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Britannia Conference 2014

Jul 17, 2014
Last year’s Britannia Conference was held in Monaco, and topping it was always going to be a massive challenge. As a result, the group completely changed tack for the 2014 event, which took place 9-12 May at the Pomme d’Or Hotel in St Helier, Jersey.

Instead of a glitzy location, they concentrated on adding value. From the amazing conference goody bags to the unusual business sessions, their goal was for every delegate to leave Jersey feeling that they have learned something valuable, and by all accounts they succeeded. 


Most of the delegates arrived on the Friday afternoon, and were greeted by a street parade for Liberation Day, and then treated to Reason Global’s ‘Conference Survival Pack’ containing goodies ranging from cans of Red Bull to blister plasters! The first formal conference event was the Welcome Night, which was located in a stunning venue just across the road from the hotel. Thanks to the event sponsors Basil Fry, delegates enjoyed a wonderful drinks reception and meal accompanied by the sounds of six young performers ranging in age from 15 to 26. Musical styles were varied, and the headliner was the incredibly talented Robert Bearsby, son of Paul and Annette from Britannia Bearsby’s of Kent. After the dinner, delegates headed to the nightclub downstairs to continue the party.


However, the start of Saturday’s conference came as something of a shock to most people. A policeman was in the room as they took their seats, and then Judith Bennett announced that three of Britannia’s Directors had gone missing overnight and a search and rescue operation was underway. This was of course an exercise, during which delegates split into groups to work on aspects of crisis management such as press releases, TV interviews, social media management and business continuity. It was fast-moving, totally interactive, and almost everyone present took a valuable lesson home with them, such as the backing up of hard copy data and getting duplicate vehicle keys for storing offsite.


Thanks to sponsors Reason Global, all delegates were entitled to an excursion during the conference afternoons to network and unwind, and these included an exclusive tour of the German fortifications on the island, a wine-tasting experience, a cycle hire option and a trip to the Jersey War Tunnels museum.


On Sunday morning a more conventional business session took place where the previous day’s session was discussed, the group’s annual awards were presented, the destination for 2015 was announced (Budapest, Hungary), and Britannia’s new video ‘The Bare Necessities of Moving’ was unveiled.

The Gala Dinner on Sunday night (sponsored by Currencies Direct) drew proceedings to a close in style – 1940s style to be precise! The dinner was themed as a Liberation street party, and at least half of the attendees dressed in period costume – some even wearing old family uniforms! Every delegate had their own personalised ration card, they drank from enamelled tin mugs whilst listening to a big band and enjoying nettle soup and rabbit turnovers, and marvelled at the skills of a Lindy Hop dance troupe. And when the photo booth opened, well ... you can see for yourselves.


Photos from top: Photos from the Britannia Conference 2014; Dave Aldridge; Awards, Judith and Alan Bennet and the Jersey Lindyhoppers; A group using the vintage photo booth.

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