Imagine my surprise when an expensive looking invitation, encircled in gold gloss arrived at my office from the Lord Mayor of London.
Immediately I jumped onto WikiPedia and undertsood that of course the Lord Mayor of London is the official historical title – not the recent political position currently held by Boris Johnson.
On the evening I suited myself up in black tie only to find that my best dress shirt had gone walkabout – I briefly considered buying another on the way before opting for dress shirt number 2 – a tight fit to say the least! Still it would keep me puffed up I suppose.
Once I arrived at the grand Mansion House I felt like I’d arrived – mixing with established titans of business, Chairmans and Chief Executives of FTSE 100’s as well as Vince Cable (Trade and Industry secretary) and the Mayor and Mayoress.
We were called in one-by-one to be introduced to David Wootton (Lord Mayor of London) and his wife before entering the palatial ‘Egyptian Hall’ to be greeted by champagne. The dinner was succulent and the company was friendly, interesting and inspiring.
Although for me, it was the experience and networking opportunities that were of prime concern, many of the attendees were eagerly waiting on the traditional post-dinner speeches.
David Wootton gave a speech about the need for the City and its financial services industry not to be bashed – highlighting the good work it does to help SME businesses across the UK to thrive.
Vince Cable gave a speech talking about the need for London’s financial elite to do more in times of austerity – which didn’t go down particularly brilliantly with most of the attendees.
Most of the other small number of SME representatives I met there were winners of the Queens Award for enterprise. I think for most of us there was a strong sense of pride and sincere enjoyment of the occasion – I for one would be delighted to attend again next year. So my message to the Lord Mayor (and to whoever it was who so graciously added my name to the list); Thank you for the kind invitation and I’ll be keenly looking out for another fancy looking invitation in 2013 !:)