Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Macmillan Gulls' Eggs City Luncheon – Fundraising and Networking City style

The merchant and yachtsman Sir Thomas Lipton (1848-1941) whose iced tea drinks and tea brands are still world brands (currently owned by Unilever) observed that

“ When a hen lays her eggs she clucks her knew all round the farmyard, a duck on the other hand lays her egg in complete silence and who the hell “ Sir Thomas asked “ buys ducks eggs?!!!”

His point was the importance of marketing communication.

For many businesses however the costs of PR and media advertising may not be the best of return on their communication investment but networking on the other hand is a way to cluck the news about one’s business.

The Gulls’ Eggs City luncheon brings together businesspeople from the financial community to raise funds for Macmillan cancer charity ( scroll down for donation site link) and to provide an environment of gastronomic conviviality in the beautiful and historic hall of the Merchant Taylors in London’s financial district “The City”.

The Merchant Taylors' Company, or to give them their full name by which they are described in the Royal Charter of 1503, the Gild of Merchant Taylors of the Fraternity of St. John Baptist is a most suitable place for a networking event of the fraternity and sisterhood of the Gulls eggs city luncheon guests to meet.

The Company has occupied its present site between Threadneedle Street and Cornhill since 1347. The first Hall was built at some date between the years 1347 and 1392 ( known as the “Taillourshalle”)

The Merchant Taylors and the Skinners have always disputed their precedence, so once a year they exchange sixth and seventh place. This rotation of precedence is one of the theories for the origin of the phrase "at sixes and sevens” meaning to be in a confused state of mind.

The success of the Gulls event means it was very crowded but despite the congestion all were fed with delectable smoked salmon, hard boiled gulls' egg which one dips in celery salt, washed down with red or white wine or water with plum cake for afters.
Guests were not at sixes and sevens.

The Gulls’ egg season is strictly controlled by the British Government through DEFRA. Only around 40,000 eggs are gathered through licensed specialists.
Gulls eggs are a delicacy because DEFRA (department for environment, food and rural affairs) tightly controls their collection: only around 40,000 are gathered by 25 licensed specialists every year. They are a translucent grey when boiled and richer than hens' eggs.

(Gulls eggs will set you back £6.50 each this year at Harrods.)

The Gulls Eggs City luncheon has been running for 23 years. Chairman of the event Zoe Couper of strategic advisory and communications firm Couper and partners describes the event as
“ ...eccentrically English. It brings people together: they can drop by for five minutes or stay for two hours.

There is no agenda, no seating plan, no speeches, no auction”

The luncheon has acquired a standing and it was full this year as ever, the true start of the City's summer.

“Business networking “according Wikipedia” is a socioeconomic activity by which groups of like-minded businesspeople recognize, create, or act upon business opportunities.

A business network is a type of social network whose reason for existing is business activity.”
The City does this all with a certain style and super food.

The gulls eggs were delicious like very rich hens eggs. They were beautifully displayed on a bed of cress, half peeled showing the translucent egg white and reamining half its pretty spotted shell which acted as a handle to lift and dip the egg in celery salt. ( Like a very upmarket ice cream cornet but savoury)

The Merchant Taylors’ motto is Concordia Parvae Res Crescunt, meaning
"In Harmony Small Things Grow."
Well Macmillan cancer support has grown from that small thing of a £10 birthday gift of Douglas Macmillan in 1911. Congratulations to them.

From that initial £10 birthday gift Douglas Macmillan founded the Society for the Prevention and Relief from cancer.
Macmillan fund today 5,300 health and social care professionals, form nurses to occupational therapists. There are more than 3,450 Macmillan Nurses in the UK.

Macmillan rely on voluntary donations for nearly all its income.
It all costs money of course:-

£ 191 could pay for a Macmillan nurse for a day, giving someone with cancer essential information, advice and support.
£50,000 would pay for a Macmillan nurse for a year, including their training and recruitment. This is special training to give people living with cancer and their families’ essential medical, practical and emotional support.

So I hope the event raised loads of money.

So far as the networking going on - Sir Thomas Lipton might have a thing or two to say about the deafening but harmonic conversations of bankers , lawyers and various professions of the City's equivalent to seagulls calling over the ocean!!!

Congratulations to Chairman Zoe Couper, her Gull team committee members and the event organiser Miranda Brown at Macmillan a great success!

Related Links

Speed Networking at CIPD Olympia London April 2014

  The rewards of ennobled networking 

1 comment:

  1. Glad to know about eggs city luncheon. I am given the responsibility to arrange a baptism party of my nephew next week. Looking for various centrally located venues in Chicago and will book one till tomorrow. Want to make this day memorable for his parents.