Another year over, a new one just begun
Published by Anne Marie Hughes on Sat 09 Jun 12 @ 22:11
As we leave 2011 behind and enter the new year and all it brings, your team at Glasgow Chamber of Commerce thought it would a perfect time and opportunity to reflect on some of the Chamber's highlights of the last 12 months.
- Glasgow Talks: The Glasgow Talks series has gone from strength to strength with a succession of high profile guest speakers at sold-out events. On to the stage we have welcomed Clyde Blowers' Jim McColl OBE, Aggreko's Rupert Soames, City Refrigeration's Willie Haughey and Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth John Swinney MSP among others. The breakfast events, sponsored by Clydesdale Bank and the University of Glasgow, have proven to be hugely popular and we are excited to be kicking off 2012 with some special guests from the Scottish media sector.
- The 2011 Glasgow Business Awards: Our 14th annual awards, sponsored by Bank of Scotland, recognised the pride of the city's business community. This year we received a record number of entries with CLYDEUNION Pumps stealing the show on the evening by notching three awards. Elsewhere Boyd Tunnock CBE received a Lifetime Achievement Award, Emirates airline was presented with an Outstanding Contribution Award while Glasgow Taxis Ltd was named Evening Times' Glasgow's Favourite Business.
- Social Media: With the help of our newly recruited Social Media guru, Simon Gwynn, Your Chamber has been further increasing its online presence. Through bustling Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin channels we are utilising each to engage with members, share news and opinion and campaign on issues. The recently redeveloped Chamber website has also been a big focus, updated every day to provide news, detail events and highlight business opportunities.
- The Future for Glasgow City Centre Conference: The City Centre of Glasgow harbours great potential and the conference helped to align these ambitions strategically. Your Chamber wants to set out a vision for the city centre which will keep its distinctive personality while boosting the 24 hour economy we operate. Glasgow thrives upon its enterprise culture and bustling public realm so working out ways to capitalise upon these is a major goal. The conference brought together key strategists to allow us to expand upon these models including Professor Michael Parkinson CBE, Director of European Institute for Urban Affairs, Liverpool John Moores University and Stuart Gulliver, Emeritus Professor of City Development, University of Glasgow, as well as major players within the city such as Donald MacLeod, Managing Director, CPL Entertainment Group Ltd and David Grevemberg, Acting Chief Executive, Glasgow 2014.
- Glasgow Economic Commission and Leadership Board: The Glasgow Economic Leadership Board has been established by Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council. It was set up in response to an independent report which set out a range of measures aimed at helping the city harness its strengths, renew its economy and identify new trade and investment opportunities. It will be chaired by Professor Jim McDonald, Principal of the University of Strathclyde, and members include Benny Higgins, Chief Executive of Tesco Bank, Keith Cochrane, Chief Executive of The Weir Group PLC, Jim McColl, Chairman and CEO of Clyde Blowers Capital and Stuart Patrick, Chief Executive of Glasgow Chamber of Commerce. The board will oversee the implementation of a new strategy aimed at supporting the city's economy over the next 10 years.
- Events: Over the previous 12 months we have expanded our already varied events calendar, with almost 3,500 delegates attending over 70 major events. The proudest addition to our schedule is the Executive Dinner Series where we welcomed Carolyn McCall, Chief Executive of easyJet as our first keynote speaker. Interestingly, Carolyn had a lot of kind words to say about the Chamber, mentioning easyJet's relationship with Glasgow Chamber of Commerce is in the top three of any they hold across the world. The Behind the Scenes series has also continued to go from strength to strength, with a whole range of venues opening their doors to members. Whether it be the dressing rooms of Celtic Park or the stock rooms of John Lewis, your Chamber have been granted great access to a host of the city's most iconic businesses.
- International Study Mission from Seattle Chamber of Commerce: Continuing our ongoing campaign of international engagement is very important and in May Glasgow Chamber of Commerce met a delegation from Seattle. Businesses from city's on both sides of the Atlantic were able to exchange ideas, outline goals and share stories during an event in the SECC. This has led to a successful partnership between the two cities. All manner of topics were discussed, from differing tax systems to the power of unions in the two countries. We were extremely happy with the outcome and endeavour to continue forming these successful working partnerships across the globe.
- Employer Engagement Programme: Your Chamber is involved in the employer engagement programme which is funded by Glasgow City Council. We have provided strategic and operational support with the aim of helping to get unemployed Glaswegians back into work. Members work with us to offer recruitment services so positions then can be fed to the directgov central website, with the end result of helping to identify potential candidates for interview. Many companies have used the service so far, including Glasgow Science Centre, Barrhead Travel and The Holiday Inn offering a great potential for the future of the city's job market.
- Platinum Partnerships: In 2012 we welcomed more new Platinum Partners into the Chamber. We now have 10 Platinum Partners amongst our ranks including Bank of Scotland, Glasgow Airport, City of Glasgow College, Land Securities, St.Enoch Centre, Hilton Hotel Glasgow, Nuffield Health, Siemens, Radio Clyde and Scottish Opera, with more big announcements to make in the New Year.
- Brand Identity: In Spring this year we began to refresh the identity of our brand. Working with a great team, the aim was to make the Chamber of Commerce's brand clearer, sharper and more contemporary - a look which fits particularly well with our website. So far the feedback has been hugely positive with members voicing their praises on the refresh. As the year progresses plans are also afoot to enhance the identity of our brand, with the new strapline; 'Do you belong?' This will feature on all of our marketing and promotional material. Finally, we are in the process of creating a sticker for Glasgow Taxis Ltd to recognise their position as Glasgow's Favourite Business. The stickers will be placed inside every hackney taxi in the city and will also display the Chamber's logo.
- Members' Forums Launched: Representing the interests of our members lies at the heart of what we strive to achieve. Bringing together businesses from specific sectors to set out the issues which they face is a great way to develop a strategic approach to tackling member interests. In 2011 we set up a number of forums in a range of different sectors. Bars, restaurants and hotels attended the Entertainment Forum, the creative industries and representatives from broadcast, TV and the printing press discussed maters at our Media Forum and our International Trade Forum was popular with major exporters and freight forwarders. Based on these forums and engagement with the wider membership we identify specific priorities and opportunities to take forward and support the needs of individual sectors.
- You, our members: Glasgow Chamber of Commerce can only prosper and deliver any of the above with you, our members. Together we have worked to meet shared goals, benefiting the city as a whole. We would like to offer each of you our sincerest appreciation for all the support which we have received across the year as well as wishing you all a very prosperous New Year.