The Spanish Chamber of Commerce in the United Kingdom’s main aim is to promote commercial exchange by acting as an important communication link between Spanish and British companies. The events organised by the Chamber enable both member and non-member companies to develop and expand their contact networks from both countries.
2018 has been a unique year so far in that we have hosted our first ever sectorial event outside of London as well as our first Copa del Rey de Golf tournament, not to mention the introduction of a new event series: the Human Capital Forum. Read on to discover what the Chamber has been getting up to recently!
The first half of 2018 has played host to an array of seminars that focused on personal development as well as topical and technical issues affecting a huge number of companies this year, such as GDPR and the gender pay gap. All five of our seminars have been great eye-openers and were well received by all; prompting a great deal of discussion and debate. Attendees always leave feeling more knowledgeable and motivated professionally and personally.
The Chamber has organised three corporate events and one patron event so far in 2018. Our first one was a New Year’s Drinks Reception at Skinner’s Hall where the President of the Chamber had the opportunity to wish all member companies his best wishes for the New Year. We were honoured to welcome Rt Hon Greg Hands MP, Minister of State in the Department for International Trade, as Guest of Honour on this special occasion.
The Annual Patrons’ Dinner was held in March at the Spanish Embassy and H.E. the Ambassador of Spain, Mr. Carlos Bastarreche Sagües, was our exceptional host for the evening. Before a three-course dinner, the President of the Chamber gave a special speech expressing his gratitude for the support that patrons provide to this institution as well as introducing the new patron companies that the Chamber has gained since last year’s dinner.
In April, the Chamber celebrated its Annual Golden Award at the Spanish Embassy, an evening in which the Chamber acknowledges the significant commercial activity of a Spanish company in the United Kingdom during the previous year. This year, the award was given to Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF).
Our most recent corporate event was the 131st Annual General Meeting and Dinner that took place in July at One Great George Street in Westminster. During the Annual General Meeting, the Secretary General of the Chamber presented the financial statements of 2017 along with a memorandum of the activities and events which the Chamber organised last year. On this occasion, we had the pleasure of welcoming the Rt Hon David Lidington CBE MP, Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster as our Guest of Honour.
In February, the Chamber was delighted to hold its first sectorial event outside of London at the head office of Freeths LLP, a major UK law firm specialising in construction, energy and real estate, in Manchester. The event saw a great turnout of guests from at least 25 different companies from around the country. Representatives from the participating companies spoke about growth strategies for town centres in the north, revolutionising the construction industry via digitalisation and reasons to invest in the West Midlands.
This marks the beginning of our efforts to carry out more sectorial events in different parts of the United Kingdom.
The Chamber’s two Elevator Pitches have proven to be some of our most popular events of the year. Participation is limited to one representative per company and a maximum of 16 companies can attend, with no more than two companies from the same sector. Each participant has two minutes to give a concise presentation summarising their company’s activities. Following this, everyone has the opportunity to ask questions and learn more about each company followed by a late breakfast.
We are always delighted to welcome a wide variety of companies to our Elevator Pitches and we consider it a fantastic way to help expand business networks in a short amount of time.
2018 has also seen the launch of a brand new event series: the Human Capital Forum. Following a similar format to the Financial and Energy Forums, senior human resources professionals from member companies of the Chamber are brought together to discuss and debate ideas surrounding leadership, talent management and organisational development.
The first meeting of the series explored how we can find happiness at work and the benefits of having a happy workforce, whereas the second focused on the changing face of recruitment owed to digitalisation. Participants of the forums have found them to be both thought provoking and of high relevance to their work.
Our two Financial Forums welcomed Spanish professionals working in London’s financial centre. The main function of the forum is to create a space which promotes a dialogue and the exchange of ideas between peers surrounding financial matters relating to Spain and its companies. On these occasions, the forums were presided by two exceptional guests: Rt. Hon. Nicky Morgan MP, Chair of the Treasury Select Committee in June at White and Case’s offices and by Andrea Enria, president of the European Banking Authority at The Traveller’s Club in July.
Taking place on a lovely summer’s evening, the Chamber held its first Mahou Informal Party of 2018 in collaboration with Mahou San Miguel and Ibérica Restaurants, patrons of the Chamber, who hosted the event at their outdoor restaurant in Canary Wharf. Being one of our most popular events, all places were quickly reserved and the evening proved to be a great success.
In July, on an exceptionally hot and sunny day, the Chamber held its first Copa del Rey de Golf Tournament. With the attendance of H.E. the Ambassador of Spain, Mr. Carlos Bastarreche, this highly-anticipated event welcomed players from various member and non-member companies of all levels. Taking place at Studley Wood Golf Club, around 50 participants enjoyed an action-packed day of golf. There was also a clinic session for the golf novices, a generous buffet lunch, a prize giving ceremony and a charity raffle. All proceeds went to two wonderful charities; Cris Cancer and Centro Social de Mayores.
The event certainly proved to be a great opportunity for participants to meet and connect with both fellow members of the Chamber and other companies represented, not to mention practising their swings, enjoying some fresh air, exercise and great company!
Interested in seeing what other events we have lined up over the next few months? Click here to find out more!