Finally made it

lonlon79p002.jpgFirst of all I want to recommend the Crowne Plaza hotel here at ExCel – the accommodation was first class, facilities funky, modern, contemporary (just how I like it) and the customer service was consistently excellent throughout. Bearing in mind that the hotel team were multicultural (I chatted with Africans, South Americans, Asians, Australians and Chinese over the three days) I want to acknowledge their courtesy and helpfulness at all times.
One situation I haven’t shared with you yet is that I was orginally booked in at the Custom House hotel on the other side of ExCel. I drove there from Birmingham on Wednesday night, after a busy workshop day, and arriving after 9.00pm I took one look at the exterior of the hotel and the local environment and just carried on driving.
Sorry – environments are important to me and I wasn’t prepared to spend 3 days and nights in a dump surrounded by slum housing.
So, driving to the front door of the Crowne Plaza, I spoke with Carmen on the reception team and we negotiated a great rate for the stay in a junior suite, so that I would have plenty of space and a desk to work at. I asked her for the telephone number of the Hilton, to get a competitive rate – and she offered to throw in breakfast free of charge if I confirmed the booking. It was a fun conversation at the end of a long few days – with a well-trained young lady who knew exactly how to handle me.
And so, after 2 days of emails, phone calls and meetings, I finally managed to get out of the front door on Saturday morning and walk the 200 yards to ExCel itself.
There to spend the day “walking the floor” and meeting past, present and future Strategic Alliance partners, as well as a handful of clients.
These exhibitions are my primary means of developing Strategic Alliances (as defined here) and Saturday was useful in that respect.
I also met with my friend Sital Ruparelia of Authentic Resourcing to discuss some “gigs” we have planned over the months ahead and his contribution to the Producer Group concept.
Needless to say, John Barry and I met for a final debrief on our hours of conversation and to agree actions and timelines for the next few weeks.
The Showcase itself was good fun – well attended and well presented – I prefer ExCel to the NEC in Birmingham, even though it’s a sod to get to, the facilties are more modern and compact.
A final observation (which confirms an earlier conversation) was that the delegates attending were easily over 50% Asian – mainly under the age of 30. I know the London Showcase always attracts a lot of students and it was a moment to reflect on Asif Syed’s prediction from Friday that the profession will be controlled by (mainly) Asian women practice owners in a few years time.
I look forward to working with people who have a strong success and work ethic.
A 6-hour drive to Cornwall last night was a good chance to reflect on what progress I have made in the last few days.
Next week, it’s back to the real world with The Dental Business School. We have coaching to deliver and sales to make!


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Chris Barrow

Chris Barrow has been active as a consultant, trainer and coach to the UK dental profession for over 20 years. As a writer, his blog enjoys a strong following and he is a regular contributor to the dental press. Naturally direct, assertive and determined, he has the ability to reach conclusions quickly, as well as the sharp reflexes and lightness of touch to innovate, change tack and push boundaries. In 2014 he appeared as a “castaway” in the first season of the popular reality TV show “The Island with Bear Grylls”. His main professional focus is as Coach Barrow, providing coaching and mentorship to independent dentistry.