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a blog by Chris Barrow

A speaking tour begins

After a full call-in day with telephone client calls (from the car) I arrived in Reading last night and at the glamorous Renaissance Reading Hotel – I’m joking, of course. One of those places that was probably quite funky when it was opened in the 70’s but Reading has moved south since then, as evidenced by the technology parks, out of town malls and sports stadia I pass on the way in from the M4. In fact, Reading (south) has become an IT centre in the UK – not quite Silicon Valley but on it’s way there – a multitude of sparkling glass offices. Not so the town centre, clearly suffering since the Oracle shopping mall opened. So here is the Renaissance, struggling to compete and without any budget for refurbishment or modernisation. No car park and located on a busy main street showing off the goods of second rate shops. I pull up outside at 5.00pm to see two drunks fighting in the street and bouncers on the hotel door – and that was even before darkness had fallen. My “deluxe” room is a joke and they haven’t heard about Wifi yet. Needless to say, I didn’t choose the venue as I’m guesting for Stockport Dental Seminars and Dental Directory over the next 3 weeks, with 8 “gigs” around the country on “Building an award winning team”. All my thoughts about “environment” will do me no good here. Last night’s “conference room” was a trip down memory lane – to see what seminar rooms looked like in the 70’s.

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