Business Forum

Teesside High School hosts a business networking forum that meets regularly to offer an opportunity for business people throughout the region to get together, listen to a guest speaker and discuss important issues, common to all enterprise. We have hosted speakers on a wide range of topics followed by lively Q&A sessions. The events are preceded by refreshments and an opportunity to network with other business professionals. The events are also open to students, and those who are studying Economics and Business Studies have found the sessions particularly beneficial.

Topics covered in previous evenings include:

‘Taking Risks’ – a necessary ingredient in growing a business. A fascinating and entertaining insight into choices and decision-making in building a large business from humble beginnings, by one of the North East’s premier entrepreneurs. The speaker for the evening was Sir John Hall. Founder of Cameron Hall Developments (creator of the Metro Centre) and former Chairman of Newcastle Football Club.

‘Don’t Get Sued’ – avoiding the legal pitfalls of employment law and health and safety legislation. By using descriptions of real cases, this talk illustrated the vulnerability of companies to receiving unwanted litigation and how simple steps can be taken to avoid it – recommendations that cost little but can save a business a small fortune. The speaker for the evening was Charles Atha, Senior Partner at Atha & Co. Solicitors.

‘Sustainability is Vital’ – the world faces huge problems of over-consumption, depleting natural resources, growing human population, and irreversible damage to the environment. These issues effect us all but every business can make its own contribution to reversing these trends and putting mankind back on a sustainable path. The good news is that making changes to managing your business really improves prospects, both in terms of reputation and sales. The speaker for the evening was, Tony Hodgson, leading expert and former university lecturer on sustainable living. How sustainability how it can, and should, be applied to all commercial activity.

‘Understanding Digital’ – the world of marketing and communication has changed. For a business to be seen and heard, it must now compete online. Understanding how to promote, develop and search-engine optimise its website is one key aspect, but it is the landscape for engaging and interacting with potential customers, and the wider community, that has seen the most radical shift. If a business is not at the forefront of the fast-moving world of social media, it risks becoming forgotten altogether. Visibility, reputation and sales are rapidly becoming dependent on involvement with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and a whole raft of newer sites. The speaker was Ben Saunders, Director of New Wave Digital Marketing Agency.

‘Entrepreneurship’ –  how to be successful in business. Alastair Waite of Altrelli Ltd. gave an inspiring insight into what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur.

‘Life on the Rails’ – a highly entertaining presentation by Alex Nelson of Chester-le-Track, demonstrating how you can reap the rewards doing something you love.

‘The Dos and Don’ts of PR’ – a fascinating insight into the world of public relations. Anecdotal evidence and relevant news stories were discussed, showing the successful and catastrophic ways businesses have handled their image. With a focus on social media and new forms of marketing, speak Rachel Smith of @pr spoke about how businesses can avoid these pitfalls and turn negatives into positives.

‘Security and Law Enforcement’ – Mr Paul Durnan gave a fascinating insight into his careers in law enforcement in both the public and private sector. With anecdotal stories and knowledge of the legal system, attendees were enthralled and the question and answer session proved particularly lively!

The numbers attending the forum continue to rise and we invite anyone interested in business to come along and invite their colleagues and friends, too. Please contact the Head’s PA for further information on or 01642 782095.