Mark Barwell – New Chair for the Marketing Group of Great Britain

Dear Members,
I am delighted to be writing to you as your new Chair for the Marketing Group of Great Britain – though am clearly doing so in what are – to use that now oft-quoted phrase – unprecedented times.

I would like to start by recognising the amazing job that our outgoing Chair, Kerris Bright, has done over the last season, and to thank her for the support that she has provided. It is both massively exciting, and at the same time incredibly daunting, to be Chair of this esteemed club, and I am truly grateful for the help from Kerris, and the other members of Council.

In looking for a good place to start my tenure, I thought it wise to go back and familiarise myself with the MGGB manifesto. It says, among other things, that ‘The MGGB strives to be a place of commune where leaders from all sides of the industry can come together to dine, discuss and debate. By creating warmly inviting events much relished for their relaxed sociability (the MGGB) seeks to provide its members with a trusted and special space in which to meet other great minds, spark ideas and make lasting connections.’

With everything that’s happening in the world right now, it feels more important than ever to have places of commune, trusted and special places, and to be able rekindle established or to make new connections.

It would of course be fantastic to be able to do this together in the special surroundings of the ballroom at Claridge’s with glass in hand, but if that remains challenging in the short term, I am determined that we are still able to live to our values, to inspire, to connect and to continue to raise our game as an industry, as well as glass, even if we have to do this virtually. We will continue to experiment with online formats, and as soon as it is safe to do so, will create face to face events – with, of course, the appropriate social distancing.

I will be reaching out to members to better understand how we can continue to evolve and adapt these events, in line with changing government guidance, and to make sure that we continue to offer great value.

We will certainly have no lack of issues to discuss over the next 12 months, and I am delighted to share that we will launch our season on the 9th of September in the company of Alison Rose, the CEO of the recently re-named NatWest Group. Alison, I know, will inspire us, and I’m sure will spark plenty of ideas and debate. More details on this will follow in the coming weeks.
Until then, I hope you and your families have a great summer, and I look forward to reconnecting in September.

With all good wishes,

Matt Barwell
Chair, The Marketing Group of GB