Mid-Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce organise an annual business week in Wakefield which ran this year from 2nd to 6th June.  The centrepiece of the week is a business conference, held at Wakefield’s Cedar Court Hotel.

I’d been aware of the conference for a couple of years but this year particularly found that there was a real buzz about it amongst local business owners and professionals.  It became one of the hot topics at my regular networking groups.  #WBW2014 started to appear regularly on Twitter, and the Wakefield Express ran a special supplement for WBW.

Although our specialist areas – family, wills and probate and education, don’t at first sight seem a natural fit for a business conference, I really wanted to get across two key messages:

Firstly, that as a Wakefield business we want to work with other Wakefield businesses – because a growing and developing Wakefield economy works for us all.

Secondly, as a small business owner I appreciate the value of my staff being well supported in their home lives, and that is certainly something King Street Solicitors can do.

With this is mind, we developed a new concept – our corporate wills days.  Everyone needs to make a will, but we know that this is something too many of us put off.  Instead, one of our experienced solicitors can visit a workplace and provide a short seminar on planning for you future, followed by the offer of free, one to one meetings for staff to discuss whether they need a will.  We offered generous discounts for WBW delegates.

Then came the fun part … designing the backdrops for our stand, information packs – and the freebies!  Everyone at King Street had a view about what we should offer – from Frisbees to stress balls, memory sticks to mugs.  In the end we settled on everyone’s favourite – jelly beans and lolly pops!  Looking at the rate they disappeared, I think it was the right call … We also handed our fabulous King Street pens.

At the conference, Tracey Hunter and I had a long, busy, but really rewarding day.  It was great to hear very positive feedback on our branding and our freebies flew off the stall!  Better still, the delegates we talked to were very responsive to our business-to-business services.

It was extremely heartening to see so many local people working hard to develop their own business and our local business community.