MORE than 350 businesses, charities and larger organisations came together for the 2018 Brighton Summit.

A record number of attendees flocked to the Clarendon Centre.

This year’s theme of ‘Look Up’ inspired the choice of keynote speakers.

Claire Mason, of global strategic ideas company Man Bites Dog, urged businesses to scale up, keep going and do what it takes to “make global waves”.

Author and broadcaster Misha Glenny challenged the audience with his talk “How the hell did we get here? And how do we get out?!”

The closing speech was from SpaceSouth founder Katherine Courtney, who blew the audience away with her anecdotes from her time as CEO of the UK Space Agency and her ideas for the future.

The highlights included three keynote speakers, five workshops, four speakers and eight Event Horizon hours.

The Event Horizon comprised something different to break up the day.

These included an outside session with Unite the Beat where one group of attendees foraged for things with which to make music, chose their name “The Summit Specials” and composed a short piece which will soon be available on video.

Other sessions included the sharing of true tales from the audience and a problem-solving hour using Lego.

Healthy breakfasts, brunches, lunches, cakes and juices were available throughout the day to rev up energy levels, allowing attendees to network, socialise and relax.

The Library Corner and City Books ensured an oasis of calm where attendees could read and buy publications relating to the day or the city.

An interactive exhibition from MOOP which promised to find the magic in the mundane invited people to share thoughts, memories and inspiration drawn from every day objects.

Here was what some people said afterwards.

Chris Hughes from Emeritus Vistage said: “I’ve been to more events like this, both on a national and International basis, than is healthy for a man of my age, and I can say with total sincerity that Friday’s event was up there with the best of them.

“The theme was spot on. The speakers were professional, informative and engaging.

“The breakout sessions were fun and participative, and the ‘buzz’ was energising. The administration seemed to be flawless.”

Helen Bailey from Aviatrix said: “Wow! What an amazing day I had on Friday - thank you so much for a perfectly orchestrated, inspiring, mind-opening conference.

“I loved every minute of it from the moment I arrived until I skipped out the door.”

Sam Knowles from Insight Agents said: “The Brighton Summit is a truly special thing.

“An optimistic gathering of those who run businesses, charities, and third-sector organisations in Brighton, Sussex and the South East.

“It was brilliant being a curator for 2018’s ‘Look Up’ - helping to develop the theme and open networks - and an absolute thrill running a workshop on powerful and purposeful storytelling for business.

“I’d never run a workshop for 100 people before, but the engagement and enthusiasm of all the delegates was exceptional.

“It’s a bit like Christmas for a child: as soon as it’s over for a year, you can’t wait for the next one.”

Brighton Summit was trending on Twitter by 10am, thanks to live tweeting from Fugu PR as well as much online chatter from delegates and those who were unable to attend but were still taking a keen interest.

Sponsors were Cardens, EMW, Eagle Labs, Lawton and Dawe, Joosr, Greater Brighton Metropolitan College and Talent4Performance.

Planning for next year’s Summit will begin shortly.