Some networking meetings deliver more than others and it’s often difficult to know in advance which will and which won’t. So I pleasantly surprised recently when I attended a Chamber of Commerce breakfast meeting in Newmarket (race horse heaven) organised by the Suffolk Chamber of Commerce and its affiliates from Newmarket, Ipswich and Haverhill.
After the breakfast, which was good if unhealthy, we sat and listened to an interesting chat on whether we were ready for the Olympics (I realised I wasn’t) and then Keith Brown, CEO of Visit East Anglia stood up to speak.
Now I had assumed that this was going to be another plea from a Government employee about how we all had to support local tourism but was fascinated to find out that Visit East Anglia was in fact the replacement for the Government effort, which had been removed due to cuts. Visit East Anglia is in fact a group of 20 or so regional businesses which have decided to get together to promote the region as one.
Driven by clearly commercial and healthy goals, all partners stand to benefit from joining forces to market the region and what it has to offer, even linking up with the local, and newly assigned, train provider who has seen the light and joined up with them to promote travel.
So is this better than what the Government used to do? I suppose time will tell but one thing is sure it will be run more efficiently, because the businesses involved won’t be able to waste money, and it will only survive if it and its member businesses are successful.
Small scale, it might be, but does this show that by Government getting out of the way we might end up with something better?