It's been an great couple of months for the Meercats and along with touring the UK meeting the BIDs on a one to one basis, we have been part of the annual British BIDs conference and got to make a lot of new friends. Sharing good practice and deals across the BIDs really seems to be gaining momentum, I believe that at the time of our last news update we were actively working with around 6 BIDs, this number is exceeding 20 now and growing weekly. Offering commercial savings to levy payers is a fantastic benefit of being part of a Business Improvement District, working across all UK BIDs is a great way to share costs and build buying power, as we build the cost saving deals and the network grows, the value of BIDs increases, so onward we go...
If you haven't already, come and join the Linked-in discussion group 'BID:SOLUTIONS' so far there are over 50 members and we have people joining from the USA and Brazil as well as across the UK.
British BIDs Conference 2010 - Dublin 14-15th October
It was the 3rdannual event run by British Bids but the first time that the Meercats attended, the host BID was Dublin and the venue was set in the heart of the beautiful city.
Having never attended before we really did not know what to expect. As non BID people we wondered how well we would be received and although we had been busy visiting BIDs around the UK presenting our services, it was unclear how well our commercial model would be accepted or how well attended our 9:00am presentation would be, especially as this was after the conference meal the night before. We felt that maybe we would be competing against the Dublin nightlife and the flowing rivers of Guinness.
From the second we got off the plane the Dubliners extended a warm welcome and as we met each BID representative this warmth continued to flow. The BID community is like a large family and when they all get together it is evident the rapport and friendships these people have with each other, we were instantly made to feel welcome.
The event itself was extremely well thought out over the 2 days and professionally run. There was a perfect balance of information, interaction and fun. For those that did not attend I can fully recommend it. We'll certainly be signing up for next year.
We were especially pleased to hear that cost saving and waste management were on most BIDs' agendas. The importance of these initiatives to the BIDs became apparent when we saw them all up bright and early on day 2 and attending our presentation. Everyone was awake throughout and the question and answer session was extremely engaging.
We came away from the conference with the following impressions:
- BID people are passionate about getting the best for their BID.
- There is an openness to share knowledge and best practice.
- Cost savings a waste management is high on BID agendas.
- Our products and services were warmly welcomed.
- Guinness does taste different in Ireland.
We look forward to seeing you all Next Year.
Savings Shopping List
We have been putting procurement deals together for years, the more we put together the more options we can offer to BIDs and their levy payers. The only down side is that it can also mean that it can be a little overwhelming when first faced with lots of different deals and how to implement them in your own BID.
As we have been travelling around meeting all the BID representatives, we have been listening to what they want. As we have been out in the different communities talking and working with the different businesses finding out what commodities are best to start with. From this we have created an option list for BIDs, with suggested packages; and from this has grown our ‘launch packs'.
Designed to get the message out there using 5 channels of communication, we look to make an impact, build up some local case studies and then build on the momentum.
If you're thinking of adding commercial savings, either through procurement or waste management we'll provide you with the package that fits your needs.
In the past few months the feet of our waste management consultant have not touched the ground. He has been moving from one Business Improvement District to the next, either reviewing their existing recycling scheme to remove cost, or setting up schemes from scratch. His job is tough, but his focus is simple, zero to landfill and cost neutral to the BID and businesses, so far he has been able to hit this target or get extremely close.
He is getting called the golden Meercat at the moment, but please stop doing this as his ego is getting far too large.