Exporting expertise to the UK Export Finance team

You may recall that, in a previous blog, I covered my experiences as keynote speaker at the Surrey University alternative finance event. The one that ended up with a jacket potato and baked beans?
Well it seems that such virtue has its own reward, as, following this, I was contacted by the UK Export Finance team (part of The Treasury), who were present at the Surrey shindig, and was asked to deliver a more detailed session to their South East Regional conference.
This event took place on Monday last, in the opulence that is the Welwyn Garden City Biopark which has the appearance and feel of an abandoned meat packing plant that has been given a lick of paint, a fancy name then recycled as a tech space. You’re not fooling anyone.
I arrived in good time, hoping against hope that the memory stick I was carrying would be enough, and that we could simply plug it into their system and hey presto! My presentation.
Nope. Apparently Government computers are all protected, so it was back out to the car for me, up three agonising (knees again) flights of stairs, to fetch the laptop and speakers.
What happened next was as predictable as it was embarrassing. It went something like this.
UKEF: “Aah, good, you’re back with your equipment. Just set up over here, there’s a good fellow.”
Tav: “Err, set up? Not entirely sure how to do that, I usually have someone to do it for me . . . ?”
UKEF: “But it’s your equipment, surely you know how to use it.”
Tav: “Not entirely. I know this bit lifts up . . . ?”
UKEF: “Oh, for goodness sake, give it here. What’s the password?”
Tav: “Password . . . ?”
UKEF: “You’re kidding, right?”
And on it went. Anyway, as luck would have it one of their guys turned out to be a bit good at that stuff, and took pity on me. With all systems go the rest of the presentation was buzzy, interactive and hugely well received (my thanks to Steve Pope here, the best PLF/ABF presentation we have ever had).
The upshot, despite the shaky tech , was an invitation to deliver to their national conference and two direct PLF enquiries immediately. Bad start, good finish. Happy days.
*The UK Export Finance is a Government agency which helps UK exporters and investors do business overseas by providing insurance and guarantees against payment risks.