Conference News column, August 2014

The offer arrived in my Inbox: would I like to speak at the UN Conference on Sex Trafficking in New York? Now I’m clever, and knew it was a fake; the UN doesn’t work that way; the message was full of strange linguistic patterns and dubious spelling; and the organiser had a number that starts 0703; these are non-geographic numbers.

So I called them. The organiser’s name was Dave Smith, allegedly based in London, although he had a surprisingly non-British accent, and indeed we struggled to communicate because of a strange time lag, as clearly London had moved.

I then used a dummy email account to apply for a speaking slot. My title: “You Save Fallen Women? Save Me Some.” My strapline; “New Business Opportunities in Adult Entertainment for Victims of Sexual Exploitation.” And the Speaker? “Professor Dick Throb-Lust, University of Erotica.”

Ridiculous, of course. But not as ridiculous as the acceptance for my submission that came though less than an hour later. And the catch? My airfares and accommodation were all paid for; now could I just sent the administration fee­ – £450, to be sent by Western Union – and I’d be good to go?

Now, dear reader; I confess to having a black sense of humour and an intolerance for intolerance. But sex trafficking and exploitation? Not really a laughing matter. So the fact that these scumbags are trying a new scamming angle using this subject makes me very angry, and in an ideal world I’d have a few minutes with them in a small room with my trusty claw hammer. Alas, life is not always fair.

But whilst these scams are not new (although this a newish permutation) there are people who fall for them. Take the Expo Guide example; a bunch of crooks who have moved round the world, narrowly avoiding arrest, who take exhibition guides, mail all the exhibitors an apparently free listing form, and then reveal that this is a three year order for the sum of around £3000 which offers no cancellation and will be severely enforced.

Utter crap, right? Well last year I had two different companies approach me and tell me they were being hounded by Expo Guide, as some junior person had been suckered in to signing the form. One person got on the phone that minute when I explained the scam; tragically we were seconds late in preventing payment. The other person remembered my wisdom when the call came through, and managed to secure my advice (which is to give Expo Guide a short response, involving sex and travel.)

Now, considering how many lucky companies received my training last year, that’s 1% who have been suckered in by these tosspots. At £3000 a time it’s clearly worth it; do the math as they say.

So please remember the principle of caveat emptor (buyer beware) and don’t assume everyone who works in business is as sweet or honest as you and me. Even if you have signed, Hang on to your money, and don’t be bullied.

By the way, someone is doing their bit for you. The Expo Guide application form comes with a reply-paid envelope, which means they pay the postage, all the way to Spain, or Honduras, or wherever the scumbags are this week. Last year I sent three of their forms back, with the envelope fastened securely to a beautifully wrapped house brick. Ouch, that bill will have hurt.

They haven’t learned; they’ve just targeted the visitors to this year’s fantastic Confex – me included. This year it’s a breeze block. Aren’t you glad I’m on your side?

Posted in Business and Management Training, Business Consultancy, Communications and Presentation Skills, Events and Live Marketing Training | Comments Off

PR and Publicity – Are You getting Enough?

There isn’t really any huge secret to successful PR, just some valuable knowledge, the right attitude and a cunning plan.

Take it from us. You see, we’re not a PR agency, yet virtually all our business comes from our PR and referral activities.

Course Objectives

  • To understand the power of PR and publicity
  • To master the art of delivering what editors and publishers want
  • To explore the numerous PR opportunities that exist on- and off-line
  • To develop an understanding of how to spot PR opportunities
  • To create a PR and publicity plan
  • To develop effective media relations
  • To deal with the different media
  • To implement “quick win” media coverage plans
  • To handle PR “problem”situations

Your Investment

£1 295 exclusive of expenses and VAT (full day)

Posted in Our Latest Initiatives | Comments Off

Presenting and Speaking at Conferences and Events

No matter how good a business speaker you are, the setting of a conference, seminar, convention or AGM is a very different experience

This innovative 1-day programme will give you the skills to deal with the unique demands of live events. And, with each workshop limited to just 6 delegates, you will benefit from close and constant attention to refine your presenting ability.

Indicative Content:

  • What conference organisers – and audiences – want
  • Writing and structuring the conference speech
  • Notes, props and prompts – the “Dos” and “Don’ts”
  • Using AV with impact – avoiding “Death by PowerPoint”
  • Mastering right length/right content speeches
  • Avoiding “lectern lean” and other body language secrets
  • Dealing with questions, and handling “delegates with issues”
  • Understanding the various conference roles; speaker, panelist, Chair, facilitator
  • Mastering the video camera, and the new world of “virtual” events
  • Developing your commercial conference “profile” and exploiting speaker opportunities

Your Investment

£1 295 exclusive of expenses and VAT (full day)

Posted in Our Latest Initiatives | Comments Off

Brilliant Customer Service by Phone

Ah, the telephone. You can amaze customers or drive them round the bend using Mr Bell’s fantastic invention.

You may have seen us talking about amazing customer service on Channel 4′s “The Complainers” series. Well, a great phone manner can increase your business dramatically, but the consequences of getting it wrong can be dire.

We offer a workshop that makes a difference. Up to 12 people can attend. However, because of the highly participative nature of the event, many companies will split their  team in two, and run it twice in one day. You choose.

Indicative Content

  • What customers want – and what they’re getting
  • Body language on the phone? The truth.
  • The Circle of Communication
  • Using power words and positive language
  • Parent/Adult/Child; the super state revealed
  • The conversation funnel
  • Dealing with challenging customers

Your Investment

£795 exclusive of expenses and VAT (half day)

£1 295 exclusive of expenses and VAT (full day)

Posted in Our Latest Initiatives | Comments Off

How To Be a Brilliant Speaker

When you’re in front of an audience, you can make -or break – both your own and your organisation’s reputation in seconds.

Our immensely popular “Brilliant Speaker” programme is limited to just 6 delegates who, during a packed one day, will really be put through their paces.

Aside from great coaching and video feedback, the delegates will also have the availability of telephone coaching for up to 12 months after the workshop, all included in the fee.

Indicative Content

  • Developing a storyline
  • Designing effective presentations
  • Gaining and keeping audience attention
  • Developing compelling AV
  • Left and right brain presenting
  • The circle of communication: using voice, tone and body language appropriately
  • Dealing with questions and critical interjections
  • Developing a professional speaking portfolio
  • Video presentations and speaking to camera

Your Investment

£1 295 exclusive of expenses and VAT (full day)

Posted in Our Latest Initiatives | Comments Off

Building Your Business Through Seminars and Events

Why travel to see prospects when you can get them to come to you – and often pay for the privilege! It’s a no-brainer, really.

So why aren’t you doing it? In this packed one day programme we’ll show you the A-Z of business growth through putting on events, and even help you design the content.

Indicative Course Agenda

  • Why you should be running conferences, seminars and workshops, and how much you should be making
  • Straightforward guides to budgeting and planning
  • The event options, and how to plan your strategy
  • The step by step guide to creating and running events (along with every template you’ll ever need)
  • Pricing options – what works
  • Finding and attracting the delegates
  • Finding and dealing with guest speakers, sponsors and partners
  • Creating compelling training programmes
  • Marketing and promoting your events – successfully, on a shoestring
  • Win:Win negotiation with event suppliers
  • Minimising the financial risk, and generating a positive cash flow from day 1
  • Going virtual – how to run digital events profitably
  • Effective assessment to generate future events

Your Investment

£1 295 exclusive of expenses and VAT (full day)

 

Posted in Our Latest Initiatives | Comments Off