We recently attended the 53rd Brentnalls Affiliation biannual conference in October 2023 at Millbrook near Arrowtown and Queenstown in the South Island of New Zealand. This was a spectacularly beautiful part of the world surrounded by exclusive residences, snow capped mountains, extreme sports and it’s also the host of the NZ Open Golf.
There were 33 attendees and many spouses joining us for dinners. The location, food and accommodation were only second to a great conference agenda and much sharing of ideas, success and failures amongst firms. The conference in the 2nd half of the calendar year is attended by directors, principals and practice managers, and much of the discussion is centered around the financial results of the affiliated firms, and interactive Practice Updates by each firm where they share (and are questioned) on the operational, strategic, financial, people and technology aspects of their practices.
We had a great presentation from our WA affiliate on “How to get 2 hours back into each working day”, something we all dearly want to achieve. On the final day we had an engaging session with Dr Kirsten Davis on “Mindful Leadership: Focusing forward on the wellbeing of you and your Team”. Both these topics were good reminders that we needed to step back and look after both ourselves and our Team if we are to continue to deliver to our clients.
As part of our Brentnalls Women in Brentnalls subgroup, there was an interview style session with Margaret Pepper, a retiring director at our Auckland affiliate on all she has achieved and the rewards of being in practice. We also looked at the new branding for the Brentnalls group that we hope to roll out soon, a modern update is long over due and it looks great!
We ate very well, but the highlight was a meal at Kobe Japanese Restaurant where we all squeezed into this beautiful stone and wood restaurant for a tasting menu that was special.
The conference was a great success, and each affiliate firm left with tasks and new ideas to implement.