Wycombe Sound invited our webmaster, Robert Gibson, to come in and advertise the Chamber’s Christmas Dinner Dance at Chartridge Park Golf Club on Saturday December 17th. Appearing on the mid-morning show with Jonathan Padgen, Robert also took the opportunity to explain the activities of the Chamber, the benefits to members, and some of the successes of 2016.

wycombe sound logoFor us, it was also a welcome opportunity to see Wycombe Sound in action. Having started life with three 4-week-long Restricted Service Licences, they are now 5 weeks into their new life with a long-term community radio licence. Director Philippa Sawyer commented: “Many listeners probably think we’ll go off air again after four weeks. But we’ll be here after Christmas, we’ll still be here in the spring and beyond…”

Wycombe Sound is one of around 30 new members to have joined Chiltern Chamber in 2016. Philippa stressed that they would love to hear from our members and the business community about their activities and events. We would strongly encourage them to take her up on the offer. The Chamber hopes that it will have further opportunities to discuss activities and business matters on air in 2017.

You can listen to Wycombe Sound in the Wycombe area and a little beyond on 106.6 FM, with a potential reach of 133,000 residents. Other possibilities are Wycome Sound’s app, TuneIn or on http://wycombesound.org.uk/. On the web site you can also find details of how to advertise, contribute or participate.

Two small Chesham companies are working together to produce an amazing event for Small Business Saturday, on 3rd December.

MJKArt and Chamber members Auberge du Chocolat are putting together the ultimate relaxed Christmas shopping experience, at Auberge du Chocolat, Unit 28 Chess Business Park, Chesham HP5 1SD.

Browse amazing pictures and prints whilst tasting delicious chocolates and sipping mulled wine. Chat to the artist, Matt Kirby, and discover the inspiration behind his work. Or maybe you’d like to enjoy a chocolate tasting or have your Santas and Snowmen personalised – all FOC!

auberge du chocolat products and mjk art imagesAuberge Managing Director Anne Scott said “Working together has to be the way forward for small companies and what better day to do it than Small Business Saturday!”

Matt Kirby said, “MJK Art are excited to be showing a wide range of both original affordable art work and prints on 3rd and 10th December, to coincide with Auberge Du Chocolat’s Christmas range of chocolate and gifts”

Auberge du Chocolat is an artisan family business with a passion for chocolate, ice cream and fudge. Established in 2005 by Anne and Ian Scott, in Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire. Since 2010 all of our production has been at our Chocolat Auberge in Chesham. Auberge du Chocolat has rapidly established a significant presence in the premium food sector and its products are on sale in its own outlet, local independent retailers and National Trust shops in the area.

MJKArt: Matt Kirby grew up in Leicestershire and has been discovering and experimenting with abstract painting for many years. His work represents special events and experiences with various techniques and colour. His work is exhibited at Galleries throughout the UK and has sold to private clients throughout Europe. The work is carried out using high quality prime canvas boards and boxed canvas using gloss and enamel paints to provide a high gloss finish.

For more information, please contact Anne Scott at anne@aubergechocolat.co.uk, or on 07872 992995.

Friday, 13th November 2015 proved to be an auspicious date. That was when Chiltern Chamber started up its breakfast meetings.

managing directors of chiltern silicon valley partnersLocations of Chiltern Silicon Valley partnersProof of the pudding, we were told, was whether they would survive the initial enthusiasm and still be going a year hence. Well, we’re very happy to report that the breakfasts have thrived. A happy band of regular breakfast networkers meet twice a month, with others coming periodically, and new faces appearing regularly as word gets around. We average 20 or more per meeting nowadays, with breakfast on the second Friday of the month held in Chesham, and on the fourth Friday in Amersham.

If you want to receive e-mail invitations, then please join our mailing list. You can register easily online.

Do they work? Yes they do!

Plenty of productive and profitable introductions have been made across the year. So for the breakfast closest to our anniversary, it was appropriate that we invited Ralph Hilsdon of Web-Clubs to present on behalf of Chiltern Silicon Valley.

Chiltern Silicon Valley represents the joining together of three local digital businesses into a marketing alliance.

Ralph explained that the genesis of the idea came as a result of the three partners (Managing Directors Anthony O’Sullivan, John Onion and Robert Hyde pictured right) bumping into each other at networking meetings such as Chiltern Chamber’s (are there any other??), and realising that their primary businesses are extraordinarily complementary:

  • Web-Clubs – Email Marketing
  • upriseUP – Search Marketing
  • IO42 – Website design and IT support

Putting these skills together, clients can benefit from a broad expertise to advise on the most effective form of marketing campaign, and the specialised experience to deliver it.

To learn more, visit the Chiltern Silicon Valley web site.

If you ever wanted proof that local networking works, this is it!

November 13, 2016

Paul Jackson presenting to Chiltern ChamberPaul Jackson of Chamber member BeSeen Marketing gave an excellent, entertaining presentation on Social Media Success to the Chamber on Wednesday November 2nd.

Social media in all its forms is too large a subject to cover comprehensively in one session. Paul’s focus therefore was on the most popular platforms, principles that will bring success whatever the platform, and some useful tools that enable users to cut through the noise and garner information to make their social media efforts more effective. Paul used his own personal project, The Gin Guide, to illustrate many of his points.

Paul spelt out five key points to social media success:

5 points to social media success

  • Goals: decide on your goals and expectations – brand positioning, awareness or general interest, or more specific goals such as leads, or engagement, retention or servicing of customers?
  • Audience: establish WHERE your audience is, to decide on your platform. Did you know for example that 79% of LinkedIn users are aged 35 or over, whilst more than half of Twitter and Facebook users are under 35? More than 60% of Pinterest and Instagram users are female.
  • Behaviour: what are your AUDIENCE doing on social media? Where does social media fit into their customer journey?
  • Value: what’s your USP, why should your audience follow and engage with you?
  • Network with your audience, ‘work the room’.

So that’s your strategy; how, then, to monitor progress, to address your audience most effectively, and tackle your social media programme time-efficiently?

Paul suggested the following tools to help:

  • www.thinkwithgoogle.com/tools: thinkwithgoogle.com is a comprehensive suite of insights provided by Google from its own customer interactions. The tools section has numerous tools by which you can browse data; the one illustrated by Paul The Customer Journey to Online Purchase, is a fascinating insight into where in the online journey certain platforms and media sit – try toggling through industries and locations, and see the differences.
  • Twitter Analytics and Facebook Insights were also recommended for insights into audience behaviour.
  • Paul also explained his use of Twitter Lists to enable him to focus on, and interact with a community with shared interests – in this case, gin!
  • To manage multiple social media channels, Paul recommended Hootsuite, the most widely used platform for this purpose.
  • Finally, Paul introduced us to Audiense, another tool for providing social media campaigns with deeper insight into their users.

But perhaps the most important point made by Paul, the ‘golden rule of social media, was this:

golden rules of social media

You can download the presentation slides here.

The Green Belt Preferred Options Consultation on the Chiltern and South Bucks Local Plan commences TODAY, and runs for six weeks, until 12 December.

This consultation is part of the proposed Chiltern and South Bucks Local Plan (2014-2036). We had been hoping that following submissions from the public earlier in the year, there would be more evidence of integrated thinking for the area, its housing and business needs, infrastructure and so on. However this second consultation is limited to development options in the Green Belt, with fifteen sites nominated across the area.

Chiltern District Council (CDC) will be holding a series of exhibitions. It urges “Residents, businesses, community groups, landowners, developers and organisations… to participate and give their views on the options for removing land from the green belt to help meet the districts’ development needs until 2036.”

It also insists that “no decisions have yet been made and their views are extremely important in helping the Councils proceed with developing the Joint Local Plan, as requested by central government”.

Chiltern Chamber believes it essential that residents, businesses and other stakeholders should attend, express views and submit written response to the Consultation before it closes in mid-December. This will be the last chance to make your voice heard before the draft Plan is released for consultation in spring 2017.

Below we have listed the meetings most relevant to our area:

Public meetings re green belt options, joint local plan

Important links:

Details may be seen at: http://www.chiltern.gov.uk/planning/localplan2014-2036.

Evidence base on CDC web site.

Online response form on CDC web site.

Is this a Green Belt Land Grab?

The Chesham Society, in commenting on the possible implications for Chesham, is clearly disappointed by the apparent change of emphasis, and we should imagine that this will be reflected in other communities, too.

In Chesham’s case, a 57.25 ha area to the North East of the town is potentially earmarked for 900 new houses. The Chesham Society’s press release comments that “It appears to be moving towards reducing the Local Plan to a Housing Plan with a presumption that demand can only be met from within the Green Belt. There is little mention yet of the infrastructure that Chesham urgently requires and no mention of employment sites. Despite claiming to have been working on infrastructure issues and population numbers for many years our local authorities have given no indication of what they are planning for Chesham as a whole.”

As a Chamber of Commerce, keen to see business thrive in our area, we would strongly endorse the Society’s stance that there is an urgent need for integrated planning, including infrastructure and opportunities for business. Housing is undoubtedly an essential part of the equation, but we really need to be satisfied that all viable options have been considered, before irreversible changes are made to the Green Belt.

The public meeting in Chesham will be held on Saturday 5 November from 2.00pm to 5.00pm. At the same time in an adjacent room, the Chesham Society will be mounting an exhibition showing progress with their Vision of Chesham, first unveiled in March. This proposal has been further developed and addresses the long term development of all Chesham, especially the Town Centre, accommodating far more than 900 new houses, with associated upgrading of facilities and infrastructure, and aiming to have minimal impact on Green Belt.