This year Madison Solutions attended our first Brighton Summit and what a summit it was, a really well organised event with entertainment and education throughout the day! From gripping keynote speakers and panels to delicious locally provided food, there was never a dull moment and it all managed to go off without a hitch (at least it seemed that way).

The supporters and staff

Our day at the event started early with preparing our table for the day, we of course weren’t the only supporters that had started early and I was surprised to see the turn out and the great attitude everyone had (especially early on a Friday morning). An eagerness to get the day underway and a really positive attitude from everyone involved. I spoke to a few of the other supporters before the event started and the spirit they all had was inspiring, the room was electric. Our neighbouring stand, The Sussex Hamper Company, had a lovely display and did a great job of showing off their hampers.

Behind every great event there is a team working themselves to the bone to make sure it is all flowing and that all the guests are kept happy. Grace and Sarah of the Brighton Summit team were our main points of contact and they did an excellent job of checking up on us and making sure that we had everything we needed throughout the day. From what I could tell, the Brighton Summit team were able to be in all rooms at all times, never did they seem stressed and all had a brilliant attitude.

The keynotes, panels and desire hour

The day was broken down into the keynote speakers, panels and the desire hour; an hour of fun and something different from the learning and networking, with the occasional breaks for food and networking.

The keynote presentations were all very informative, and I didn’t miss a moment as there was a live stream projected onto a large wall, allowing those manning their stands to stay in the loop. All the speakers were really entertaining, providing helpful advice from their own experiences. The panels were a great opportunity to get some questions answered and to learn, not only the panel, but from other audience members too. Our head of design, Joel Greenfield, attended a panel for “difficult decisions and how you make them” he came out of it with a phone full of notes and new procedures to implement back at the office. He was eager to attend that particular panel to discover how that particular digital marketing agency had scaled up successfully; he now has new plans for our future. He also noted that the speaker had some “pretty cool dreadlocks”.

After a morning of networking and learning, the desire hour came at a great time to break up the day. After all, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. I attended the “Duke of York’s exclusive tour and short film”. The group took a short walk to the Duke of York cinema and when we arrived at the cinema we received a warm welcome at the door and for the entire desire hour we had the cinema to ourselves. The marketing manager gave an educational yet amusing presentation about the cinema and its history, we also watch a short film about the history of Brighton; afterwards we were free to explore the old building.

Madison at brighton summit
Photography by Simon Callaghan

The attendees and the food

After the desire hour it was time for a very well prepared lunch and some more networking. I was impressed by the general attitude of all the attendees; everyone was positive and enthusiastic about getting to know one-another. Everyone that attended wanted to be there and I believe it made all the difference, cards were exchanged and people were passionate about their businesses and what they could learn from the event. I met several people who were keen to discuss their website and their plans for its future; it became my favourite part of the day, swapping ideas and contact details.

Last but certainly not least, the food has to be mentioned. Typically with networking events you get bacon rolls and some stale coffee. I’m happy to say that the food and drink at the Brighton Summit was outstanding, supplied by local businesses, healthy, fresh and delicious food well supplied throughout the day. See all the food suppliers on the Brighton Summit supporters page. They were just as passionate about the event as any of the other supporters and attendees.

The Madison team highly recommends that if you didn’t attend this year to mark it on your calendar for next year, we hope to see you there.

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