On Thursday 12th April, a vibrant and diverse group of Bristol Pound members assembled at Hamilton House on Stokes Croft to share their ideas and opinions. “Bristol Pound: Champion of Independent Businesses”, was the name of the event and a special emphasis was put on ways to improve the Bristol Pound experience for business users.
Huge thanks to everyone who came and made the event a success, here is a brief round up of what went down…
New Membership Manager, Ian led the evening. After a brief but stimulating introductory group exercise, Ian spoke about why he was attracted to working for Bristol Pound and his career path that led him to this position.
He spoke about the circular model economy that we are aiming for and emphasised the importance of each step of the Bristol Pound. Illustrated by this diagram:
We then broke up into 3 groups to discuss 3 different topics:
- How to improve the service that we offer to businesses
- Student engagement
- Wholesaling, plugging the gap.
The improvement to business service group were tasked with investigating ideas for attracting businesses to Bristol Pound. The main points that they discussed were:
- Building a brand with the tagline: “This is a Bristol Independent Business”. This would identify the businesses as local and independent to the public. Thus creating a ‘local umbrella brand’ that businesses desire to be associated with.
- Improving education of the benefits of Bristol Pound through peer to peer training.
- Case studies and investigating flag ship business to find out how they have become successful and what they can share with other businesses.
- Stronger links to Business West. To promote B2B £B spending and council procurement.
The student engagement team were (unsurprisingly), tasked with improving student engagement. These were the possibilities that they came up with:
- Student ambassadors who would promote Bristol Pound and educate other students.
- Student blogging – give some Bristol Pounds to a number of students so that they can write a blog on where they spend the money and what their experience of it was.
- Association with Student Union: publicity and promotions within like discounts for paying with £B or a £B only happy hour in the bar.
The ‘plugging the wholesaler gap’ group were tasked with ways in which to improve business to business spending by generating more ways in which businesses can spend their Bristol Pounds. This is what they came up with:
- Approaching specific tradesmen or suppliers with the offer to become “The Bristol Pound …”. Eg we approach one particular plumber or coffee supplier and then we promote this business as the plumber or coffee supplier with which to spend your Bristol Pounds with.
- We widen the search for businesses that can fill take the position of wholesaler in the circular economy. With service providers in mind, eg brokers, utilities, insurance.
- Surveying businesses to find out where they would most like to spend their Bristol Pounds and then approaching businesses that receive multiple mentions. We can then pitch to these businesses that there are already people wanting to spend Bristol Pounds with them!
As you can tell, there were lots of fascinating and wonderful ideas flying around. This made for a very productive and interesting evening. Thank you again to everyone who made it along. We look forward to seeing you all again at the next meet up in May.