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Owners Networking Event / Forum


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Following on from the Mini Lab Forum networking event held early on this year, we are considering doing another one .

This is proposed to be held in the Midlands area...

As a lab owner, what would you like to see at an event like this?

I really enjoy listening to real life lab owners talking and discussing whats working etc. Its also nice to suppliers to show what they have, and to talk about opportunities etc etc.

But please do spend a couple of minutes to let us know what you want...

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Would like to see room split into round table chat groups - maybe of about 6 or 8 people.

Each table with a focussed topic eg Passport pics, Epson 24" printers, Fuji fronteers, Kodak kiosks, t=-shirt printing, Web orders,  etc. etc.

Each table has an A1 sheet with all brainstorm ideas & suggestions scribbled down and pinned up later for all to see/photograph for later study.

maybe 15 or 20 min per table topic so we could do say 3 tables in an hour.

We could write out our top 4 topics on registration, - and tables could be organised based on demand.

Sure - we often find the people who we share kit in common with, - but I think if we got specific groups together in a focussed way then shared problems and solutions might come out.

my 5p worth

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Another minilabhelp networking event -- great idea!

Round-table discussion -- yes please!

How about not splitting it into tables though, but splitting the day into sessions instead, led by facilitators, taking input from the whole house?

Focused topic for each session -- yup, focus is good. How about an overall theme for the whole event to unify the topics? Say "adapting to the recession" or "directions for the future"?

It's a networking event -- a way for attendees to introduce themselves to all other attendees, describe their business, and swap biz cards. And some kind of reference of who's-who we can look at (with photos?). Maybe 60 seconds each at the podium? Or some kind of "speed dating" set up?

A twitter hash tag we can tweet to all day!

Watchable videos of the sessions posted on minilabhelp afterwards, with good audio.

No long non-interactive presentations from individual presenters.

All supporting manufacturers and dealers to sit together as a panel for one session, with a theme we can quiz them on!

A manufacturer buys the wine again!

Encourage interested key staff to attend as well as owners.

Invite a small "buyers group" to attend and tell us about themselves.


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Yes please Neil!

I found the last (first) stimulating and very positive, with most members joining in the spirit of the event.

I like your idea of 'round table' discussion, Phil, quite how practical (due to time constraints) it would be to set up I am unsure, but good idea.

A reference of 'who's who' would be an excellent idea, as at the last forum there were several members whom I would have liked to meet, but identities discovered to late. Equally there were several discussions that could be continued.

I have noticed that in UK members at least, there are two types of 'lab', Professional and Retail. In the spirit of the Forum, would not some sort of 'mentoring' between the two be constructive? There are many retail labs that have the drive and will to provide a fuller 'professional' service and many Professional labs that need to provide an effective 'retail' arm to their business. Training services and business advisory services are expensive, and not always able to 'fit the bill'.

Just my ha'peth worth, whatever form the networking event takes, I will be there (don't know about public speaking though, it's a bit like Powerpoint and web design, scares the bejesus out of me!), And I would urge all those that would have liked to attend the last, make the effort, take a couple of days off, you WILL find it worthwhile.

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Simon, you did a great job speaking at the last event.. A regular lab owner, talking about regular lab stuff.. That is what it is all about..

Keep the ideas going peeps.. At the end of the day, it is events like these, that can make or break your business..

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