A WINCHESTER hotel was the scene of a business management conference which welcomed a former Red Arrows pilot as one of its speakers.

Simon Meade OBE, former leader of the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team and chief operations officer of a front-line Harrier squadron, was a guest speaker at Lainston House.

The event was hosted by Spectrum Corporate Finance, law firm Blake Morgan and HSBC, and attended by directors of many of the south’s leading businesses.

Mr Meade, who now works as a corporate advisor to renewable energy companies, was one of two speakers commissioned to motivate other business leaders.

Also speaking was Peter Bewsey, former CEO of National Car Parks and group chief executive of Chelsea Village Plc.

Mr Meade said: “Leading an elite display team is in many ways no different from managing any commercial management team. The consequences of getting it wrong are more extreme, perhaps, but the principle is the same – you have to chase out the fine details to succeed.

“In my view the key is communication, and in learning from what you do. In the display team we would spend 30 per cent of the day talking about how it went last time and learning from it.

“A lot of businesses don’t realise that it’s important to look in detail at your successes – you can learn just as much from your successes as you can by going over your failures.”

Manoj Styche-Patel, Divisional Director of Commercial Services at Blake Morgan, said: “Blake Morgan were delighted to co-host this event. Simon Meade and Peter Bewsey were inspirational speakers whose experience and practical advice will stay with those present for a long time. I’d like to thank all those who attended - to have so many successful and hard-working business leaders in one room made for a memorable evening.”