helps them come to the right decision to drive growth and organisational change.

The event was broadcast live from Chippenham’s Business Cyber Centre with contributors joining on site as well as virtually. Recordings were made of each session and are being shared via SWLEP’s YouTube channel. Catch up on the highlights here.

Paddy Bradley, said, “A big thank you to our event sponsors Clinical Partners, Wincanton and Concretene for supporting the day. As well as our guest speakers, exhibitors and workshop hosts, thanks must also go to those who attended the event. Active engagement, relationship building and learning are all elements of doing business brilliantly, and they certainly helped make the day such a success. We can’t wait to start planning next year’s event.”