As the Founder and CEO of San-it Ltd, Barry has an extensive knowledge and experience in working with businesses to get the best from their IT. His determination and passion seem equally suited to Freshwalks as he is best seen rambling through even the toughest terrains with a massive smile on his face. You can find out more about Barry on his LinkedIn profile.
Tell us about your first Freshwalks?
My first Freshwalks was the Edale, Kinder Low to Old Glossop route. I had a great day and immediately got to know several like-minded people who were friendly and very welcoming. I loved the walk itself; it was extremely rewarding for me as I used to do a fair bit [of walking], but I began struggling to find the time. For me, this combines work and pleasure.
How many have you attended?
Think it’s around eight now. I’ m making more effort to attend and I’d like to get on a few City walks too.
Why do you come back?
Without doubt it’s the people! I’ve met some great characters that have now become close friends and there are always new faces in the group. For me, it’s about meeting new people and building relationships along with having a good time. Although business has taken place as a result of Freshwalks, it’s not what gets discussed up in the hills!
What’s your favourite route?
Kinder Edges – absolutely awesome day. It’s the hardest walk I’ve done to date. It was a large group and a real tricky route, but everyone felt a real sense of triumph when we made it to the pub (which incidentally was my favourite pub too).
The one thing you always bring?
Pork Pie – helps with the calories and taste so good.
Favourite Freshwalks memory?
Finishing Kinder Edges and getting into the pub. Great food, great beer, great people and a great laugh… I just didn’t need the 100 metre sprint!
Has Freshwalks led to any business or opportunity?
San-iT has picked up a few pieces of work from Freshwalks and we have also passed work onto contacts we have met directly via Freshwalks.
Recommend three people you have met on Freshwalks?
Without mentioning MDP, I’d say: Richard Gahagan (top bloke, a good friend and totally like-minded), Sam Jones (for the same reasons, along with comedic value) and Mike Pye (who is a down to earth gent that’s very sincere and great company).
How does Freshwalks challenge typical networking formats?
It’s incomparable to any other type of networking event I have been on. The main thing is no sales, because who wants to buy something on a hill?
I’ve met people three or four times before we’ve even discussed what we do for a living and – for me – that’s why it works so well. It’s about meeting people and building relationships; there’s no pressure or elevator pitch mentality… It’s just like-minded business people having a day out of the office, walking with beautiful scenery, pub grub and a few beers.
Freshwalks is a combination of exercise, networking, sharing knowledge and thinking time. How do you balance those components?
If I was to put the above in order, I would say: thinking time and exercise – networking and sharing knowledge. Being out of the office away from technology, day to day hassles and without interruptions gives a real fresh perspective on so many things- both personally and professionally. You feel great from the exercise, feel fresh mentally and the fact that you’re with a great bunch of people makes it all come together.
Suggest one new place for us to go.
The Lake District with an overnight stay would be great…. So would somewhere in Wales for that matter!
Sum up Freshwalks in three words.
Refreshing, Fun, Enjoyable.