When we arrived at the Small Business Sunday (#SBS) Inaugural Event at Edgbaston Stadium in Birmingham, we were welcomed by the lovely people at Ryman's Stationery who sponsored the event and immediately felt at home. We were given our name tags and went straight up to the Meeting Room where there hundreds of businesses all chatting and networking. The buzz in the air can not be easily described, it was electric! Not only were we going to be having a speech by Theo Paphitis himself but to meet the Ladies and Gents that we chat to on Twitter was just as exciting. I quickly found Kelly And Kev from Piddley Pix who i have chatted to for a long time and have had quite a few of their artwork on display at home. After having a quick chat with them, we walked round trying to find other people we chat to. Next meeting was with a lovely lady called Martina from Sparrow Primitives which was lovely as i have spoken to Martina for a while now on Twitter. While in the meeting room we managed to meet up with Fiona from Coombe Mill and met some very lovely local people too which was amazing!
While we were milling around and chatting the man himself, Theo Paphitis arrived and was very luckily able to say Hi and shake hands with Theo.
Thankfully Fiona from Coombe Mill managed to catch this photo.
At 1.30pm we were all invited to go through to the conference room where we were busy tweeting and still trying to find people. We are all still very surprised we didn't crash Theo's twitter page and twitter itself!
After a quick introduction by Kypros from Ryman's Stationery, Theo Paphitis arrived on stage to a huge round of applause.
After chatting to us for nearly 2 and a half hours (was supposed to be 1 and a half hours) and enduring lots of banter and laughter, it included a question and answer session with Theo, where he was very open and honest about where he started and how he achieved the success he has had with Ryman's Stationery and lots of the other businesses he is involved in, some through Dragons Den!
We were also introduced to Chris from Metal Frog who has created a fantastic website especially for #SBS Winners which can be found here Theo Paphitis sbs. It gives all the past winners and a few tips from Theo himself about entering #SBS
After all the chatting we had the chance to have a Official Photograph with Theo, which considering there were 300 businesses in attendance at the Event it was no mean feat! We managed to catch up with a few other lovely twitterers while we were waiting, including Susan from Dottie Designs, Sam from Funky Goddess who if you have a girl coming up to an age of periods is a fantastic idea and gift!
Below are just some of the photo's that were taken on the day officially and non officially!