I chose to walk from the City yesterday – and there it was! A new square, sparkling with clean lines and clean pavements. Aldgate Square is where the never-ending traffic nightmare was. It’s beautiful. It’s next to St Botolph’s, one of London’s oldest churches, and finally the transition from the business City to the rest of the world in the east is smoother. (Hah, I bet you expected a different word here.) A lot has changed at the Aldgate-Whitechapel end: Jack the Ripper is not what comes to mind first. Phew.
I was coming back from the UK Trade & Export Finance Conference 2018, held in 155 Bishopsgate. It was packed and the catering was outstanding, the two elements of a successful event. Relaxed, I sat down to listen to the content.
Loved hearing the Queen’s Award winners’ case studies about conquering their key markets. They are largely family enterprises of a long history. I admired the staying power and the humanity of it all: trying hard, facing enormous obstacles, regrouping and trying harder – until the market was conquered and the balance sheet sparkled like the new Aldgate Square.
I got involved with the Department for International Trade (it was UKTI at the time, government departments like changing names a lot, don’t they) when we enrolled on the Passport to Export programme with mkryptor and I presented to the European Cyber Security Conference in Vienna 2016. You learn so much from these events and I strongly advise anyone new to the scene to try them out.
Talking to your peers with similarly excellent products but also new to the international scene is invaluable. The professionality of the event organiser is very reassuring and the programme is well thought-through.
Of course, you could say it was an excuse to get to Vienna on the company card, and yes I did meet my Viennese friends and went to a Viennese concert.
But I also got to do two presentations in front of a demanding, specialised and interactive audience – and I can fully recommend taking part in the government’s export promotions to anyone in the innovation sector.
This could be a new approach for you, as it was for us.
Beatrice Freeman is a member of Professional Speaking Association, an award-winning speaker and engaging panellist. She is a great addition to any panel discussion: her perspective is more comprehensive due to several successful careers and her sense of humour never disappoints.