More events planned for 2019
Our plans are to deliver around twenty Events in 2019 – and to support this process by making a number of structural and procedural changes to the way we have done things before. To see details about our planned nine Speaker Events, see our Upcoming Events page here (also can be found from the main navigation under Speakers & Events.
Speaker Events/ Talks
Our Plan – inherited from our predecessor company, the Devonshire House Management Club – is to hold nine Speaker Events/ Talks a year – every month except July, August and December. Our usual format is meet for drinks and refreshments at 6pm with our Speaker at 6.45pm until 8pm, followed by drinks and food – usually a warm buffet and with a formal close at 9pm. Occasionally, we will have a sit-down dinner as was the Devonshire House Management Club usual format – but majority opinion has long pointed to the need for more focus on the theme for the evening and more time to meet with and talk to more people.
During 2017, we introduced our Director Forum concept. Aimed at Chairmen/women, Executive and Non-Executive Directors – and those who advise them, Director Forums are working, interactive and creative groups focused on a specific key business issue or topic. They start earlier than our Speaker Events, are usually a bit shorter and followed by networking over a glass of wine – with food seen generally as a matter of personal choice. They are ideally suited to active executives looking for a short, sharp immersion in a specific topic, generally seen as topical, sensitive or tricky and in the company of others with similar interests and designed to fit in unobtrusively to daily work routines.
We first tested this format in July 2017 – and called it our Summer Debate. This was a collaborative Initiative with lawyers, Charles Russell Speechlys in London and we posed this question for debate – Will leaving the EU damage the UK’s Financial Services industry? We had a Chairman and 3 eminent Panellists – one Leaver, one Remainer and one not-quite-sure but all with strong views on most of the aspects of the issue, articulated with conviction and a good supply of humour! We took a show of hands vote at the start and another one at the end from about eighty attendees – not that the outcome mattered. It was the elements of the debate that were important!
In 2018, we were a bit late off the mark and picking September, called it our Autumn Debate. We posed the question – Have Corporate Governance Codes in real terms delivered better governance? This was a collaborative initiative with Mercer and Genius Methods and we had an expert Panel of four Governance professionals – representing the widest range of views and at senior levels. Again, we took a poll at the start and another at the end from nearly 80 attendees – and, again, the outcome did not really matter.
This model works well! They are knowledgeable, interactive and noisy. And will be repeated – probably more than once a year.
Alumni lunch in November
The Alumni Lunch is scheduled to take place every November and first took place in 2014 at the Charing Cross Hotel, seen generally as the ancestral home of the Devonshire House Management Club! Its aim has always been to enable past Members – now mostly retired or partly engaged in business or charitable activities – to keep in touch. Numbers seem to reduce every year but we remain ready to keep this tradition going if asked by enough former Members to do so.
Charles Russam talks about DHN
We have re-introduced the Membership Scheme – revised from that adopted by the old Devonshire House Management Club. Details are on our website here. Specific arrangements may vary to suit circumstances.
Last year, we changed our Sponsorship model – away from an over-arching financial arrangement towards a collaborative arrangement for individual and specific Events. We have now renamed it Friends, Partners & Sponsors – to reflect a very flexible approach.
Devonshire House exists for the benefit of its Stakeholders. Devonshire House is a collaborative Initiative. Our aim is to make a profit sufficient to cover operational, administration and development costs.
Stakeholders are Partner Firms, Sponsors, Reciprocal Arrangements, Corporate Member, Premium Members and Personal Members. To all these, Devonshire House offers an additional route to market. We also go out of our way to benefit Members Guests and our Speakers where mutual opportunities arise.
We are always looking for new ideas for Events around topics that might appeal and where we think we can get the right sort and number of attendees.
We look forward to welcoming you to Devonshire House in 2019!
“I joined the Devonshire House Management Club in 1995. The company, which I founded, Russam GMS Ltd, was a Gold Sponsor for a few years and I was a Director of DHMC for about five years. When the need for change became imperative, we said we’d like to explore ways of building on what we saw as the immense inheritance of the Devonshire House Management Club. We talked about it a lot and were pleased to receive comments from a wide range of Members who felt the same. Devonshire House Network is what emerged from those extensive discussions.
As Devonshire House moves forward – and new ideas and energies around our purpose arise – we look forward to welcoming new members and, in particular, invited guests who are interested in finding out more about Devonshire House and sharing our quest for top level insights into how organisations work – and, in particular – the roles of those who make organisations work.
Looking back over the past year, the main reason for Director-level Professionals to come to our Events has been the high profile and sharp relevance of our Speakers. This is a Devonshire House tradition that we obsess about maintaining and building upon. But what we find is that those who have been to just one of our Events are impressed with the overall “formula”.
It’s all to do with the easy and friendly ambiance, the venue, the people they meet, the insights they gain both from the Speaker and from their conversations with Members – and the way they feel as they leave to go home. Whilst everyone who comes to Devonshire House is open for business, being spotted selling is seen as bad manners! This neat little one-liner has proved reassuring, slightly amusing and seems to work for everyone! Doing business with people you know always works best! Devonshire House people go home with ideas, information and new insights – and wanting more.”