A Volunteering Crisis and Why Eventprofs Should Volunteer

The National Trust is one of the Great British institutions. It looks after, preserves and showcases some of the most historic and iconic buildings and gardens across the UK. With many of its sites famously used for filming, be it Game of Thrones at Castle Ward, to Pride and Prejudice at Lyme Park, the organisation is use to making it into the papers. However, recently it wasn’t the buildings that were making headlines. The Independent reported that the National Trust was ‘running out of old people’!

Due to a change in lifestyle for more modern retirees, the National Trust has said that it’s noticing a significant decline in the number of older volunteers, compared to recent years. The Trust relies on just over 60,000 unpaid volunteers, many of which act as unpaid tour guides and on site staff throughout its homes and gardens up and down the country. A large proportion of these volunteers have traditionally been of the older generation, offering up their time to support a project or building they love.

However, as more and more retirees decide to start their own small business, travel the world, or spend quality time with their grandchildren, the National Trust is having to ‘redevelop more flexible models going forward’ and Helen Gosh, their Director General stated, “In 10 years’ time will we still have the same pool of willing volunteers? The demographic may not be with us.”

Unfortunately, it was a few years ago now since I was ‘fresh out of uni’ but I won’t be entering the retirement bracket any time soon either, so I think it might be people like myself that the National Trust needs to think about. The job market has changed dramatically over the past decade, with multiple jobs, part time working and unconventional hours all being modern practice. With that in mind, volunteer opportunities are becoming more and more of a viable whilst trying to gain work experience and boost your CV. I still always keep an ear to the ground for what may come up.

Having worked with teams of volunteers on event days (and volunteered a fair bit myself!) on a whole range of projects, I can assure you without them, a lot of ideas just wouldn’t be able to go ahead. Getting involved not only aids the organiser, but the volunteer can get plenty out of it as well:

Meeting People: This is invaluable in the events industry. The more projects you work on, the more people you meet. I am of the opinion that observing the way other people work is the best way to improve yourself. Whether it’s taking in what to do, (or what not to do!) no opportunity to work with someone else is ever a waste! Although it may sound like a big cliche, I’ve learnt that the more people you meet, the more opportunities you come across.

CV Booster: Whether you have just finished university or are branching out into a new field, breaking into the events industry is hard work. It takes perseverance, patience and that little something extra on your CV that separates you from everyone else. While paid work is often difficult to get without any other relevant experience, event mangers are always looking for volunteers to help keep things running.

‘Testing’ out a job: Festivals, exhibitions, conferences and charities all offer opportunities for people to get involved on both a short and long term basis. This a great way to find out what you like and don’t like about the industry or a company in particular. Think of it as a job-trial, without having to sign on the dotted line. Those that work hard and are reliable, are very often remembered and asked back next time, or even considered when a paid position arises.

So, the National Trust may be concerned about its current demographic disappearing but maybe they should shift their focus and try and make the company more appealing to a broader range of people looking for opportunities to volunteer. And before you sign up your Grandma and Granddad to don their tour guide hat, maybe you should take a look at what’s on offer instead!


Helen BradyThis is a guest post by Helen Brady – Event Manager, Visual Merchandiser and Venue Dresser.

Helen has been organising things and trying to make them look pretty since 1988!

Helen has worked with Events Northern Ltd on a freelance basis for over 5 years and is delighted to have made a permanent, full-time return to the team in summer 2015.


Event Blogger of the Week

Huge thanks to Square Meal who have voted me their event blogger of the week! What an honour and what a lovely notification to receive out of the blue!

I will display the badge with pride!

Many #eventprofs will already be familiar with Square Meal – the UKs leading guide to restaurants, bars, venues and events. They produce a useful annual guide on venues which is well worth grabbing a copy. Square Meal attend some of the major UK exhibitions where you can easily meet them and pick up your copy or simply register via their website so you don’t miss out. More information can be found at via: http://www.squaremeal.co.uk/.

I will watch with interest which other event bloggers will receive the title in the future and hopefully discover some new favourite UK event blogs and bloggers.

Blogger of the Week - Squaremeal Venue Guide

So What is Egg Rolling?

On Easter Monday I had my first experience of Egg Rolling.

Despite living in Preston for 11 years I have to admit this was something I had heard about but didn’t really understand and had definitely never seen in action. Now at least I have seen it live and participated (even if I still don’t truly understand it!).

So what is Egg Rolling?

Egg Rolling in the UK is the tradition of rolling eggs down a grassy hill, a custom which dates back hundreds of years (as you can see from this picture slide show from the Lancashire Evening Post).

Avenham Park in Preston, Lancashire has a long history of the egg rolling tradition and thousands turned out this year to the Preston Council organised event. Anyone that knows the park will understand that the slope at the top of the park down towards the Pavilion and the River Ribble is optimum for egg rolling fun.

Here is a video of the egg rolling in action from 2012. This looks extremely quiet compared to this year which had the organised countdown on the hour every hour from 11 am however it was a constant stream of rolling eggs and running children in between!

Many children paint their eggs before rolling, although nowadays many just favour rolling an egg of the chocolate variety.

Top tip of the day picked up from watching Egg Rolling Veterans at the park is to wrap your chocolate egg in a sandwich bag first to preserve the broken chocolate to be eaten later!

We rolled a Kinder egg, others went for hard boiled eggs.

There is an old Lancashire legend which dictates that eggshells must be carefully crushed afterwards otherwise witches will steal them and use them as boats!

I am fascinated by events built around ancient traditions, such as this one. It is important that we carry on celebrating and honouring these customs so they are not forgotten by future generations!

It is a truly family day out and there were lots of activities for children throughout the park (pictures from Blog Preston here) and thousands of people enjoying the event. Alas the crowds and noise only kept our 2 and a half year old entertained for a short visit this year. The highlight of the trip through the eyes of our toddler in fact was seeing two diggers on the way to the park and talking to a friendly policeman who let us try on his hat! Mr Yipadee and Alex Winter from CBeebies frankly failed to impress! We will however return again next year now we are initiated into the egg rolling tradition!


What I Have Learnt from Over Ten Years in Business

I set up Events Northern Ltd in 2004 at the age of 23. In June 2015 we will celebrate 11 years in business. As you can imagine I have learnt a lot about running a small business during this time!

Here are the top tips I would give to someone starting out and some of the things I wish I knew at the start!


Be Passionate About What You Do

Your business and line of work has to excite you – your passion and enthusiasm will shine through if you are doing something you love. Likewise if you don’t love what you do this will be evident and it may be harder to summon the commitment and drive you need to get a business off the ground.


Have Faith In Yourself

Starting out in business was a huge step to take and in the beginning I spent time worrying that I wouldn’t be taken seriously because of my age. Put any self-doubt and negative thoughts such as this out of your mind (you have more important stuff to think about anyway!). So long as you do a good job and offer a great service your reputation and business will grow.


Give Your Business the Best Start

Starting out you need to do whatever you need to do to give your business the best chance of survival. I juggled a bar job in evenings and weekends for 6 months until I was confident my business could pay my wage and I started off working from home to keep overheads to a minimum. When starting out do you really need that fancy office block anyway? Be realistic and cautious!


Be Prepared to Put the Hours In

Don’t expect to work 9-5. You are paying your own wages now and you need to put the hours in as required. If you want regular hours you probably need to work for someone else!


Remember Your Vision

No one ever went into business wanting to be mediocre so be brilliant in business!


You Can Achieve a Lot in a Day

When your to do list is longer than your desk, try not to despair as that is simply counterproductive. You can achieve a hell of a lot in a day so don’t crumble under the pressure, get your head down and get on with it!


Don’t Forget to Market Yourself

When you start out and you are probably doing everything yourself it is easy to be so busy that you don’t spend time marketing your business but this is absolutely vital. Put time aside for updating your website, networking face to face, writing a blog post, updating social media, sending out a press release, etc as often as you can.


Get a Signed Contract

I learnt the hard way when someone that I thought I could trust completely took advantage and let me down, even though we had a written agreement in place. Don’t start work until you have a signed agreement in place, checked or drawn up by a solicitor if required.



If you are ever in the position outlined above then take pride in the fact that you acted honourably, even when others didn’t, and believe me “what goes around comes around!” – Karma.


Work with Good Suppliers

We have some brilliant suppliers. We have worked regularly with our AV company, photographer and other suppliers for many years now which means they know exactly how we like to work and expectations. It also means that we can sometimes pull in favours when a quote doesn’t quite fit our budget or we have a last minute request.


Be Flattered By Imitation

It’s hard to see someone copying your work and ideas but unless it is something you have a definite copyright or legal contract over it is often difficult and costly to prove. So depending on the circumstances it is sometimes best just to take pride that you did it first and ensure that you do it best! Take it as a compliment.


Look After Your Customers

It is much easier to look after and keep a customer than it is to win a new one so cherish the customers you have and do everything in your power to delight them and ensure you gain their repeat business time and time again!


Keep Good Staff (and Quickly Lose the Bad)

Good staff are like gold dust and I am lucky to have found some real gems! Gill who has worked for Events Northern Ltd for 7 years is the backbone of the company, cares as much as I do and I simply could not do it without her!

Helen Brady will also always be a much loved part of the team and “one of the gang” and Tanya Shepherd is a trooper at filling my shoes when I inconveniently schedule holidays, due dates or generally need a Senior Event Manager to get things done the way I like them done!

On the flipside, we haven’t always been so fortunate in our recruiting decisions. If you have a gut feeling that someone doesn’t make the grade, they don’t! There is no space for slackers or lackadaisical members of staff in a small business.


You Don’t Have to be an Ogre to Succeed in Business

Sometimes the media puts forward a stereotypical image that to be the boss you have to be mean. Whilst it probably helps to be tough you certainly do not need to be an ogre! There is more than one way to get results.


Know Your Strengths (and Weaknesses)

In the beginning I did everything, including doing my own accounting and VAT returns for numerous years, which I absolutely detested doing! I was a much happier bunny when I stopped doing this, got help, outsourced it and spent more time in event management – where my real talent lies.


Adapt to Survive

A fair few years into running the business everything was going swimmingly. We had worked out our pricing structure, we were making money, we had some fantastic clients (particularly in the health sector). Then the dark days of the recession took hold and everything went out of the window. Fees were dropped, it was a cutthroat environment to operate in and many of our competitors simply didn’t come out at the other end.

Furthermore with the transition and restructuring of the NHS our niche market vastly reduced the amount of events and training they commissioned, which was perhaps understandable during several rounds of redundancies and changing environment they were operating in. This forced us to explore other sectors and to adapt to survive.

Our niche markets may have evolved and our confidence to charge what we should may have been eroded for a time, however we count our blessings that we survived and we are still here to tell the tale! Don’t get me wrong, times are still tough, particularly ‘up North’ but the outlook is much more positive now.


Watch the Pennies…

It may sound clichéd however every little can help; not only in terms of saving money but also reducing waste. Save those paperclips, reuse the other side of paper you no longer need, don’t print something unless you need to, buy in bulk if it gives you greater buying power, switch off your computer overnight. These savings really do add up.


Being Your Own Boss Can Be Great

Being your own boss isn’t all ‘skittles’ as people who don’t work for themselves often seem to think it is, however I certainly wouldn’t swap it for the world! It can sometimes feel isolating though, so develop a network of other small business owners to share stories, offer advice and support each other!


Work with People you Like and Respect

This is sometimes easier said than done but try to surround yourself and work with positive people who are on the same wavelength and buoy you up and spark creativity, rather than people who bring you down.


Sales Calls are a Waste of Time

Perhaps controversial but I have never ever purchased anything as a result of a sales call (Has anyone? Really?). I detest the games and time wasting these unwelcome interruptions cause to my working day. Put a gatekeeper in place and/or get good at determining the sales calls from the genuine calls and cutting them short – your time is precious.


Know When to Say No

An important skill (and one I am not very good at!) is saying no. Whether it is an impossibly short lead time, a ridiculously low budget/fee, a favour that will cost you a lot of valuable time or something else – remember the answer doesn’t always have to be yes.


Don’t Worry

There has been hours of worry, stress and even tears over the years, particularly during the recession and downturn. Worry about how much work was coming in, worry about how to pay the bills, wages, etc, then at the opposite end of the scale worry about how to cope with the amount of work we have. The most important thing that I have learnt during almost 11 years in business is not to waste time worrying. What will be will be and everything will work out for the best in the long run. Honest.


Do you agree with my learning? What advice would you give to someone thinking about starting their own business? Do any of these tips resonate with you personally? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.


Round Up of the Best Event Industry Predictions for 2015

The New Year naturally inspires us to look into our crystal ball to predict what may be in store over the next 12 months for the event industry. There have been some great posts from various event experts and thought leaders highlighting their expectations looking ahead. Here is a roundup of 6 of the articles I have particularly enjoyed reading and some of the key event industry predictions they have highlighted.


10 Event Trends for 2015 – The Event Manager Blog

Julius Solaris predicts in his free report that the word defining the event industry for 2015 is #drench. Immersive events will be key.

Lots of cool event tech is highlighted in the report too.


30 Experts Predict The Event Trends That Will Shape Your 2015 – Eventbrite

A great list of sometimes contradictory trends, challenges and opportunities!

This is my favourite insight:

“A recent study into the habits of Millenials shows that those in their 20s and 30s care more about experiences than material possessions.  This shift to an ‘experience economy’ should provide plenty of growth opportunities…”


Event Trends 2015 – Event and Conference Blog

We couldn’t ignore our own post! We foresee that visual content will be key and can’t wait to have the opportunity to get our hands on the Polaroid Socialshare!

Augmented Reality is going to be seen more in events, particularly exhibitions, conferences and networking events and wearable technology will continue to develop.


Ten Transformative Meetings Technology Trends for 2015 – Corbin Ball Associates

We will continue to be challenged by decreasing attention spans! Aerial (drone) video could be exciting for the events industry.


2015 Forecast: Top event tech trends – C&IT

We love the idea of the networking name tag and the Experience Platform!


2015 Preview: 9 Event Tech Predictions – Bizbash

Sensor integration and flexible display technologies are the hottest pointers we take from this post.


We hope that you enjoyed our round up of the best event industry predictions and are feeling inspired and excited about the year ahead.


Which other articles about future event industry trends have you particularly enjoyed reading? Please share other relevant links and thoughts within the comments below. Have the experts in these posts got it right in your opinion? What do you think will be huge in the world of events in 2015?

Event Trends 2015

Happy New Year! The dawn of 2015 is now upon us.

Every year we look forward to the event trends we predict will impact on the events industry within the next 12 months. We think these are some of the major issues Event Managers will be working with and issues which will impact on event marketing and event technology in the coming year.

Read our post from last year here: Event Trends 2014 and our predictions for 2015 below.


Increased Confidence

The UK has a much rosier outlook as business continues to pick up and recover across multiple industries and the whole of the UK (the recovery has been slower in the North and outside of London). Even the media is starting to report more positively rather than the negative multiplier effect of reporting during the downturn. This confidence can only be a good thing in terms of businesses focusing on growth and hopefully increased investment on marketing spend and events as a result.


Short Lead Times

Lead times in the events industry often continue to be short and pressurised for one off events. This adds extra pressure to the Event Manager role, which is already considered a stressful career choice (see this post: Event Management: A Stressful Career Choice?).

Although short lead times can give fantastic deals from venues that have last minute availability it isn’t a recommended tactic! Short lead times can result in lower ticket sales and attendances as recommended marketing times and the notice period given to people are reduced.

We have seen examples of short leads times during 2014 as a result of political pressure (“this event must happen and happen before xx”) and also due to commitment from keynote speakers (“my only availability is on xx”) and budget pressures (“our event budget has to be used in this financial year otherwise we lose the funding/money”). There is no sign of this reducing in 2015 with clients feeling the pressure in terms of heavy workloads, smaller teams and sometimes panicked planning, calling in Event Professionals to save the day and work magic in less than perfect scenarios.


Social Media

Social media is a complex and integral part of almost all modern events, regardless of the sector or client. The role of Event Manager often demands advanced social media and engagement skills. Annual events are working hard to build communities around their events and better year round engagement. It is no longer acceptable to ignore the social media phenomenon. Whether you are new or experienced in terms of social media all Event Professionals should read this free eBook: Social Media for Events (and yes I am proud to say that I helped to proofread it!).


Visual Content

Visual posts on social media consistently outperform text posts and Instagram has now overtaken Twitter in terms of users. This should be taken into account in terms of event marketing, making sure you are connecting on the platforms preferred by your target audience and even at your live events by using tools which incorporate picture feeds and Instagram well.

We love the idea of the new Polaroid Socialmatic and think that this has great potential for use within our events and the events industry in general!


Smaller Group Sizes

Based on current enquiries group sizes currently seem to be tailored to smaller groups and more niche audiences, rather than larger “catch all” style events. Although this reduces economies of scale and bargaining power at some venues, it also reduces risk and can help add incentive for attendees to book their ticket early before it sells out.


Hybrid Online Events

We are looking forward to running our first hybrid event in 2015 and we are sure that events catering equally for both a live face to face audience and online participants will become the norm. A live web stream will not be enough, virtual attendees need to be engaged and involved to ensure they have an insight into the true event and convert to actual attendees in future years.



Blogging is a powerful tool and I discussed the landscape in my post The Event Industry and Blogging: Are Event Managers Missing a Trick? In many ways 2014 saw the rise and recognition of blogging within the events industry and I have discovered some fantastic blogs and bloggers, both new and established, from the UK and internationally. This can only continue and strengthen during the next 12 months.


Touchscreen Technology

Touchscreen technology continues to dominate, ranging from mobiles and tablets (including attendees using a second screen), through to event apps and advanced event technology, meeting facilitation and gamification. We love huge touchscreens for mindmapping ideas, digital grafitti walls and sophisticated photo booths.



The power of video is well documented and we are seeing increased recognition of this by our clients who are keen to incorporate video into their event marketing and within their event strategy. Our preferred videographer is definitely on speed dial! As well as commissioning video content we are also seeing an increased willingness to create video content within our clients organisations.

It is also great to see the rise of vloggers and how the way we consume media is changing in general. It is great to see the emergence of event industry vloggers and podcasts.


Barcoded Event Registration Systems

The modern event attendee rightly demands more. Queuing and inefficient check in systems are simply not acceptable, which is why we developed our own barcoded technology to ensure fast and efficient on site event registration. RFID solutions are also available and are increasingly being used in music festivals.


Wearable Smart Tech

2015 will see wearable smart technology become more mainstream. Smart watches and Google Glass are examples currently on the market. Although limited apps have been developed on Google Glass for events currently there is lots of potential here. For example, imagine a speaker able to see his notes and countdown timer through Google Glass but looking like he is presenting entirely from memory. Event Managers wearing Google Glass could take pictures and record videos of their event in real time to enable fantastic behind the scenes and back stage footage.


Augmented Reality

I attended a workshop which had a section dedicated to augmented reality which had my mind spinning in terms of the potential usage within events. In terms of exhibitions and conferences this technology will be groundbreaking. Imagine interactive exhibition stands, icebreakers/networking games and speaker biogs which come to life and the speaker talks to you when you hold an app over their picture.


These are just some of our thoughts on what 2015 may have in store for #Eventprofs. We would love to hear your thoughts on the event trends we can expect to see in 2015 in the comments below!

Is This the Best Twitter Wall Ever?

There are a number of event Twitter Walls (feeds) available and we have experimented with a number of different (largely free) solutions over the years. Recently however I discovered Tweetbeam and I was delighted when they offered me the opportunity to test the product at a few of our conferences and events….

The Tweetbeam Twitter Wall is really visually appealing. Rather than having a scrolling list of text based tweets the screen is filled with the profile pictures of those tweeting using your event hashtag. If someone tweets a picture using the hashtag the picture displays instead of their profile. It gives prominence to different tweets which are highlighted on the screen. The backdrop is constantly evolving as more people tweet, showing a patchwork like backdrop of key contributors.

Tweetbeam was really simple to set up and more intuitive than some of the other solutions on the market.  It works with all browsers and adapts to all screen sizes. There are options for incorporating your own custom branding within some of the paid options available too if you wish.

If the internet connection or wifi at the venue goes down Tweetbeam is resilient and will keep working with the information already received until new Tweets are available (unfortunately even in this day and age flaky wifi is still a very real problem at many venues).

In terms of moderation there is the option to use automatic filters to block certain words/users or to moderate and approve every tweet manually if you prefer.

Whether people are active on Twitter or not we find that people always get drawn into Twitter Walls and we received a lot of positive comments about the format of Tweetbeam. I am sure that it also encourages people to tweet more to see themselves on the “big screens” which is obviously great in terms of wider exposure across social media for the event.

Tweetbeam is a paid solution. Single-day event licenses start from €199 per day and discounted multi-day licenses are available as well. It is best to discuss your bespoke requirements directly with Tweetbeam. You can test out how Tweetbeam works and looks at http://www.tweetbeam.com/.

If you are looking for a sophisticated, visual Twitter Wall feed for your events we would definitely recommend Tweetbeam! See the Tweetbeam Twitter Wall in action within the video below (18 seconds into the highlights video):

Have you used Twitter Walls in your events? Have you tried Tweetbeam? Which are you favourite Twitter Wall feed provider? I would love to hear your thoughts!

Thank you once again to Tweetbeam for allowing us to test the product free of charge at some of our events.

Ten Event Management Lessons from the Apprentice 2015

I am am avid viewer of the Apprentice and I particularly enjoy any of the tasks that demand event management skills from the candidates.  Consistently the contenders get it seriously wrong and make mistakes which only highlights the skills of good Event Managers and why we are sought after!

In Series 10, Episode 5 Lord Sugar set the task of orchestrating coach tours.  Here are the 10 main mistakes/learning points I took away from the programme (as hopefully did the candidates!).

1. Know Your Audience

At points there seems to be a total disregard for the audience on the tours.  A particularly cringe-worthy moment is when James and colleagues are singing children’s songs to their group, who have signed up for a serious, high value, historical tour.

This to me shows a total lack of understanding and disregard for the audience.  The songs and approach is pitched completely wrongly and either they haven’t done their research or they don’t care about their offering.

Know your audience.  Take time to understand their persona’s and what turns them on.  Or off.

2. Listen to Your Audience

Faced with the children’s songs the tour bus feedback is “this is torture” however they still keep signing!  The message couldn’t really be any clearer!

Although I admire enthusiasm and energy it is important to take on board feedback, particularly direct feedback such as this.  See also point 1.  Who’s idea was this anyway?!  Children’s songs?!  Really?!  

3. Brief Your Team

Neither Project Manager seems to brief their team on what is expected from them, basic customer service, expectations, etc.

Let your team know what is expected from them, chains of command, how to go the extra mile and make guests feel valued.

4. Overdeliver

Watching this episode I am surprised that there are not more complaints as there seems to be so many failures on what is offered and delivered to the groups.

You should always have the ethos to overdeliver for any event your produce.  If you fall short be prepared for complaints.

5. Don’t Skimp on the Catering

One of the teams boasts that the cost per head for the lunch they have prepared is £2.10, however this is really apparent in the unappetising sandwich on offer.  Embarrassingly some of the tour members have paid £90 for their trip so to be presented with such a shocking offering is simply cringe-worthy.

However tight the event budget or however basic the food offering may be you should ensure that it is appetising, filling and fitting to expectations and the cost charged to the attendee.

6. Be Prepared to “Muck In” 

At one point an announcement is made that the toilet on the coach is out of order and to avoid it for the next 10 minutes whilst the problem is rectified.  I presume at this point that one of the group then put the situation right as quickly as possible.

On event days you will be called upon to deal with a multitude of different situations quickly and efficiently.  Whether you think this falls under your job role or not isn’t important, what is important is getting stuck in and resolving the issue as fast as possible!  

7. Choose Your Speakers Wisely

When a couple of team members are speaking to the tour at different points during the task we can see eyes glazing over and even people falling asleep on the bus and boat.

We all know how quickly a bad speaker can lose an audience.  Always do your utmost to research and vet speakers before securing them for your event.

8. Walk Through and Plan Every Possible Detail

The episode shows one of the teams lost, running late and chaperoning their tour members wildly around the town trying to find their next destination.

This highlighted two things to me:

A) the importance of planning and talking/walking through every detail

B) the importance of having important information to hand such as the destination address, a map, Google Maps/sat nav via your mobile, a list of key contacts and anything else you may need.

9. Keep to Schedule

Embarrassingly one of the teams has to cut short their tour of the Canterbury Tales to get back to Victoria Station on time or miss losing their drop off slot.

It is important to keep to time as closely as possible.  If you overrun and don’t work hard to pull back the time you will start losing people.  It is always good to add in some slack in the programme to get the schedule back on track.

10. Inspire Respect from Your Team

One of the Project Managers, Daniel Cassman, claimed to be an Event Manager himself, though unfortunately the viewer saw no evidence of this or any general management skills during the task!  The truth seems to be that he actually organises pub quizzes, which perhaps explains why he was totally out of his depth, however luckily he was on the winning team nevertheless.

As an Event Manager you must inspire respect and set a positive example to your team.  You need the skills, experience and authority to make fast decisions and communicate them to your staff.


The episode eventually sees Jemma Bird fired, although in fairness there are a few candidates who deserved to go based on the performance of this task!


Did you see this episode of the Apprentice?  Do you think Jemma was right to be fired?  What other comments and learning points would you like to share from this task?  I would welcome your feedback below!


Be Brilliant in Business

Last night was the Central Lancashire Business Event.  This is an annual free event organised jointly by Preston, South Ribble and Chorley Councils.  The event has been running for seven years and this was the fourth year that we have supported them and possibly the best event yet!  There was a fantastic line up of speakers, including Carl Spencer from Ultima Thule, Tom Stables and Nathaniel Cassidy from 3ManFactory and Michael Finnigan, CEO of i2i.

A speaker that we had booked and confirmed back in June was forced to pull out of the event with only a few days notice due to business commitments (one of the joys of being an event manager!).  We were delighted when we approached Michael Finnigan and he agreed to step in at short notice and as an experienced and natural presenter he took this all in his stride.  There was lots of praise for all of the speakers at the event and Michael went down a storm talking about overcoming business challenges.  A couple of simple key points from his presentation particularly resonated with me as a small business owner…

It can sometimes be lonely as a small business owner but during the challenging times you must keep in mind the reason why you started in business.  Remember the saying “where there is a will there is a way!”  Never give up and remember how great it is to be your own boss!

Many SMEs I know (Events Northern included) started out in business because they had a passion and a skill and a desire to be the best and succeed above the competition.

The energy of the businesses in the room at the event was a reminder of this spirit and dedication.  I think this also proves why so many people love working with small businesses; generally they have a real pride in their work, relentlessly surpass all expectations and strive to be the best in their sphere.Michael Finnigan i2i at the Central Lancashire Business Event


At the top of the page is a short video teaser showing Michael in action at the Central Lancashire Business Event.
Video Credit: Roland Turner of RT Productions (@RTProductions1).

The full highlights video from #CLBE2014 can be viewed via this link:
Central Lancashire Business Event #CLBE2014 Video

You can also follow this link to view the TEDx Talk from Michael Finnigan ‘Making the Impossible Inevitable.’


Have you set up in business?  What motivated you to do this?  Why do you like working with other small businesses?  I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments at the bottom of the page!



Events Northern Contributor to Event Manager Blog

Event Manager Blog Contributor - Becki Cross Events NorthernWe are delighted to officially announce that Becki Cross of Events Northern is the newest contributor to the fantastic Event Manager Blog – the number 1 blog worldwide for event professionals.

We have been regular readers of the Event Manager Blog for many years since it was established by Julius Solaris in 2007, so imagine our excitement when Becki was approached about becoming part of the team!  Naturally we jumped at the chance and we have been commissioned to write 4 blog posts initially.

The Event Manager Blog is an excellent resource and particularly well regarded in terms of event technology, event planning and event marketing.  The mission of the Event Manager Blog is to give advice, reports and tools to enable event professionals to excel at their job and reduce their stress levels!

As well as Julius we are excited to be joining other esteemed industry blogging contributors including the award winning Amy Capron, Dr Cathy Key and Kelvin Newman.

Our first post can be found on the Event Manager Blog via the following link: 12 Simple Ways to Save Money on Your Next Event Without Attendees Even Noticing.  The posts focuses on how to save money without cutting corners or compromising on quality at your next event.  We hope you enjoy the tips we share – if so please do share the post and comment directly via the Event Manager Blog post!

Our next posts will be published every two weeks.  Ensure you are following us on Twitter @eventsnorthern so you don’t miss the post!

We recommend that you keep in touch with the Event Manager Blog via the following channels:

The Event Manager Blog: http://www.eventmanagerblog.com/

Event Manager Blog on Twitter: @eventmb

Event Manager Blog on Google+

Event Manager Blog on Facebook

Event Planning and Event Management Group on Linked In, established by Julius Solaris