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a blog by Chris Barrow

The direct route isn’t always the quickest

Tuesday’s marketing workshop in Edinburgh was a quiet affair – fewer delegates than usual because some clients have completed a year of coaching – and a rather ominous silence during parts of my presentation. I can recall the days when that silence unnerved me – “do they like me?” stuff.

But I’ve realised over the years that people are silent when they are listening – and they were listening very carefully as I built my step by step approach to internal and external marketing.

Gig over, I jump into the flying banana and punch into my satnav the post code for the Hilton Gateshead. I know where it is, of course, but getting out of Edinburgh has been a challenge for over a year now and the rush hour traffic isn’t fun.

The little box cannot get a satellite signal to start with – so, being a stupid man, I drive off in the general direction of England and, after 5 minutes or so, the satnav kicks in and calculates the shortest route to the North East.

Not the boring but predictable A1 – oh no.

I cross the country via Dalkeith and Jedburgh on an interminable journey – single track roads and the blackest night imaginable. Three hours of squinting through my driving specs.I’m very pleased to see the friendly concierge in Gateshead and to reach the sanctuary of my room.

Here at the Hilton they are hosting the International Cremation and Burial Symposium.Sounds like a fun gig.There are dozens of rather grim looking people in the bar at supper time – I haven’t the courage to ask them whether there will be a BBQ.

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