Is it asking too much to expect good manners?

What has happened to common courtesy in this industry? The East Midland Government Office and the British Design Initiative organised an export event which included a presentation from John Perry, head of the Overseas Trade Services for the East Midlands, a presentation from the BDI and a complementary lunch.

Twenty-two East Midland consultancies accepted the invitation and all re-affirmed attendance two days before the event.

But on the day just one consultancy turned up, so thank you Caryl Burgess and Alison Ramsey of Benoy. On telephoning around, only one consultancy had a decent reason for not showing up (the birth of a baby), the other comments ranged from “we had other priorities” to “oh, I forgot!”.

Of course client priorities occur, but a simple phone call is the least you should expect. The event cost more than 800 in catering costs, travel and accommodation, let alone anyone’s time. We are all running small businesses and such wasted time and money is galling.

Out-of-town groups are often the first to complain that so many events are London-based and therefore time and cost prohibitive, so we were surprised when so many consultancies did not arrive on the day after having confirmed their attendance to this free event taking place on their doorsteps. Had we been informed in advance of their inability to attend we could have reorganised or cancelled the event.

Maxine J Horn

Managing director

British Design Initiative

London SW6

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