(My official winners photo with the business legend, Theo Paphitis.)
On Friday 30th January I was lucky enough to attend the International Convention Centre (ICC) in Birmingham to collect The Crafty Calf‘s Small Business Sunday Award at the #SBS Event 2015.
I was extremely excited, as were all my fellow winners, there was a lot of chat in our SBS winner group on the weeks leading up to the event, discussing travel, outfits, after parties and the like!
We arrived at the ICC and were greeted by lots of “SBS Winner” signs so we knew we had found the right place…
(Welcome Sign ©Theo Paphitis' Twitter)
We entered the hall where lots of small business were already networking over a brew. There were stands from the #SBS sponsors, Rymans, Robert Dyas, iLaw, DHL and Red Letter Days. We grabbed a cuppa (and biscuit or two!) and began meeting some of our fellow winners. Everyone was very friendly and keen to find out about you and your business. They were all very passionate about their own businesses which reflected in the energy and enthusiasm that filled the room.
(Networking ©Theo Paphitis' Twitter)
After an hour or so we were called to take a seat in front of the big stage. When we were all seated, Ryman’s group CEO Kypros Kyprianou opened the stage and got us all warmed up for Theo’s entrance.
(Ready and waiting ©Theo Paphitis' Twitter)
Dragon Den star, Theo Paphitis, entered the stage to huge applause and we were then all treated to about an hour of SBS news. I can honestly say what an amazing guy he is, he is so passionate about small businesses but is also such a funny, light hearted, warm, boozy, sweary and motivating man. He ran over time, joked, interacted with the winners and just gave us all the encouragement we could ever dream of.
(Theo Paphitis on stage)
Theo told us about the new #SBSangels event coming up later in the year where #SBS winners can pitch for a financial investment. We were also shown Metalfrog Studios work on the new winners website. All #SBS winners feature on the official Theo Paphitis Small Business Sunday website and it has just had a huge revamp thanks to Chris Wheeler and his team at Metalfrog. To view our #SBS profile click here.
We then had a break for lunch and a further chance to network. Everyone was happily tucking into the endless supply of sandwiches and alcoholic delights whilst meeting fellow winners. It was soon time to be re-seated for Question Time. This was a panelled Q&A session involving Julien Callede Founder and COO of Made.com, Judy Nake the queen of St Tropez Tan, Rob Forkan Co-Founder of Gandys FlipFlops and Theo himself.
(Question Time Panel ©Theo Paphitis' Twitter)
This was a session allowing SBS winners to ask a question to the panel. In addition to this, earlier I the day winners had the chance to pitch their business or product to Red Letter Days, Robert Dyas and Rymans.
The Q&A session overran but Theo was keen to answer everyones questions, this emphasised Theo’s generosity by giving up so much of his time so everyone had the chance to ask their question.
As soon as the questions finished, I went to meet Theo and be awarded with our official certificate. Here is a quick snap of the moment I met Theo.
(Sharron, The Crafty Calf with Dragon Den Star Theo Paphitis)
The day was incredibly inspiring and I met some fantastic people on the day, I’m already looking forward to #SBS Event 2016