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Somerset's Sizzle

13th June 2019

Somerset's Sizzle

There is a buzz that comes to Somerset annually and remains even if the weather turns dull. This year the buzz is bigger, louder and longer. It’s what I describe as the ‘sizzle’ not the sausage.

A butcher can display his produce and market it with information about being locally-sourced and ethically reared. He can even describe the taste, but until you have the actual smell and sound of sizzling sausages nothing comes close. You cannot sell the ‘sizzle’ – only the sausage – but it’s the sizzle that’s everything.

Businesses small or large, whether manufacturing or in the service industry, professionally market, advertise and promote their products, services, employees and staff. The product or service can be beautifully described. The real crunch is when you meet, talk and engage with real people.

The buzz I talk about is the passion, commitment, drive, resilience and value people put into business because they want to. You can’t buy, market or advertise it because it’s the ‘sizzle’ which you can only get face-to-face when you’re with people.

This year the buzz around the county is almost palatable, I have attended meetings and been fortunate enough to speak at various local Town Chambers from Wincanton to Wells, Frome to Burnham-On-Sea, Yeovil to Weston-Super-Mare. The passion and life that come across from town chambers are heart felt and sincere.

I really enjoy travelling across the whole county to meet with and listen to local business of all shapes and sizes, cheese markers, cider producers, helicopter manufactures, timber mills, recruitment companies, web designers, ice-cream makers; the companies are as diverse as they are varied in locations and type.

As the summer gains momentum, it isn’t just the warm sun that gets me in a happy frame of mind – it’s the wonderful events and attractions we have. I was fortunate enough to attend the Royal Bath and West show as a guest of Wessex Reserve Force and Cadet Association and to meet members of our military. I was absolutely fascinated to hear about the roles, deployment and challenges that men and woman from the reserve forces face. 

The Cricket World Cup at the Somerset County Cricket Ground is another great example of how well a county can come together – the atmosphere was almost electric as Afghanistan played New Zealand and only slightly cooled by the odd spot of rain.

As June moves to July, summer is here and our county’s numbers will continue to swell as more tourists and holiday makers travel in. Hoteliers, destinations and attractions will market and advertise their unique features and benefits. For me, the real impact is standing on the seafront, walking across Exmoor, exploring Cheddar Gorge or hearing the thwack as Somerset hit another six at the county ground. It’s the ‘sizzle’ for me every time.

 

By Stephen Henagulph, the Chief Executive of Somerset Chamber of Commerce

 

 

 

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