Anniversary Firestarter forum

A man an a stage with a large wall screen with a zoom call on it

Anniversary Firestarter forum…

On Thursday 29th April, over 80 business leaders from across the globe sat down (virtually) with a cocktail kit, unsure of what the next hour and half would bring as we celebrated one whole year of #FirestarterForums.

Over the past year, our #FirestarterForums have been a place of digital interaction where over 200 business leaders have been able to address essential issues and feel like they are a part of a community during tough times.

Back in April 2020, as we were moving into a new phase of the unprecedented crisis, our thoughts were beginning to turn to how businesses can prepare for life during and after the Coronavirus. We wanted to ensure that businesses and leaders could continue to be strong in a world and work environment that undoubtedly looked very different than before. Over the last year we have hosted a forum once or more a month, adding up to 15 Firestarter forums in one year. Therefore, we wanted to celebrate with our community as a thank you for always supporting us and to reflect on how far we have all developed in a year.

We have five key values that we always want to bring to the Firestarter Forums: Clarity, Action, Accountability, Independence, and Fun. This is because we know they are the values that we share with our likeminded business leaders that make up our community. We certainly have had plenty of fun over the last year, but we also have covered plenty of important topics. These topics ranged from, sustainability, looking after employee wellbeing, business confidence, where next with technology, “reopening” the real world and much more.

The success of the Forums over the past year has led to many opportunities, for us and our community. We have been joined by many expert speakers, not just in the Forums, but also in our own podcast series-  ‘The Resilient Leader’, hosted by Dave Harries. Both of these platforms have been a space where leaders have addressed their best practice in dealing with the inevitable leadership challenges and difficult decisions that need to be made as we navigate our way through difficult times.

Additionally, the last year has  meant we could launch our Firestarter Academy. These training courses have provided many of business leaders with our insight, experience, support and tools to help them overcome challenges and achieve success. Consequently, launching our Forums has led to many great opportunities for us, so thank you to for all your support. We hope the Anniversary Forum was as much fun for you as it was for us!

Our next forum will be taking place June 10th, 9:15am, register here. 

However, this forum was a little different to normal… 

This time around we had a studio setting, a live band and even our own cocktail kits! Here was our line-up for the evening:

  • The Live band: Outfit Groove & Chris O’Riordan on the trumpet
  • Comedian: John Cooper, who got everyone smiling and dancing (The alphabet game and the dancing game)
  • Cocktail making class, presented live by Lee Hyde at Monin’s London Bar
  • Firestarter Forum overview of the last year
  • 5 minutes with Dave Harries, with past contributors to the forums
  • Break out rooms
  • Firestarter Hall of Fame with Dave Harries

If you missed the event or you would like to re-watch the forum (especially the cocktail making!), head over to YouTube:

The anniversary forum questions

Every Forum we ask our audience some thought provoking questions that relate to that topic of the month. When we ask these questions, everyone gets put into breakout rooms to discuss the topic. It is a great way to make friends and meet likeminded individuals. This forum, the questions were:

  • What have you learnt over the last 12 months about the way you do business?
  • What’s surprised you and how has this changed your approach to future planning?
  • What would April 2021 you tell April 2020 you?

Take some time to answer these questions for yourself, they are a great way to reflect over the last year.

Here are a few of things the Firestarter community have had to say about the anniversary forum:

Some of our frequent attendees have said:

Rachel Roberts, Partner at HCR: “Just wanted to say how impressive that event was.  What a great evening.  Everyone was really enjoying themselves and my room was buzzing with thoughts.  Such a great bunch of people in one place. Thank you for inviting me.”

Colette Norbury, Workplace Wellbeing Training Lead at Mind Oxfordshire: “Great band, great atmosphere, superb organisation. Thank you for a fun evening. Congratulations and happy anniversary Firestarter Business Solutions Ltd”.

Jane O’Gorman, Director of Ten2Two: “A great gathering this eve! Thank you for another valuable forum and for providing a platform where, during challenging times, businesses have found a place to chat, share, support, inspire and make friends…”

Lisa Roberts Zevi, Operational Business Coach: “Last week we celebrated the one year anniversary of the forums with a fantastic ‘live’ event. It was attended by over 70 business owners from around the world and featured a cocktail demonstration and a live band. Thank you Firestarter Business Solutions Ltd for creating such a great community!”

Catherine Storey, Marketing Consultant at Fresh Bat: “There were lots of great thoughts from everyone, reflecting on what has changed in business over the past year… A very impressive virtual event and I cannot wait for the next one.”

 “A brilliant Forum, thank you. Loved the breakout chat, meeting new people, sharing learnings from challenging times. Clearly lots of thought gone into putting this on, thank you!”

For some attendees, it was the first time they had joined the forum and they were really impressed with the experience. Some said…

Tracey Whitfield, Account Manager and Operations at Mobilane: “ This was my first forum and I thought you did a brilliant job… You have certainly spurred me into joining in the future and to prioritise it. It’s so easy in a busy schedule not to find the time, but I got a lot out of the session, very inspiring.”

“It was a great event – Thank you for all the effort you had clearly gone to! And thanks for inviting me to be part of it….and for the cocktail too!”

Thank you to all of those that attended, we are so pleased to have grown such an amazing group of business leaders. A special thank you to:

  • Those that put on a great performance: Chris O’Riordan, Matt Wheeler and Dave Harries. As well as the production team: Rede2 and USS team, led by Stephen Pope, Paddy, Rich and Mark Salter.
  • Our fantastic entertainment: John Cooper, Lee Hyde from Monin and the band, Outfit Groove.
  • Those who volunteered for the games: Catherine Storey, Andrew Carter, Andy Whittard and John McGrath.
  • Those that were involved on screen: Lisa Roberts Zevi, Richard Clarke, Jack Nicholl, Jane O’Gorman, Director, Paul Phedon, Colette Norbury, Gareth Williams, Rachel Roberts, Craig Wiltshire.
  • Our breakout room feedback: Paul Phedon, Rachel Roberts, Paul-Olivier Raynaud Lacroze.
  • And we can’t forget those that were chosen during the quickfire round: Ben Thomas, David Nicholson, Lisa Zevi and Roger Chandler.

Our Firestarter Forums continue to go from strength to strength, this is all because of the fantastic community we have. Therefore, we cannot thank you all enough for making this anniversary event so memorable.

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