Small Business Sunday #SBSEvent2022

SBSEvent2022 Programme
SBS Event 2002 Programme

When you win Theo Paphitis Small Business Sunday, you get the opportunity to attend the Small Business Sunday annual conference which is held at the ICC on Birmingham. As we won in May 2021, SBSEvent2002 was our first opportunity to attend so I thought I would share my experiences.

The Registration Process

The registration email was sent out in November. The process itself is very simple; you have to give details of how you are and when you won, along with details of your guest (if you are taking one). In the run up to the event, there are a few more emails from the SBS Crew detailing the programme, Meet The Experts sessions (which you had to book in advance) and the Covid requirements for the event.

On The Day – SBSEvent2022

Entry to the event was a quick and easy process; show your negative lateral flow test and then collect your name badge – as simple as that.

Doors opened at 9am but the event didn’t officially start until 10:30am so there was plenty of time to grab a coffee, do some networking and attend a breakout session.

SBS Wall of Fame
Theo Paphitis opening SBSEvent2022
Theo Paphitis opening SBSEvent2022

As well as these, around the outside of the main hall were stands from the sponsors; Ryman, DHL, Robert Dyas, Western Union, Sumup, Natwest, HP, iLaw and Autumn Fair who were promoting their services. There was also the chance to get your photo taken in a variety of ways; headshot, green screen or 360.

Theo Paphitis Opening Presentation
Theo Paphitis Opening Presentation

At 10:30 attention switched to the main stage where the event was opened by Kypros Kyprianou, CEO of Theo Paphitis Retail Group. After a brief introduction. it was time to hear from the man himself, Theo Paphitis.

Theo shared the results of the SBS survey with the audience about how small businesses feel about the current climate and the obstacles and opportunities for the future. He also did a poll of the attendees to how many SBS Events they had attended. It was surprising to see how many had attended all 9 SBS events.

Theo then introduced one of his investments from his time on Dragons Dens – Tiny Box. The founder and CEO, Rachel Watkyn took us on a roller coaster journey from her time in the Den until now. It was an amazing story and truly inspiring.

Tiny Box on Dragons Den

The next speaker was Debbie Lewis from NatWest bank who shared some words of advice on the Power of Mindset. It was then time for a well earned break for lunch and some further networking.

The main event was Theo’s Fireside Chat with Touker Suleyman. We learned about how he started his career, the ups and downs of the journey and then he took questions from the audience. A fascinating talk and lots of lessons to take home and implement.

Touker Suleyman and Theo Paphitis
Touker Suleyman and Theo Paphitis

One first timers such as myself, what came next was the highlight of the day – collect your SBS certificate and the chance to have your photo taken with Theo.

Overall, it is an amazing day that I recommend that every SBS winner takes the opportunity to participate. A big thanks must go out to Theo and his team and the sponsors for organising such an amazing day.

Collecting my winners certificate from Theo Paphitis

What We Learned For Next Time

SBS Event is a full day and you get a lot from it. However, there are a lot of things we would change for next year;

  • Make connections with other SBS winners before the event and schedule some time to meet them on the day. It is very hard to find people in a busy room so planning to meet in advance makes this easier.
  • Wear branded clothing. I did bump into someone I wanted to talk with as they were wearing a branded hoodie. This is something I plan to do for next time.
  • Take lots of flyers. For this year, I reprinted my business cards and put them on every table. I feel it would be more beneficial if I had printed flyers instead detailing the services we offer.

I hope the other small businesses that attended SBSEvent2022 had a great time. If anyone would like to connect, then find me over on LinkedIn.

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