30 September 2012
Kirklees Business Conference is an exhibition and series of seminars that takes place at the Glapharm stadium in the last week of September. It is the highpoint of Kirklees Business Week. The Conference is one of a series of events that are organized by Yorkshire Business Conferences throughout the year. Others are held at various times in other towns and cities in the county.
I visited the exhibition and attended a question and answer session with Ajaz Ahmed, Dean Hoyle and Graham Leslie.
There were some interesting exhibitors bit the ones that caught my eye were the Nanofactory, the Design Council, Leeds City Region, Finance Yorkshire and Eaton Smith. Surprisingly there was nobody from the Intellectual Property Office, :Leeds Patent Information Unit or any of the local patent agencies. That promoted me to ask Messrs. Ahmed, Hoyle and Leslie why Yorkshire businesses were so uninterested in innovation (see "If Yorkshire were a country ........" 8 Aug 2012).
The answer that I got from Mr Leslie are that Yorkshire folk are not good at shouting about their achievements. Really? Most anecdotes about Yorkshire folk note a superfluity of self-confidence rather than a dearth. The panel agreed that we need to do something about reviving manufacturing and particularly volume manufacturing. I pointed out that Yorkshire folk are unlikely to work for the sort of wages available in Brazil, China or India. Finally, Ajaz Ahmed revealed that he loves shopping. "Quite unusual for a man" he admitted. Earlier in the week he had driven all the way to Chester to look at a new retailer. But then that's his business.