Thursday, 22 March 2012

Spring along to some new RSVP singles events

What a fantastic few days we have had this week - Spring has definitely sprung!
When the weather improves, it really does inspire you to get out and about doing something different, so it is good news that we have just sent out our new calendar to RSVP dating and singles events members. We have some fantastic singles events for you to come along to such as:
  • A walking weekend in Derbyshire
  • Sunday walks and Bike rides
  • Disc Golf (it's like combining Frisbee and golf)
  • Dinners in some lovely restaurants and pubs
  • And of course we have our May Ball, being held in Leicestershire.
If you aren't an RSVP member, you can request a sample RSVP singles events calendar, and some of these might wet your appetite!
A handful of our 50 singles events every month are open to members. Anyone single can attend one of our RSVP open taster singles events.

Events are such a great way to meet new people in a relaxed and non pressurised environment. Many of our members prefer events because they get a chance to meet potential matches a few times and get to know them, without the tension of making up your mind on a first date. And we always have a host at our events to make sure that members are introduced and that the event goes smoothly!

It is important to remember a few key tips when attending a singles event.

1. Smile!

When you walk in, smile like you know other people in the room - chances are you will get a smile back and this is sure to put you at your ease and make it easier to start a conversation.

2. Be aware of those around you

Remember that everyone feels nervous at their first event, where they don't know anyone in the room.  When you arrive at the event and it looks like everyone knows each other because they are deep in conversation, you can be sure that they don't. So despite your desire to run in the opposite direction, try to forget how you are feeling and become more sensitive to those around you. I am sure that many of your fellow guests will welcome a smile and a conversation opener, just as much as you do. So be open to your fellow guests and make it easy for others to engage you in conversation. You will appear much more attractive if you are mingling and making conversation rather than standing in the corner of the room.

3. Be prepared with how to start the conversation

Before you go to the event, think about some easy conversation openers. A simple "Hi, how are you?" works really well. Then think of some interesting questions that you can ask such as "What interested you in this event" , Make sure it is an open question, so they can't just answer with a yes or a no. Remember open questions tend to start with what, why and how.

4. Don't be a bore

Don't talk only about yourself. Make sure ask those around you about themselves. Most people will feel confident about talking about themselves, so you will help to put them at their ease. Pay attention to what people are saying and ask them questions to show that you are listening. Oh, and don't act like a know-all. You may think your are showing off your knowledge, others will think you are a bore!

5. Pick safe topics of conversation

Don't pick a conversation topic that will ignite people's emotions, you may think you are being edgy or controversial, but those around you won't appreciate a heated conversation at a social gathering.

6. Talk to other people of the opposite sex

There's no point attending a singles event if you don't talk to anyone and in particular if you don't talk to your target audience!

7. Have fun!

The most important thing is that you enjoy yourself. The more fun you have, the more you will relax and appear more appealing to potential dates. And, more importantly, you will have a fun experience and get the best out of the event.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

RSVP London Singles Event: Tour of St Pancras Renaissance Hotel

My last visit inside Giles Gilbert Scott's evocative masterpiece was in 2001, whilst its prime use was as an occasional film set for the Spice Girls, Harry Potter, et al. Whilst the famous staircase had been well-preserved, most of the rooms bore the battle scars of St Pancras' then most recent occupation as offices. The ornate high ceilings had suffered unceremonious puncturing to allow the installation of lower office-friendly suspended ceilings. The murky windows looked down on a barely-used and down-at-heel St Pancras station, its seven platforms scarcely taxed by the occasional trail of visitors through its period booking hall on their way to Leicester, Derby or Sheffield.

Our RSVP London Singles Event on 10 March couldn't have been more different. Tour guide and St Pancras historian par excellence Royden Stock guided us through the beautifully restored building, regaling us with tales of its construction and troubled history.

The building today is part St Pancras Renaissance Hotel and part Manhatten Loft Corporation Apartments, with one suite we visited being useable as either a hotel suite or an apartment. The view from the windows is now of the bustling St Pancras International - London terminus of Eurostar and gateway to the Continent.

As a previous visitor - and long-time admirer - of St Pancras, I was relieved at the sensitivity of the restoration. Much of the fabric and quirkiness of the old building has been retained and yet made habitable in the 21st century. Huge amounts have been spent on recreating rare features of the old building - like the wallpaper in one of the suites with genuine gold leaf.

Our London Singles certainly seemed to agree and all were very grateful for Royden's time and knowledge. Why not book your own tour of St Pancras?

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Dear Mr PM, I have an idea about economic growth...

Okay, so this post isn't exactly a dating tip, but as RSVP is a dating agency for professionals, I hope that many of our members will find this post relevant to them.

No-one can avoid talk about the economy and how the government should be doing things to stimulate growth. Well, as a business owner this is something that is very close to my heart, so is on my mind often.

As I was pondering on what can be done, an e-mail popped into my in-box reminding me that I was going on a course at the end of the month. It is being run by an excellent training company, called Inspired Working.

What has this got to do with the economy? A good question! I am not suggesting that my attending a one day course in London will take us out of recession. But bear with me...

As MD of an SME, it can sometimes feel a lonely job and I miss the sense of working in a team (you feel sympathy for me, I'm sure). As a result, taking time out of the business to think is invaluable. As well as learning some new skills, it allows me to do many things:

  • I get to take time away from the day to day
  •  I get time to think strategically about my business
  •  I get to share experiences with my peers
So, Mr Prime Minister, I was thinking...

Most people agree that we need to stimulate more business growth. SMEs provide jobs for a significant proportion of Britain's workforce.

And whilst I know that SME's need access to finance and a competitive tax environment to grow, these things take time to change.

In my humble opinion, we are missing one simple and quick trick here. What about supporting individuals running SMEs to fulfil their potential by making sure we all take time out of our businesses to do some training?

Lots of money is being pumped into training young people, but how about transferring just a little bit of that funding to help those individuals who can quickly make a significant (and leveraged) impact on the economy? I would love to do more training, but I struggle to fund that training for myself. How about a small grant for SMEs to spend on training that focuses on really growing businesses?

Just a thought...