Why did you decide to start the Better Business Summit?
I love attending conferences to spark new ideas, and it’s always been a great way of meeting people who are interested in the same things as me. Some of my closest friends in business I met through attending the same events.
When I started the Better Business Network during lockdown, I knew as soon as I could I wanted to create an event that our members could attend and finally meet in person. It felt like the missing piece, and I wanted to bring back the face-to-face element of networking.
I actually approached Manchester Metropolitan University about a totally different subject, but the idea of doing a summit came up and they loved it – so we decided to go for it!
What are you most looking forward to from it?
I’m most looking forward to connecting inspiring business leaders and owners who are determined to make a difference with how they run their businesses. Although it’s being held in the North West, the Better Business Summit is open to delegates from across the UK – so it will be great to see some new and familiar faces in Manchester.
Being at a conference where I am not the only ‘eco’ person in the room will be great, and it’s a given that purpose is just as important as profit. I want to feel inspired and hopeful that we can make a difference through collective action.
How do you make sure that a ‘better business event sets a good example? How do you make it accessible, and sustainable – and what can others learn from that?
This is a really important topic for us and one we have given a lot of thought to throughout the planning stages.
One thing we are doing is making sure we are completely transparent with our audience how their ticket money is being spent. For instance, 20% will be spent on sustainable catering, with tea and coffee in mugs and a plant-based buffet lunch as examples to reduce food waste.
Sustainable also means accessible. Free tickets are available to students, and we are spending 15% of the budget on accessibility support – we’re filming the event with transcripts and subtitles available for post-event access, for those on a low income or who couldn’t attend. We have a full impact report on our website if you want to read more.
And, of course, all our staff are paid a real living wage. Any suggestions for what we can do to add more is welcome, but we want to set a high standard for our first event.
What makes a good event for you?
Every good event I’ve been to has friendly and welcoming staff and lots of networking opportunities. The on-site staff help facilitate those sometimes difficult to have initial conversations when you first arrive at an event which also helps.
I also like an event where I don’t have to leave to get lunch, and where I can sit and join people if I want, or find a quiet space to answer emails and relax alone if I don’t. It’s always great to feel like you walk away from each talk with an actionable tip or an inspiring story you want to share.
Who’s coming along and why should we join you?
We have a number of tickets going to existing Better Business Network members, but we are also hoping to attract many purpose-led leaders to join us at the summit. We’d like to attract people who want to become involved in a community that will help to inspire and guide them to growing a successful business.
Get your tickets from: thebetterbusiness.network/better-business-summit. Use the code ETHOS for 30% off your first three months’ membership of the Better Business Network, which includes ticket offers.