After the stories and negative feedback from the opening day, the emphasis of a business event focused on companies running as well oiled machines, this can be said wasn’t a reflection of the event organisation.
However, if there was the attitude to throw yourself into the seminar rooms, become a sponge and listen to views and stories from those who had achieved visibility and credibility, then it could be said that you could take a lot from the day and a wise investment of time.
It was also interesting to see that the majority of speakers were American and apart from Nigel Botterill, very few UK speakers, why is their such a dearth of home grown ‘figureheads’? It was good though to have so many respected individuals in one place (and the schedule for the day sheets were helpful), so credit is due to the organisers.
One thing that did become a bit tiresome was the huge discounted rates if people booked courses that very moment (at the end of a seminar). It made me think, is this kind of practice legal? There were screens showing huge rates if booked ‘normally’ at the end of presentations, but didn’t seem quantifiable with figures that could have been plucked from the air and then at massive discounted rates (a bit like a B2B GroupOn offer).
The headline act (with Lord Sugar) kind of typified the whole event. You had the steak, but not necessarily the sizzle. The audience were invited to give questions to Lord Sugar, but without vetting any of the topics beforehand. Complete madness in my opinion, what happened to taking advantage of the popular Twitter #biz2012 that was used throughout the event. We heard everything from ‘can we have a chat over a cup of tea’ to ‘my eleven year old daughter wants to make an app, where can I find a mentor?’ You could sense the ‘what am I doing here’ from the headline act and the ‘we all feel a bit uncomfortable watching this’ from the majority of the audience.
There is merit on having this type of event, particularly with the promise of Bill Clinton at the November exhibition, and can become a worthwhile education exercise. To build advocacy and for those who attended to spread the word, people need to feel that they are part of something special that runs like that well oiled machine.