On the 30th of March all the winners of Small Business Sunday (#SBS) initiative started by Theo Paphitis were invited to a special event at Edgbaston Cricket Ground.
I dragged the lovely Mr Crayons along with me and the equally lovely Gabriella Buckingham of Moobaacluck also hitched a ride with us.
We arrived at the venue, the newly refurbished stadium with 4 minutes to spare. After a quick look at the Chromobile (very subtle shiny chrome car parked in the forecourt) we entered the conference room. The whole place was already buzzing with plenty of people in the conference room mingling, chatting, drinking and munching on sarnies. We were all given name badges which had our real names and also our twitter names, which was basically better for me. A lot of the time mingling was spent staring at people’s chests, which Mr C found rather interesting.
We managed to find my crew, which was Jo of 3 blonde bears, Kyleigh of Kyleigh Papercuts, Heidi of Giddykipper (Mrs Kipperchops) and Liza of Lizajdesign. We also met up with many other lovely people, sadly I didn’t manage to get pictures of everyone – but you have to trust me when I say they were as lovely and charming as they are on twitter! At one point the man of the moment made a brief appearance but quickly left again when we started to swarm in his direction.
After some time chatting, we were asked to go into the other conference room. We managed to find seats in the second row (best for heckling) and the event was off to a flying start. There was a live feed of tweets on the big screen which made for an interesting timeline. Every time one of our group got a tweet on the screen there was a loud – whoop!
We were introduced to Kypros Kyprianou – Ryman’s CEO. Then Theo took the floor. He spoke and was on stage for nearly 2.5 hours – fuelled by beer and a good sense of humour. We were shown a new official SBS website which was produced by a fellow SBS winner and also a new official badge (see pictures below). Theo was very charming, amusing and very generous with his time especially during the Q&A session. Even though he was ‘told off’ a few times for going over the time, he took as many questions as he could.
There was a quick free bar break while we went through individual official pictures, by alphabetical order. As a W I was in for a bit of a wait. Mr C suggested that next time I start my business name with an A. The wait wasn’t too bad as we were watered and I also got a chance to catch up with a few other SBS winners – though not as many as I would have liked.
When my turn finally came to have my photo with Theo, I told him that my husband had approved a cheeky kiss, and he very kindly obliged – although he did tell me that he was going to get into a lot of trouble for it! We then had our photo taken and I left very happy and fully certified.
We left Birmingham at around 17:30 and get back to Peterborough for 19:15, in time for a lovely meal at our fav Indian restaurant. By that point in the day Gabs, Mr Crayons and I realised that we had not eaten more than half a sandwich each all day! Needless to say the dinner was delicious.
What an amazing day, big thanks must go to Mr Crayons for being our chauffeur and being so supportive and lovely throughout the whole day. I think he’s a keeper.
Official Press Release to follow shortly.