Thursday, 20 May 2010

Oh, what a night!

Rob and Diane at the Think Pink Ball

We held our annual North East ‘Think Pink’ Ball on Friday night, in aid of Children North East. This time, we took over the Gateshead Marriott and adorned their reception area and banqueting suite in _space pink and lime green.

It was a fantastic turn out, with over 220 guests all dressed in pink. There can’t have been much pink attire available in the North of England after the event!

We always to try and make the evening informal, with more of a party atmosphere than the average industry ball. Hopefully, we managed to achieve this and so far, we have had some really nice emails from people who attended, thanking us for a great evening. You never know if these thank you e-mails are from people being kind, but if my own experience of the night is anything to go by, I think people will have enjoyed themselves.

Whilst the Think Pink ball is a charity event, supported by the _space foundation, I am always conscious of not exploiting peoples’ generosity. However, we have been absolutely flabbergasted by the response we had on the night, as we have raised over £20,000 for Children North East. This was even more remarkable when you consider the timing of the night – on the same day, the announcement of a freezing of the BSF was made, putting everyone in a very pensive mood.

As is usually the case at these events, the evening rolled on in the bar into the early hours. I think we managed to call it a day at 4.00am which was far too late (or early, depending on how you look at it). There was a time when this would not have affected me but Saturday was definitely a challenge for me, with Sunday not much better. To make things even more challenging for me, on Saturday, I ended up going to a five year old’s birthday party, and as many of you will know, these are not renowned for being the most peaceful of events.

I have said on many occasions that it is events such as this where friends and colleagues come together to make all the hard work put into their jobs worthwhile. I am not one for Aston Martins or Ferraris, but give me a night out with friends anytime.


Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Staying Positive

Uncertain times ahead at Westminster - image taken from

These are undoubtedly unprecedented times, and if it was a football match it would be great to watch as a neutral. However, the political uncertainty facing the United Kingdom at present is clearly a concern.

We all know that there is a fear of the unknown, and never before has this been more apparent than it is at the moment for our country and the direction we’re heading in. In business, we undoubtedly face a period of change where public spending has to be reduced to give ‘UK plc’ a stronger balance sheet.

I really hope that this reduction is done sensibly to allow businesses and people to adjust in a planned manner. Out of all change there is opportunity and we have to keep our eyes open to see which way markets and opportunities will progress.

Over the past week, we have been somewhat treading water while a direction is agreed. One thing that we know for certain is that no one, including the political leaders, knows what our future may hold.


Thursday, 6 May 2010

Trapped in Paradise

I managed to make it back from Fuerteventura last week after being trapped in a beautiful hotel, thanks to the volcanic ash cloud.

It is difficult to say to anyone that this was a nightmare as I am sure that there are far greater disasters in the world. At worst it was an inconvenience.

However, what I did learn was that being somewhere you don’t want to be and not being able to leave can be frustrating. Also, I had mentally prepared for a week’s break and the additional week proved difficult as I was ready to start using my brain again.

I have also learnt that if I ever did win the lottery, I would not be able to retire to a luxury villa in the sun as clearly I need the creative elements of enterprise and business.

I am now very much back into the swing of things at _space group and enjoying the challenges of an unpredictable and changeable marketplace.