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Nick Gold is the owner and managing director of Speakers Corner, a market-leading speaking bureau and consultancy with a portfolio of over 6,000 speakers, servicing over 1,000 events each year across all UK business sectors.
Posted by Nick Gold, Speakers Corner · May 02, 2017 3:04 PM
I have spent a lot of time thinking about how people come up with new ideas and inventions. I have often read and heard about James Dyson and his 10,000 iterations, but how did he come up with the idea that there must be a better type of vacuum cleaner in the first place? Similarly, with Apple, what was their initial thought process behind the iPhone? How did they manage to create a product which revolutionised the mobile phone industry?
When Steve Jobs stood on stage and revealed the iPhone, or when James Dyson pronounced to the world that he was revolutionising home cleaning apparatus, the reason they could do this was because we, the public, believed in them. They were authentic in their announcements and, fundamentally, their delivery was underpinned with this authenticity.
In my previous article, I wrote that the aim of any company is to build trust with their clients. However, with a certain recent event focusing my thoughts, I want to take this initial idea further. Not only do you need to critically establish trust within your brand, but you must also ensure it is grounded in authenticity. For without authenticity, you come across as a company dictated and driven by a façade of marketing which is not representative of your beliefs.
Posted by Nick Gold, Speakers Corner · March 27, 2017 9:30 PM
Being an event manager in turbulent times for business, means often you find your budget can get cut, you must provide more value for the same cost, or funding for a swanky night is just not on the agenda anymore.
When CFOs are looking to make cutbacks during hard times, things perceived as ‘luxuries’ will be the first to go. But, this perception is the problem as, although events may feel luxurious due to the finishing polish, they should be considered an essential part of any company due to the incredible ROI potential.
Investing in a conference for the company, a motivational away day or an awards dinner will provide your audience with value that long outlasts the day; in terms of motivation, team morale, lessons learned and new ideas developed. But, and this is a big but, ROI can only be guaranteed if the event is done properly. To ensure this happens, I have put together my top five tips to getting your CFO’s attention and, ultimately, buy-in for your event.
1. Clearly explain the benefits and risks
While the CFO may, justifiably, be concerned at such a big expenditure for just one day, in terms of costs for speakers, food, and a venue, you must pitch them the long-lasting benefits of the event. Dedicating a day to creating an environment which fosters creative thinking, motivational morale and internal business reflection will leave delegates with refreshed mindsets and new methods for approaching industry problems. These positive attributes will undoubtedly outlast the day itself.
In uncertain times, it’s the CFO’s job to implement long-term strategic plans that serve both the health of the company and the health of the employees. No longer can they just be focused on quarterly reviews and profit margins. In such an unstable climate, sharp and quick changes in the market are not necessarily reflective of a broader picture. Your event can offer a solution for the long-term health of the company, ensuring employees feel that they are in a thriving environment, adjusting their mindsets to this positive outlook.
You must also explain the risks. Putting on any event, potentially opens up the company to loss of reputation, finance and equipment. By clearly explaining to your CFO your awareness of these risks, and contingency plan for them, you put yourself in a mature, well-rounded and advantageous position.
2. Present case studies of success stories
Look through past accomplishments from previous internal and competitor events. Collate this evidence to compile case studies of success stories.
This will highlight to the CFO the need for an event. Instances of innovation and change in creative direction can often be tracked back to delegates feeling inspired by a certain speaker, or morale being boosted after an awards ceremony. By mapping occasions when this has occurred, within your own company and within the industry, the CFO will hopefully feel catalysed into taking action. This process can be done through collecting data from your internal records and putting together a list of testimonials from accredited sources. Hopefully, it will leave them not wanting to lag behind past successes of the company, or their competitors.