Sifting through boxes of photographs at the British Chamber of Commerce in Japan (BCCJ) office as part of our 70th anniversary archival project, I am struck by just how much the business events landscape has changed over the past few decades. Bobby Charlton enjoying a half pint of beer at the BCCJ lectern is certainly nothing like anything I have witnessed during my time as executive director!
Still, we continue to strive to create situations and offer experiences that members cannot gain through their day jobs or on client sites.
A hub for more than 200 member firms, our business exchange and networking platform presents in excess of 40 events per year where our members can learn new things, and build alliances with fellow BCCJ members across a range of industries. From monthly gatherings to major annual events such as the British Business Awards, there is something to suit everyone’s schedule—whether you are working for a start-up or multinational corporation.
The BCCJ is more than just a networking organisation, though. Our events planning is driven by chamber values, such as diversity and inclusion, innovation and good governance—all designed to boost business and invigorate our community as a whole.
Hacking it out
Last month we welcomed members and external stakeholders to the BCCJ office for our inaugural hackathon events. In the hackathon spirit we asked attendees to come up with tangible solutions that will help guide BCCJ operations over the coming years.
The ambiance was positive and collaborative, with attendees returning excellent ideas that the BCCJ team now will work hard to realise.
At our Rugby Scrum Hackathon on 24 May, it was decided that the BCCJ will enter into an agreement with the chambers of commerce of Rugby World Cup 2019 nations to best support Japan’s delivery of the major event next year.
At our Diversity Drill Down Hackathon on 30 May, attendees thrashed out what could be included in our 2020 Vision charter to help drive diversity and inclusion outcomes throughout our member firms on the road to 2020 and beyond.
On the horizon is our golf day on 24 June. This year, we have revived the BCCJ’s golf trophy—named The Chamber Pot in 1951. We recently purchased a new silver trophy, to be engraved with the BCCJ’s 70th anniversary logo and the names of BCCJ golf day winners over the past seven decades. I look forward to seeing a woman’s name on that trophy someday.
On 10 May, we held an away day for our Executive Committee (Excom) at the House of Aston Martin. Excom members participated in lively breakout sessions to chart our course in the 2018–19 financial year for membership, events and our 2020 Vision. Through the collective efforts of Excom and many other individual volunteers—some of the most capable professional people in our community—the BCCJ fosters a business climate conducive to growth, prosperity and wellness.
For those firms and individuals taking advantage of the chamber’s progressive networking platform and community opportunities, the benefits far exceed the investment of membership dues.
In 2018 your annual BCCJ dues buy far more than just a membership. They contribute to shaping our business landscape and making our community a better place in which to live and work as a whole.