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094 - She said yes!!

Following the hugely successful Vegan Business Tribe Live event, David catches up on what’s been going on in the Tribe.

Join Lisa and David in celebrating some amazing personal news, and then David takes a look back at the Vegan Business Tribe Live event at London Olympia last week (as well as a look forward to repeating the event in 2023). And did David seriously record this on the eve of his and Lisa’s wedding? You bet!

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Episode transcript

Hello and welcome to episode 94 of The Vegan Business Tribe Podcast with myself David Pannell, co-founder of Vegan Business Tribe. And if you have a vegan business, or are thinking of starting one, then Vegan Business Tribe is here to support and inspire you not just to build a vegan business, but to build a SUCCESSFUL vegan business.
And this is a little bit of a different episode, because we have had SO much going on at Vegan Business Tribe that I’ve not been able to get in front of the microphone for the last couple of weeks so I just wanted to let you know, yes I’m still here, we’re still alive – just – after Vegan Business Tribe Live at the London Olympia (which was AMAZING by the way, but I’ll go into that in a moment) and in case you haven’t been following us on social media, Lisa and I have also got some great personal news to share.
Because earlier in the year Lisa and mine’s life got turned upside-down when we found out that we were expecting our first child. Now, it did come as a bit of a shock even though it wasn’t completely unplanned, but as I’ve mentioned a couple of times on the podcast I do have an 18-year-old daughter and a 16-year-old son so I thought all the sleepless nights and changing dirty nappies were decades behind me – but apparently not!
But we are overjoyed, and if you did meet Lisa at Vegan Business Tribe Live in London last week then she is very obviously quite pregnant now and little bean is due in March 2022. So I can’t wait for you to meet him, her – or them – and let’s just say that I now have a vested interest in the vegan children and baby sector if anyone wants to come set up a new business with me!
And following on the back of that with the personal news, Lisa and I are also, finally, tieing the knot – in fact, you may not quite believe this, but as I am recording this podcast we’re actually getting married in the morning. Yes, in fact, this time tomorrow we will be Mr and Mrs Pannell – “Did you have a stag do David? No, I spent the day before getting married recording a podcast”!
I have to admit it is long overdue. When we used to run our agency I would always introduce myself and Lisa as a husband and wife team that just forgot to get married. We had actually planned to get married a couple of years ago, but then the pandemic happened and we had to cancel all those plans so it’s just going to be a very small affair with just our surviving parents joining us. BUT, it is also going to be a Vegan Business Tribe wedding because we’re then going for a small reception at one of our member’s vegan cafes, Muse Music & Love Cafe in Hebden Bridge which is a combined vegan cafe and vinyl record shop run by our friends Lou and Paul. And then we’re disappearing for a short honeymoon at Peasholm Park Vegan B&B in Scarborough on the Yorkshire coast where our friends Helen and Carl are letting us stay out of season for a few days, and are going to be feeding and looking after us with their amazing vegan breakfasts.
So yes, it’s an amazing time for myself and Lisa and we couldn’t be happier. As a couple, we work together, we pretty much spend 24 hours a day together, and now we’ll be topping all that off by being a family too.
And the really wonderful thing about this couple of weeks in our life is that it’s all happening on the back of an amazing Vegan Business Tribe Live event which we’ve just completed at the London Olympia. And if you’re a regular listener you will have been following along on our road to Vegan Business Tribe Live as I interviewed and previewed some of the speakers who were joining us at the weekend-long event. And it was truly amazing. We had more than 20 speakers and panellists over the two days on our Vegan Business Tribe stage – and they all turned up – and we had SO MANY of our VBT members come along and join us. I am just sorry that I didn’t have more time to talk with people because we had members who had come from Germany, we had one member who had got on a plane in Copenhagen THAT morning to join us in London, and even a couple of our members from Canada, Natasha and Ed from ‘Bred’ vegan sourdough bakery in British Columbia, came all the way to the UK to be part of the event.
And it could not have gone better, the majority of the sessions were standing-room only. We heard from the chief insight officer at The Vegan Society about the latest developments in the vegan sector; we had a packed out pannel on vegan finance and the green economy hosted by our sponsors Vegan Accountants; we had a panel discussing how to get more people to buy from vegan and ethical companies; and I even delivered a couple of sessions myself on how to start a vegan business and how to find more customers. We did manage to record all the sessions, and I’m about halfway through editing them, and they will be uploaded to a brand new Tribe Live section of the Vegan Business Academy on the website for members to watch back the entire weekend’s worth of sessions… after we get back from our honeymoon!
But if you did miss out on the event then we do have the photo gallery already uploaded to the website, where you can see photos of all the sessions, a LOT of selfies that we took with members and also photographs from our Vegan Business Tribe village – because Vegan Business Tribe Live was part of Vegfest2022 which is the UK’s biggest vegan expo, and we subsidised an area of the show meaning that 12 of our Vegan Business Tribe members could have a stall at Vegfest at a hugely reduced price.
Now – I’ve already had a lot of questions asking if we’ll be running Vegan Business Tribe Live again next year from people who saw how great it was this year and are wanting to get involved in the next one. And we really do want to make this an annual event, but to do that I need your help. I won’t lie, it was an expensive event to put on: paying for the area, subsidising the stands for members, all the equipment costs and branding up the conference area, plus all the marketing and PR to make sure that we had packed-out sessions. But with this being part of the much bigger Vegfest event, we didn’t have any ticket sales to cover all that – so we need sponsors. We were really fortunate to have Vegan Accountants behind us for this year, and we couldn’t have put the event on without Keith Lesser’s support and we were able to deliver Vegan Accountants a LOT of visibility in return, but we’re going to be really ramping-up the sponsorship opportunities for Tribe Live 2023 which will be next November, again at London Olympia which is just such a great venue. So if you want to get involved, and that might be being one of our main sponsors and getting your logo all over the event and included in all our marketing, or it might be that you want to sponsor and host one of the panel discussions so that you get your own slot on the agenda, then please do email me on to start that discussion about how you can help.
So that’s pretty much everything I wanted to update you on. I’ll also be at the Plant Powered World Expo in London next week which I’ll be going to, literally, straight from the honeymoon, so if you are there please do come and say hello. And we’re also talking about what involvement we’re going to have with Vegan Life Live at Alexandra Palace in June 2023 which we’re really looking forward to returning to. And I’m aware that we’re doing all these events in the UK but we have members from all over the world, so if you want to bring Vegan Business Tribe to your country, either virtually for online events or if you’ve got some budget to pay for a rowing boat to fit myself and Lisa in, then I think that a Vegan Business Tribe World Tour is well overdue!
And that is it! So now we’ve come to the end of our Road to Vegan Business Tribe Live we’ll be returning back to our normal podcast format – Lisa and I get so many messages from people saying how much they love the solo / educational format of this podcast where I tackle a different business topic each episode and how useful you find them, so we’ve got lot of new vegan business topics lined up waiting to explore. And if there’s a topic you really want me to cover then do let me know – some of the best ideas we have for this podcast come from our members, or it comes from a discussion in our community hub or it’s a question that is asked on one of our business clinics, and this podcast format gives me the opportunity to spend longer exploring it.
And that just leaves me to say that if you love what we do but you’re not yet a member of Vegan Business Tribe, then please do consider joining us. You get unbelievable value for money, you get access to all our member-only content, our weekly online events and our full community of fellow vegan business owners. But you also allow us to keep doing what we do. We are funded by your membership. All the help and support we’ve given vegan businesses over the last three years (around the world), all the success stories, all the opportunities we’ve been able to create both for our members and just to move the vegan business scene forward – it’s you and your membership that allows us to do all that, and we and our members are eternally grateful. So just head over to the Vegan Business Tribe website, click on the big join button on the homepage and you’ll see everything that you get as a member. And just a heads-up that we ARE going to be seeing a price rise in the new year for NEW sign-ups. Vegan Business Tribe has been the same price since we launched three years ago but we’ve now got about 100 times more content and support. But if you sign-up with us before the price rise, then you’re membership will be locked in at the old price – so if you’re already a Vegan Business Tribe member then your monthly cost will remain exactly the same as it was when you signed up for as long as you are a member. So if you’ve been sat on the fence about coming and joining us, if you’re one of our lurkers who listen to the podcast but hasn’t yet fully engaged with us, then now would be the perfect time to sign-up. Trust me, you won’t regret it, we have the most amazing community you will find anywhere.
Right, so I better get moving because I’m getting married in the morning, and my 80 year old mother is very excited about her first visit to a vegan cafe after the wedding. Lisa and I, we really appreciate the time you give up to listen to this podcast week in week out, and also getting involved with the wider work we do. So thank you so much, from the bottom of our hearts, I’ll be taking a week off and then we’ll be back to the normal format – so I’ll see you, on the next one! 

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