As Santa is soon coming to town, we wanted to say goodbye to this intense and rewarding year and extend our best wishes for 2015 to you.
And what better way to do it than celebrating with style our Informal Christmas Party next Tuesday 9th December? If you have not registered yet, then hurry up as places are running out fast! Mahiki will host this for the consecutive second year. This last event of 2014, offering to our cold and rainy London’s winter a warm and cheerful Hawaiian twist. It will be a second to none opportunity to say goodbye to fellow members and colleagues until next year. So if you want to join us, hurry up and book it now here!!
But now, before closing down this exciting year, it is time to look back at some of the activities and events we have organised throughout. Rightly, at the top of our list, we find the recent VI Annual Gala Dinner, that took place on 27th November. It was a resounding successful, as around 230 fellow members gathered under the presiding of H.E. The Ambassador of Spain and Mr. César Alierta, Executive Chairman and CEO of Telefónica, as our Guest of Honour.
At the beginning of the year and as a brand new initiative, the Spanish Chamber of Commerce launched officially on 31st January the first meeting of the Financial Forum at the Spanish Embassy. Its main function is to bring Spanish professionals from the City together and provide them with a platform to promote dialogue, share best practices within the financial sector and exchange ideas about the current economic and financial context. This gathering was followed by two others in May and July, the last one being held at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).
In April, we held the Annual Golden Award, which was hosted at the Spanish Embassy in London. This event rewards a Spanish company for its outstanding performance during the previous year in the UK, and the distinction in this edition went to Aena Aeropuertos.
Furthermore, we would like to highlight that the 127th edition of our Annual General Meeting took place in June followed by a unique lunch held at one of London’s most iconic landmarks: The House of Lords, within the Palace of Westminster. The event was kindly hosted by Lord Brennan, QC, and had also the pleasure to count on Lord Bell, Chairman of Bell Pottinger, as our Guest of Honour for this special occasion.
In addition to the above, the Spanish Chamber has also developed a wide range of activities, including seminars, networking events and informal parties, such as the International Wine Tasting Event, the Elevator’s Pitch, a popular speed networking activity, Halloween Informal Party, to name just a few.
Moreover, the Patrons’ Club has offered five exclusive activities for our Patrons in 2014, which have included the traditional annual dinner at the restaurant Ametsa with Arzak Instruction, a tour “Behind the scenes” at London City Airport and an exquisite Tasting at the New Pantry at The Marylebone Hotel in collaboration with The Doyle Collection, just to mention some of them.
On the other hand, in September, the XVI Edition of our Graduate European Programme kicked off. This year 16 participants will be carrying out work-experience at London based companies for 6 months. The programme includes Business English classes and workshops at Regent’s University London to complement the participants’ work experience.
Last but not least, our Trade and Business Development Department has kept busy and delivered several commercial agendas and trade missions. Among them, we would like to highlight the work we did in cooperation with the Chambers of Commerce of Madrid and Teruel, consisting of trade missions aimed at helping several companies from those regions to enter the British market.
Additionally, our General Secretary, Igor Urra, travelled to Girona participating in a gathering between companies from different sectors and the Chamber of Commerce. The aim was to advise and inform these companies interested in entering the UK market about the different commercial services the Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Great Britain could offer them to support them in the process. Our advice was warmly welcomed as this gathering resulted in the development of trade missions with some of these companies.
It is also worth mentioning, the first edition of “A Coruña Exporpymes”, a trade fair organised in October by La Coruña Chamber of Commerce in collaboration with the Spanish Chamber. It was a perfect occasion for Galician producers to present their products/ services from different sectors such as food, wine, jewellery and construction, among others, to British companies.
Moreover, the department has successfully developed a new service: Commercial Presentations. This is a similar service to commercial agendas, but with a less commercial focus, aimed at increasing the awareness of the company with potential contacts. The commercial presentation service is especially suitable for companies that work in a mature sector. It consists of the delivery of a market proxy, identifying and introducing the products of the client company to suitable contacts. In case potential partners show interest in the products, we would support with the information management and even organise a meeting between both parties.
There is also cause for celebrating the introduction of a new membership category, the Benefactors, especially suitable for larger SME’s and companies who want to take their membership one step further and get a taste of our exclusive advantages for Patrons. At this moment, this intermediate level of membership is available exclusively by invitation to existing corporate members of the Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Great Britain.
We are very grateful to our members for their continuous support across all the different activities we have carried out this year, and for the ones to come in 2015. Special thanks as well to all those companies who have shown interest in our events and have participated in some of them over the past 12 months.
So, to put it in a nutshell, we can only make our farewells by wishing you “Merry Christmas and Happy 2015!”, a year that will come full of surprises and interesting activities. So, be prepared!