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The Education Supper....

...and the designing of the 2019 Supper, moulded around heavy-attender feedback..


We hosted a successful Education Supper in April, with a diverse group of guests, many of whom were attending a Livery event for the first time.

Antony Jenkins was our keynote speaker.  Antony is Chair of the Institute for Apprenticeships, and updated us on their first year of operation and their future plans. The Institute was established as part of the Government's response to the Richard Review and aims to support employers in creating and maintaining high quality apprenticeship standards for occupations in their industry sectors.  The Institute is sponsored by the Department for Education and has offices in London and Coventry, employing some 90 staff with an annual budget approaching £10m.

His message was particularly relevant, because the oversight and development of apprenticeships was a key founding principle underlying the development of the livery movement in medieval London. As a modern Livery Company, we therefore see driving the future role of apprenticeships as being a key part of our activities. Over 100 Junior Management Consulting apprentices are already engaged in training and the Chartered Management Consultant qualification is now being promoted.

After the dinner, we circulated a questionnaire to WCoMC members to take their feedback on the Supper, and to gain insights into the kind of events they would like to see in the future.

Overall feedback from attendees was good, with some notable positives “…a very pleasant evening and a huge improvement of the previous year”, “I thought it was one of the best WCoMC dinners I attended”.

The food and wine received good feedback, which is great to hear, as it is a core part of the enjoyment of an evening. Although some of the more discerning palates did question the quality of the sparkling wine served at the reception. Personally, I quite liked it, but that probably says more about my standing as an oenophile – I should probably join the wine club.

The venue received mixed reviews, with some positive comments (“Guildhall is a prestigious venue”), some definite negatives (“…uninspiring...depressing”), and an average score overall. Location choice is something we will be considering carefully for 2019, as we recognise that many members enjoy the more traditional Livery Hall venues for key calendar events.

Our colleagues from the ACCA, who kindly sponsored the Education Supper, also enjoyed the evening, and are looking to develop the relationship with WCoMC. This was excellent news, as they financially contributed to the successful event, and are an organisation who we could look to partner with in the future.

We also asked about the kind of events people would like to see WCoMC host. In consultancy parlance, there was a considerable ‘diversity of opinion’ in the responses, with plenty of ‘scope for further investigation’. The idea of more informal events elicited the strongest positives and negatives, with a number of members rightly challenging me on what ‘informal’ might mean. The details of options are very much TBC, at the moment, but I think it would be interesting to consider supplementing our traditional livery dinners with some alternative activities, throughout the year.

The idea of hosting events with other livery companies received the most positive response. Again, the devil is in the detail here, and it would very much be a case of – with whom, and to what end? But a joint event is definitely worthy of consideration.

The format for Education Supper 2019 is still in the early stages of development, but we will take on board the comments from members – in particular, in relation to theme and venue. For those who didn’t fill out the questionnaire, please feel free to respond directly. We are keen to understand people’s preferences, so we can develop successful events and activities in the future.







Frank Brown, Chair of Education