Dinner meetings tend to be either: smaller, informal dinners for members only; or larger, more formal regional dinners for members and invited guests which accompany regional events such as a workshop or conference.
Private dinners are usually attended by around 20 people, and generally take place in the private room of a pub or similar in London. Discussion is facilitated by one or more speakers. The atmosphere tends to be more animated because the venue is more crowded and informal.
Bessemer Society members anywhere in the UK can attend chapter meetings to benefit from new levels of access to other regions and sectors. Meetings can be hosted at the offices of a sponsoring organisation with the option to continue for a meal and drink nearby.
Larger, more formal dinners are organised usually to precede an event the next day, such as a workshop or conference. Discussion is facilitated by keynote speakers addressing a subject or theme of significance locally as well as of interest to the Bessemer Society members.
The first local chapter, Bessemer North, has been established in Manchester.
The aims of Bessemer North include: how to strengthen the infrastructure for advanced manufacturing; and how to influence policy agendas, such as the ‘Northern Powerhouse’ and the regional growth fund.
The Society helps to organise Workshops and Conferences in local regions. It allows Bessemer Society members to engage with local innovation companies and organisations by attending the high level dinner and the workshop or conference the next day. The Bessemer Society’s membership of serial entrepreneurs helps to challenge thinking and create a fresh sense of expectation which can stimulate new initiatives. Members also bring new vantage points and experiences from outside the region which helps to stimulate new insights.
At our Annual General Meeting in November members are invited to bring a guest, such as directors or members of the board, senior shareholders, or academic founders, in order to widen the range of experience and expertise.
Of interest are speakers who can challenge and engage on topics of interest to members and set the sights of members higher. Speakers can be from policy making bodies, financial institutions, and others, not just corporate backgrounds.
In 2016 speakers have included:
Prof Sir Colin Humphreys of Cambridge University
Dr Hermann Hauser, leading serial entrepreneur and venture capitalist
Sir Robin Saxby, co-founder of ARM Semiconductor
Sir Peter Williams, former CEO of Oxford Instruments
Peter Marsh, founder of Made Here Now and former Financial Times journalist
Chris Elliot, Head of New Business and Product Development, Tata Steel Europe
Prof Paul O’Brien, former head of Materials and Chemistry Departments at the University of Manchester