Last week we returned home from CMS Connect, held in London at The Brewery. It was a very well organised event with good attendance despite recent health alerts. CMS and The Brewery staff made sure there were hand sanitising stations made available every few feet as well as plenty of soap and clean toilets. The handrails to stairs and inclines were wiped down every few minutes to keep down the spread of germs. They both did an amazing job of doing their best in a situation like this to keep us as safe as possible.
Both the CMS and Brewery staff were friendly and helpful. When we arrived, we went to the wrong door and a porter not only told us where to go, he walked us to that door and opened it for us. Once inside, a nice lady took our coats and gave us a cloak ticket. It was in-between hotel check-in and check-out from one to another and we had our suitcase. She did not bat an eye. She took the bag and put a number on it and kept it safe. Customer Service done right!
Once in, we were greeted by a large buffet of croissants, juices, coffee, teas etc for us to have a good breakfast before we kicked off a day of networking. We had a few opening remarks from the CMS staff and vendors before we went to our 1 on 1 meetings. The speakers kept their speaking to a decent length.
The 1 to 1 meetings were amazingly well organised. If you were confused as to where your talk was to be held, or you could not find who you were meeting with, there was a CMS staff member with a laptop to help you find who you were to see, tell you what room they were in, what time the meeting would be and that staff member would help you find them if clear signage was not up. (like what we encountered when we searched for Lenovo) To let you know your time was nearing an end and to wind it down, a bell rang. I thought it was a good idea. When you get to talking to people in this situation, it is easy to talk on and on and lose track of time.
The only thing that I can say they could have done better with is more seating. At events like this, you can often have a lot of time between your 1 on 1 meetings and it would have been nice to have a chair to sit in. Even if we could have gone back in the room we started out the morning in, that would have been great.
Refreshments were served through the day and there was a lunch provided. CMS treated their guests very well. They treated us to a hotel stay for the event that night and even tickets to the PCR Awards. That’s something no other distributor or vendor has ever done for us. We would like to say thank you for that.
The venue itself is all you can ask for. Being PCR Awards were to be held there that night right after the CMS Connect event, it was a good choice. However, had this not been on the same day, I would have preferred somewhere else that was not in the middle of London. The location is great if you work in the middle of London but not for people having to travel. We normally drive but being this was where it was, we had to take a train. It would have cost us less to drive, but London has congestion charges and if you drive a commercial vehicle like most independents do, you will have a fee to pay for that as well. If I had to assist in picking a place for the next one, I would say something like the Leeds Armoury. Phil and I attended PCR Bootcamp there a few times. While it may not be on the posh scale of The Brewery, it was still nice. (Just a suggestion) At the end of the day, there was a prize given. (kind of like PCR Bootcamp used to do) Phil and I both walked away with a very nice bag by Wenger which held other goodies inside. All in all though, it ran very smoothly. People were polite and helpful and looked after us in every way they could and CMS went above and beyond with the kind gesture of tickets and room. It’s things like this that people will remember you for. This event received a MUST ATTEND by TFT for a very pleasant day and evening.