Archive | November, 2012

OBI Property – October 23rd 2012

14 Nov

OBI Property needed my help drawing together a seminar on how they can work with private equity backed businesses to extract and enhance value. It was a good event – lots of valuable insights, but the added ingredient was the inclusion of a short video (above), which they made on the day. I think it does a lot to shape the OBI brand as modern, thoughtful and different.



JMW Solicitors turnaround conference – October

14 Nov


Sometimes you get involved in an event and you see a different level to how people operate. This conference for JMW Solicitors featured a detailed scenario, presented by Dermot Power of BDO. It had lots of examples of how people with these skills apply their expertise. We were also treated to a sparkling keynote from Jacqueline Gold, a remarkable business woman with real charisma.

But it was the panel session where I had to work hardest. Bringing together David Hughes, Warwick Ley and Richard Woolf was a challenge in itself – bright guys with a lot to say, but we also had to accommodate Glen Barkworth, a late stand in for the advertised speaker. David Hughes was on firey form, as you can read on the coverage on the Business Desk. The trick here is to channel his maverick qualities, rather than suppress them.

Another great event for a happy client.

Growth Accelerator roadshow – October 2012

14 Nov


One of the biggest event projects I’ve been involved in, this was an exciting and hugely enjoyable series of 8 city events. Each one was different, which you can read about on my blog on the GrowthAccelerator website.

On most events you do the very best you can, obviously, but you take lessons on board and improve the next time, sometimes even a year later. This was slightly different as we could tweak and add extra new features and devices, even small administrative improvements.

All the team I worked with – from GrowthAccelerator, Journey9, the sub-contractors – were real professionals. We analysed each stop on the tour and learned something new. We had new local speakers each time, all were very good – but I always preferred to talk to them first to let them know what we were trying to achieve.

The keynote speakers were Mark Palmer and Ellis Watson. They were both very different. Mark is considered, detailed, thoughtful and inspirational in his calm measured lessons from marketing Green and Blacks chocolate. Ellis was very different. He is a ball of motivational energy, reflecting on his career, but also the current economic conditions. His message is one I’ve been banging on about for a while: we’ve heard there’s a recession, but we’re not taking part.


I prefer to speak without notes and to walk around. To talk from the heart and from memory. On the first event in Manchester I was way off being confident enough to do this, even though I knew all the key messages. Yet night after night, Ellis was the master of this and it was brilliant watching him work, seeing how he uses the same structure. I tried some of his style at an event on business support the morning after the Newcastle event – I needed a few visual cues – using power point messages – but was pleased at the outcome.

By the time we reached Bristol for the final date of the tour, I think we nailed it. Ellis went down a storm, the questions were sharper, the reactions sharp and, hopefully, we drove it like we stole it.