Wednesday, 21 April 2010

The Business Organization ADEG and its Annual Gala Dinner

A few weeks ago, I was informed that my company, Puck Import, S.L., had been nominated for an award since we work not only in Spanish but also in Catalan (so-called linguistic normalization; normalització lingüística). This prize is one of many which the local business organization ADEG (Associació d'Empresaris de Garraf, Alt Penedès i Baix Penedès) presents at its annual gala dinner La Nit de l'Empresa (the company night). I had wanted to join ADEG for a long time, but had waited because of the crisis. The nomination was now a good excuse both to apply for membership and to sign up for the dinner.

Josep Huguet - Nit dEmpresa - ADEG 2010

Formally, ADEG only represents its 1.100 members – all associated on a voluntary basis - but if you follow the local debate, you quickly realize that the organization is the leading player in most business and labour market related issues, versus the politicians of the comarques which it covers - Garraf, Alt Penedès and Baix Penedès – as well as to the world outside.

ADEG also organizes numerous courses to which its members can attend at subsidized rates. The topics are undeniably interesting - from presentation skills to tax advice or Web 2.0 solutions - but I realize that it will take a while before I have the time for such activities.

What I
personally look forward to short term is to present my company in an article in the ADEG magazine, and then follow up with company news, or maybe even be invited to participate in their radio show. The value of such advertising space is undoubtedly superior to the 208 € membership fee which you pay as a small businesses, so with that part I am highly content.

However, my participation in La
Nit de l’Empresa would have benefited from being postponed another year. As I begin to have acquaintances in shops and companies around Vilanova, I was negatively surprised to come to the event and have to admit to myself that I did not recognize one single face among the other businessmen. I did know the name of all the politicians who were there - including the guest of honor Josep Huguet, Catalan Innovation, University and Enterprise Minister (Conseller), I do have regular contact with some of the journalists which covered the gala dinner and, not least, I do know the guy who worked in the garage, but all that was poor consolation.

My mingling efforts resulted in a fiasco, but I am not surprised. I do, after all, come from a small town and know that people who attend this kind of events do so to meet those whom they already know or, at most, those they have at least heard of, but will not to start to talk to absolute strangers – that is the case of small towns in Catalonia as well as in my native Sweden.

Once it was time to sit down, it turned out that I actually knew the representatives of one of the other companies. They arrived late but were - thanks to an active intervention by
ADEG - at the same table as me. Although I did not need them there - also the other people at our table were nice and easy to talk to - their presence increased the exchange of the evening.

Winners of ADEG prizes - nit dEmpresa - 2010

I did not receive any award this time but, honestly, how often do organizations of this kind hand out prizes to new members (bar the category new businesses)? I feel honored to already have been nominated and if we continue as until now, we will have a great chance to be rewarded in the future.

One of the aspects of
ADEG which remains for me to explore is how many foreigners there are among the members. Theoretically, there could be quite a few, since Sitges has several hotels and shops with foreign owners. Having said that, my prejudice is that these have established their own, separate, associations, probably in English and probably only within the municipality of Sitges. We will see.

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Technorati tags: Catalonia, Penedès, Sitges, Vilafranca, Vilanova,

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