MORE than 650 of Yorkshire’s leading business men and women gathered at Bridlington Spa for the Yorkshire International Business Convention.
In it’s 16th year, the event is held jointly in Bridlington and Harrogate and played host to a varied range of guest speakers including England Test Cricket Captain Andrew Strauss, inventor of the world wide web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee and comedy favourite Roy Walker.
The Bridlington venue was a sell out with 665 guests attending.
The theme of the convention was Winners, with Andrew Strauss talking about England’s Ashes battle with Australia.
He said: “One thing we thought was absolutely crucial was to have all the t’s crossed and the i’s dotted before we went to Australia.
“We looked at what we were going to be tested on in Australia. We came up with a strategy of containment. If we could be accurate and not allow them to score they would self destruct.”
Sir Berners-Lee, who was visiting the town for the first time, told guests at the convention the story of his career - and emphasised how important the use of new technology will be to the future growth of the region.
He told the Free Press: “I want to get across to the guests what it was like before the web was invented.
“It has become such a big part of people’s lives it is difficult to tell people, especially younger ones, what things were like then as we all now take it for granted.
“There are still huge opportunities for the web to help drive business and the economy, and help it grow out of recession, and that is a point I think guests at these types of conference welcome.”
Sir Berners-Lee said that the web enables towns like Bridlington to link with other communities anywhere in the world.
“The challenge is for the web to remain free and open and not to be controlled by Governments or large companies,” he continued.
“It has helped to break down so many geographical barriers, but I am not sure that we have exploited it to it’s full potential and that is the next challenge.”
Comedian Roy Walker, best known for his appearances on 70s TV show The Comedians and as host for long running game show Catchphrase, lightened the mood at the convention, regaling guests with jokes and stories from his long career in showbusiness.
“Everybody needs a laugh,” he told the Free Press.
“I come to a lot of these conventions and speak to people about my life and share the odd joke. Comedy will always be the same, the content may change but you have still got to get a laugh.
“I’ve been to Bridlington once before, and I had a wonderful time then - the audiences here are lovely.
“The Spa is a great venue and the gorgeous weather today shows off the town beautifully.”