Influencing your ‘Influencers’

Social media, influencer marketing

Influencer marketing is on the rise with your potential customers now 60% more likely to believe your current customers (usually a complete stranger) more than your own marketing or online presence.

Peer reviews are becoming more and more important.  It sounds obvious, but your employees are customers as well and if you aren’t paying attention to the power of your own team to influence your customers, then this is the blog for you.

Your own internal team are right there and ready to engage with the world on your behalf, if you give them the opportunity and motivation to do it. In fact, they are probably already doing so, whether you like it or not. So, as with everything to do with social media, it’s better for your business to engage with it than let it go on without you.

So these are just a few ideas to help you give your team reasons to start promoting your business on your behalf.

Ask your employees to write blogs, create vlogs and podcasts

Ask everyone in your business to help create the outward messaging.  They’ll connect with it more and are far more likely to share it on their own social channels. Give them advice and support in doing it. Give them the time and facilities to make it happen. Give them the authority to write and produce commentary that they feel appropriate. We’re assuming here that you have already created a culture where your employees want to write and say nice things about the business. If not, then we have a blog for that too!

Ask your junior team members to ‘interview’ your senior leaders

This connects to the previous idea.  Again, the key is to allow for open and honest discussion.  If your leaders are not willing to be honest, your junior members of the team will spot it immediately – and if they can, so will your customers.  Again, if it’s a piece of work that your team members are helping to create, they will be more willing to share it themselves.

Consult your employees on business decisions

OK, so maybe not every decision, but getting your teams invested in the company and in its intellectual leadership, will create a powerful connection, This will give them the sense that they are helping to influence the direction of the business and their own future. Actively listen to your colleagues and staff

This sounds obvious, but it’s so rarely done well.  Leadership is difficult and time is very precious, but one of the most important things a leader can do is to ‘actively listen’ to their people.  That means, putting the phone on silent, being present in the room with the other person and engaging with them.  They are representative of your whole company and your customers – without them, your business dies.

Create and engage two-way communication with your people

This is a whole topic in itself. The key is to open up channels of communication so your colleagues can feel like they have a means to connect with the senior team, at a time that suits them.  To complete the circle, your leaders need to respond, fully and compassionately.

Create a ‘reverse mentoring’ scheme

We recently ran an event where a speaker had talked about a successful ‘reverse mentoring’ scheme they had set up in the business.  Simply put, as you would imagine, a junior team member was mentoring a senior leader.  It was so successful, the business renamed it – ‘Mentoring’!  This kind of engagement

If you haven’t already done so, try and get an intranet that mimics Facebook!

Again, this is an entire blog in itself.  In a sentence – your teams have every communication platform at their fingertips 24/7.  If your internal communications platforms don’t match up, then they might as well not be there!  The days of ‘push’ communication are gone!


We’d love to hear your thoughts on this and all our other blogs, so please do let us know what you think!


Have you already got enough on your hands?

We bring all our expertise and professionalism from our big conference events to your smaller meetings as well.

When you’ve got the delegate management, your senior team and external speakers to look after, you probably could use a little help with the microphones and powerpoint presentations.  That’s where we come in….

But we can add so much more value than that.

Maybe you want to have a dedicated professional to make sure that all your breakout rooms are set up and your speakers’ presentations are working.  Perhaps, you want to play video and need the sound to be heard.  Or, would you like to really make your evening dinner to shine, with great lighting and some games to help the networking go with a swing afterwards.


So, next time you’ve got a company meeting to organise and would just like a little extra help so you have the security of knowing the sound and visuals will work, then you know where to come.

We look forward to seeing you.

Graham Wadsworth
Creative Director

10 Great Reasons for using video in your marketing!

Social Media

In an age when everyone has something to say and a host of global communications channels they can use, you need to stand out, if you want to get customers to notice you.

Let’s start with video:

1. Retention rate for visual information is roughly 65% Vs 10% for written info

2. Social users are 5 times more likely to click on videos and photos 

3. Consumers are 78% more likely to buy if they come from a social media channel into your website 

4. Videos help increase sales conversion by an average of 43% 

5. Brand recall increases 9 times with ad campaigns on multiple screens (Tv, Online Video etc.)

6. Websites are 53 times more likely to reach page one on Google if they use on page and off-page videos as part of a search strategy

7. This year, 50% of all internet traffic will be generated as a result of video.  In 2017, it is predicted to be over 90%

8. 92% of B2B customers watch video before making a purchase or an enquiry

9. Consumers are 63% more likely to buy after watching an ‘explainer’ (‘How to..’) video

10. Video Results have a 41% higher click through rate than standard text entries

Why telling tales is good for your business!

Remember when you were younger and your parents advised you to never tell tales?   Well, there has never been a better time to ignore that advice!

Before you all go running off, hear me out for a moment. We live in a ‘Communications Age’ where we are consistently encouraged to share our story on social media, via blogs and videos.   But what does ‘sharing our story’ actually mean and, are we any good at it?

Telling tales your audience will remember

We’ve been transmitting information from one person to another and one generation to the next, using story, for thousands of years from the days of the cavemen and cavewomen, painting pictures on their walls, through folklore, myth and legend, to modern media. Stories surround us, guide us, teach and inform us.

Walt Disney famously said, “Of all of our inventions for mass communication, pictures still speak the most universally understood language.”

By finding ways of sharing our story, our employees will be more engaged and our clients will want to do business with us.


Telling tales – Why should I care?
One of our team recently went on a training course with one of the world’s leading motivational speakers, Les Brown, who has 3 questions he suggests we ask ourselves when preparing a speech or presentation

        “Who are you?”
        “What do you have?”
        “Why should I care?”

They are great questions because so often at a meeting or conference we notice how it’s almost always the senior manager who speaks although, not always with confidence. Their audience know who they are and because of their position it’s typical for them to present the latest update about the company or department, including the results and what to expect over the next 12 months.

I wonder though, how many people sit in the audience and ask themselves, “why should I care?” or “How does this relate specifically to me?”

A sorry tale

We ran a conference recently for a new client and the presentations were heavy with data. So much so, we couldn’t read the writing on the 12ft screen!   The speakers spent most of the day talking at the delegates with just one very short Q&A session.  So, for the visual and kinesthetic preferences sat amongst the audience it was pretty hard going.   As a consequence, very little of their message would have resonated because it didn’t match the communication or learning styles of all the participants.

As a result, we were disappointed to see for the first time at one of our events, some of the delegates falling asleep!

When we had the debrief with our client afterwards they admitted the conference was typical of how they usually ran. Their audience had started to accept the company conferences were a day out of the office with the same old messages! Their speakers were so busy concentrating on remembering all of their content, their focus was on themselves instead of their audience.   The strategic company messages were literally lost in translation.    It was time to make some changes…

Plato said “Wise men talk because they have something to say, fools because they have to say something.”

A happy tale

The good news is, one of our business coaches is already working with our client in preparation for their Autumn event. They are developing the speakers to deliver their message with impact, and designing the content and agenda to make the day more interactive and memorable for everyone.

Building a bridge to our audience is vital if we want them to connect with us and our message.   To make our message memorable we should create a variety of ways to do that. In fact, Les Brown believes when we listen to other people’s stories we can use them as examples to relate a point and connect with others.  He says, “The power of a story is fueled by the energy of who you are, behind the words that you speak. This energy creates life changing moments for the listeners.”

“So, what emotion would you like to generate in your audience as a result of sitting through one of your sessions?”   For example, if it’s to be inspired, excited or motivated, then consider what stories you can share that generate that emotion. Use music and video to embed the story further.

This is when you truly start to ignite their spirit and unlock their mind to possibilities. If you just want them to be more knowledgeable, you may as well save yourself a whole lot of money and let them read about it on the intranet back in the office.

Here are a few ‘tell tale tips’ to make an impact with your audience at your next meeting.

  • Use people in the company who are proficient in facilitating, to either host or deliver the sessions. Alternatively, recruit the services of an external host.
  • Generate discussion groups at the tables at the end of each session to share with each other what they’ve learnt from that session.
  • Use social media for Q & A to help the participants who are not as willing to put their hands up or speak in front of everyone.
  • Provide ‘graffiti boards’ for individuals to share their ideas – 6ft high white boards placed in the refreshments area.
  • Create a tailored hash-tag for the event where individuals can tweet their thoughts and comments. You will get a sense of the energy and interest levels
  • Use video and music to share your stories and deliver your messages.
  • Include a variety of visual, auditory and kinesthetic words so you connect with ‘all’ of your audience regardless of their communication preference.
  • If possible, use the advice giving at the TED Talks in only speaking in 18-minute segments.

We hope you find these tips helpful. Let us know if you require the services of a professional production company to help you with your next event. If you have speakers who would like to deliver an impactful session and require development from one of our business coaches, please do get in touch.

Graham Wadsworth,
Creative Director

How do you engage your delegates…?

Tipping Point Twitter

In an age where there are three generations working in business today, we recognise that using technology is essential to engage a ‘GenY’ population, but your ‘Baby Boomers’ will need something quite different.  Therefore, using a variety of ways to engage everyone at your events is essential.

For years, companies have organised conferences, bringing together their employees who take time out of the business to deliver strategic messages, bringing the audience up to speed with the latest initiatives and rewarding them for a job well done.

In our opinion, as your delegates become more technology-aware, your business conference must stay up to date with the way in which your delegates wish to communicate, if you want to get your messages across effectively.

  • How interactive are your conferences?
  • How effective are your speakers and facilitators?
  • How do you involve the quieter members of the audience to ask questions?

Would you like an innovative and modern approach that gets your audience interacting with you in a way that helps you to gauge the level of buy in at your event immediately?

Well, we have recently been providing our clients with a solution for their conferences and achieving results that impressed them and their delegates.

How does it work?

Feed your audience comments directly to the screen for an interactive presentation

We provide an iPad for each table, group of people or individuals and, where required set up a dedicated Twitter account and hash-tag.  The iPads can be branded with your conference or company logo on.  They can also have vital documents relating to your event that your audience can click on and refer to.

Using the hash-tag, we can track comments that your delegates are making throughout the event from their own twitter accounts.  So, this is similar in concept to the interactive voting pads and text service, but there a subtle but important difference.

Once we have moderated the Twitter feed comments, we can then put them all up onto the conference screens for the speakers to use as discussion topics.

We ask the delegates to tweet questions and thoughts during the sessions.  At intervals, the facilitators or speakers can refer to the twitter feed and get a sense of the audience’s thoughts and take questions from the twitter feed comments as well as the regular Q&A session.

What is the benefit to the audience?

It allows the quieter, more introvert delegates who wouldn’t necessarily have put their hand up and asked a burning question to feel more confident to do so by typing a tweeted question.

Audience members feel they are part of the event and not just being spoken to all day.

Using Twitter at a conference

What is the benefit to the Company?

Sometimes speakers can run out of time and audience members who have questions often don’t get the opportunity to ask their question.

The great benefit of using the twitter feed and hash tag option is that questions that didn’t get answered during the event can be answered afterwards.   Sometimes our clients place a Q&A session on their intranet following the conference so audience members can see the answers to their questions and others from the day.  It is a great way to embed the key messages from the speakers at the event.

You can judge the level of your audience.  When the twitter feeds slow down, more than likely, so has the energy of your event!

If you are keen to encourage your audience to ask challenging questions, you could set up a twitter account for the event and set all of your iPads to use that account.  That way the questions would stay anonymous and potentially you could get to the heart of what people really think.

You don’t have to have someone at the conference writing down the questions, you will have a record of all of the questions from your twitter feed account.

What if a challenging question comes up on the screen that our speaker would prefer not to answer there and then?

That wouldn’t happen.  One of our event crew will sit with a member of your company during the event to ensure that only the questions being displayed on the main conference screens are relevant and appropriate to the environment.

If the question is not relevant at the time or controversial, you may choose to answer that question at a later date via your company intranet or news bulletin.

Can’t I just stick with a more traditional approach, I am not really into Twitter?

Well that’s lucky, because we are!  We are here to help and in an age where there are three generations working in business today, we recognise that using technology is essential to engage GenY and different to perhaps what a baby boomer would want.  Therefore, using a variety of ways to engage everyone is essential

We can support you prior to and during your event to help you set up your twitter account and #tag for your event.
We will brief your facilitators and speakers ahead of time on how it will work on the day.

Finally we will be there on the day so you can stay relaxed and enjoy your event.

We’ve worked with a number of businesses that have engaged this type of technology and both the delegates and the speakers have been hugely impressed by the difference in the way the events have run.

Delegates feel a sense of energy in the room and are engaged by their ability to interact with the speakers in real-time.  The speakers feel a sense of their audience actually hearing them and being a part of the delivery of the speech.

If you would like to discuss how using this technology could help you at your next event, call us today and we will be happy to help.