200 business leaders from across the East Midlands met this morning for the Duncan & Toplis Directors' Briefing 2018 at Belton Woods Hotel in Lincolnshire.
Now in its tenth year, the annual conference near Grantham hosted seven speakers from the worlds of business, finance, academia and politics.
The owners of some of the East Midlands' largest businesses were in the audience, including B&C Express, Househam Sprayers, Pygott & Crone and Wilkin Chapman among others.
This year's theme was creative connections and joined-up thinking and attendees were invited to share ideas, experiences and best practice on many of the most important business challenges of the day.
Adrian Reynolds, managing director for Duncan & Toplis said: “Today's event shows just how much business potential there is here in the East Midlands. The speakers' varied backgrounds and expertise made for an engaging and thought-provoking event for attendees to discuss, debate and share knowledge.
“2018 marks the tenth annual Directors' Briefing and we continue to attract big names from the world of business. With just five months to go until Brexit, this year's theme of creative connections and joined-up thinking is arguably more important now than ever.”
Speaker Dominic Bunning, senior FX strategist for HSBC, discussed the opportunities and challenges facing businesses in the run up to Brexit, while explaining how global currency markets and Strictly Come Dancing have more in common than we might think.
MP for South Holland and The Deepings the Rt Hon John Hayes CBE discussed the character of social and economic change, proclaiming how “the public is crying out for politicians to rediscover a politics of purpose”.
Ruchi Aggarwal, director of business development for Lincoln International Business School at the University of Lincoln, shared her advice on internationalisation and the power of a personal brand.
Vice President of the British Chamber of Commerce, Sarah Howard, explained how her organisation was “relentlessly championing” businesses on the issues of Brexit, skills shortages and staff challenges, before calling on East Midlands companies to get in touch and make their voices heard.
Paul Richmond, managing director of management consultancy The Gro Group, discussed the powerful link between curiosity and success in business.
Helen Doughty, director of Sleaford-based SHD Composites Materials, talked through her company's eight-year rise to become a global manufacturing business supplying tools and materials for motorsport and aerospace industries operating in three countries with over 50 staff in Lincolnshire alone.
“We don't have a five year plan,” said Helen, “a five month plan would be a luxury right now, but we love it. The world's a small place… as businesses we need to stick together and transcend politics.”
The morning's final talk came from Liza Robbins, CEO of Kreston International, a network of over 200 independent accounting firms in 123 countries, on the role and rise of the International Network.