A Marketing Win Win Showcase Event with
The format a show round/lunch at an interesting venue such as Thornbury
Castle and talk by Roy Sheppard/Expert Conference Facilitator & Speaker,
or Robert Craven a business/marketing and sales guru. Please see below
details of the event we staged with Thornbury Castle.
For Production People visit: www.productionpeople.org
10.30 am - 11.00 am – Welcome, coffee & and networking
11.00 am –11.30 am - Historic tour of grounds
11.30 am - 12.15 pm - Talk by Roy Sheppard on 'Meet, Greet and Prosper'
12.15 pm – 13.15 pm - Portrait Photography with Nigel Williams and an
Archery Session with Mark Fanning of ACF Team Building
13.15 pm - 2.00 pm - Lunch courtesy of Thornbury Castle.
2.15 pm - Coffees and surprise activity (weather permitting)
If you would like to discuss this type of joint marketing approach, please
do get in touch.
John Creative Producer - Production People 0333 121 5123
Do not allow CEO’s/MDs to deliver the same old boring conference/event….this is the opportunity to
inspire, inform, engage, listen and motivate.
Having attended numerous events over the years I am mindful of the need to ensure a good risk
assessment has been undertaken. I have been a guest at events where table decorations have
ignited, sets have fallen on lighting and once a Plasma screen dropped from the heavens. Also a
client in a break out room had the idea of placing a card in front of the lens - only the projector and
table caught fire!
You only ever get that one chance to get it right, the nature of a live event! So work with an
experienced team that you can fully trust.
Avoid the mistake of not being prepared for the unexpected, have very good communications in
place and anticipate the need for plan b, c…..
Don’t trust a venue floor plan if you’re planning on having a floor to ceiling set put in. On medium
to large events a technical site recce is a must. Some would argue a site visit is a must for any size
of event. It’s not just a question of fitting the set in the room the access to the room needs to be
thoroughly checked to ensure the set can fit. Being a belt and braces person I tend to want to do a
technical recce and a walk through for every size of event.
Presentations in 4:3 or 16:9 – Picture the scene, its 10 minutes before the conference starts, the
presentation show slides are all ordered. A speaker turns up with a memory stick with his
presentation on – hands it to the data tech to load.
Don’t overload PowerPoint with lots and lots of embedded videos – if you want to show a lot of
videos these should be loaded onto a separate dedicated device.
When creating your PowerPoint slides try not to over complicate the slides. A good rule to stick to is
to ensure your text can be read at the back of the room. Some people advocate avoiding
If your budget permits add a confidence monitor to the job spec. It’s not a massive expense and
will help stop your presenters from turning away from the audience all the time to look at the
Lighting and projection in the venue – is it up to spec? Are there blinds in the room to block out
some of the daylight?
Make sure that clear and measurable objectives for the event are agreed.
This list is not in priority order or attempts to be definitive…it is designed to be an aide memoire
and to act as a catalyst for other tips.
Some Event Mistakes that can become show
stoppers and ways to avoid them.
Best Meeting Event Icebreakers that you
Icebreakers Part 1
I went to a Bath & Bristol Marketing networking event, the meeting facilitator/host Rob Hook
announced that the meeting would be kicked off by an icebreaker. He suggested that we sat
next to someone we had never met before. At which point I thought this is going to be the boring
exchange of who are you, what do you do and compressed life story. The twist was that we
had to find out the most interesting thing we had done in our lives that we had in common.
My initial reaction was, so what is the most interesting thing that I have done in my life? With my
brain going into shut down, the day was saved by my new unknown colleague telling me that he
had been driving along in a car in Uganda when a family member threw him out of the car.
Makes you want to know why….
It made me think of an incident that happened when I was a young boy. I was on a beach and
was accidentally shot in the head by my father. So we both had a story of personal accident in
common and had survived to tell the tale.
It also made me think that it would be a good idea to get a collection of the best icebreakers
that people have experienced at meetings or conferences. This collection could help inspire
others to get their meetings off to a great start. Well done Rob, just think how many meetings
could be transformed. This could be part of our 2016-17 ‘Ban Boring Conferences/Events
and Meetings Campaign’.
Ice breakers Part 2
(part of our Ban Boring Conferences, Events and Meetings – Campaign 2016-17)
Ice breaker to kick off a small meeting, each person introduces them-selves and lists the
names of each person who had previously given their name. I have participated in this with up
to 40 people, numbers 38, 39, 40 do get concerned that they will recall everyone’s names. But
rather surprisingly it seemed to work well!
Icebreaker which works well as a team builder for groups of 10 – 20: This requires a supply of
drinking straws and builders bricks. The task given to each group is to build the tallest structure
and to also build at the same time the strongest structure that can support the maximum
number of bricks. A good approach is to find out if you have any engineers in your team and
ideally split the team in two, with one engineer in each group.
Icebreaker/opener for large conference/event: Ask the delegates to stand, close their eyes
and rotate them-selves in a circular direction clock wise and anti-clock wise, enough times to
disorientate them but not make people dizzy. Then ask the audience whilst keeping their eyes
closed to stop turning round and to point their arm in the direction of north. On opening their
eyes, there should be a sea of arms pointing in all the directions of the compass. It can be used
as a link to thinking about the direction that the organisation is going in.
John Dalgarno - At a recent workshop I used the idea of making the paper aeroplane.
Delegates wrote on the plane, their name and what they wanted to be when they were growing
up. The group was divided into two and launched the planes, a friendly competition to see
which one flew the best. Then people picked up someone else's plane and read out the words
on it. Worked well!
Mark Stonham – At a couple of networking meetings I’ve been to the attendees were separated
into 4 personality types – DISC types. Could be any other 4 dimensions, and useful if the
presenter wants to address particular types – management, sales, fee earners, support staff etc.
It gets people moving about and chatting. This might be good after lunch to shake things up for
the afternoon session.
Elaine Brown – Here are a couple of suggestions. I’ve used ice breakers a good deal over my
many years at In Any Event UK the most elaborate involved using a boxing ring to introduce
members of staff. Talking whilst jumping up and down was quite a challenge for some. Produce
an A4 list of things people have done. For example I ran in the London Marathon in 2003, or my
first job was as an ice cream sales man. People then have to guess who the person is, give
everyone a sheet they then have to go round the room and ask questions to find out whose
name to put beside each item.
Airplanes - Ask everyone to write on a piece of A4 something nice they have done for someone
– friend, customer etc. they write their name on the paper and then fold it into a paper airplane
which they fly into the centre of the room. Each person then picks up a plane and reads it out.
Pull questions out of a hat Write some of the following on pieces of paper and put into a hat.
Each person has to pull one out and answer it. Things to include are: What was the first poster
you put up in your bedroom? When was the last time you did something for the first time?
What’s the most expensive thing you’ve ever found? What’s the best piece of advice you’ve
ever been given?
Brett Sadler -I went to an IoD event once at Bath Uni. It was a talk on wellness, and the
speaker got people to massage the shoulders of the person next to them. Not one for the faint
Katy Noakes -My particular favourite is to turn to the person next to you. You give each other
two true facts and flight of fantasy about yourself. You then introduce the other person to the
larger group, saying which do you think was the lie? Generally prompts lots of ‘Wow, you did
Anne Miller – Icebreakers are great for generating energy and getting people into a much more
receptive mood. Depending on numbers and space, if you can get people moving around its
even more effective. Rob’s icebreaker finding out something you have in common can be
repeated as many times as you can fit into a number of minutes i.e. increase the pace. Good
topic, thanks for initiating!
Dave Rowan – Live Events Producer made the following suggestion: One Word Ice Breaker.
Tell newly formed groups that their assignment is to think for a minute and then to share with
their group the one word that describes what they think about their current culture. These can
then be shared with the other groups.
Blake Mintz – Photo booths are definitely on the return and connect with all generations. The
idea I liked the most and have seen used effectively was to have an idea DJ – this broke the
monotony of a bland general session and added welcome humour. I believe one of the best
ways to get attendees engaged and to interact is take them out of their comfort zone. Whether
this means unconventional locations, the use of social mediums as part of a rally course
(treasure hunt), or matching exercises. Don’t be afraid to try something different, the worst thing
that can happen is you discover what doesn’t work – but it may stimulate ideas about what can
Andy O’Callaghan – MD of Teambuilding Solutions suggested: A great one that makes any
conference start with a ‘bang’ is a balloon drop. Inside each balloon is the name and job
function and a piece of information as a conversation piece (if small sessions, just 3 interesting
facts from a person is sufficient. Delegates get to bat the balloons around for a minute before
the countdown begins to pop the balloons! The info is then retrieved and you have to find the
person whose details you have – very noisy, chaotic, but a great way to break the ice as a lot of
interactions occur before you find the right person usually!
Kevin Nelson – Icebreakers At Events Perhaps you could have an employee/department
scavenger hunt and have attendees seek out fellow attendees by sorting out what department
they work in and what their department has done that merits praise. You can have colour coded
name tags so that the departments are recognized visually as well.
David Bardell - More specific to creative brainstorms (although the problem is still making sure
that everyone feels equally able to contribute without fear), I have been doing this lately: Give
everyone a paper and pencil and get them to draw someone in the room; drawing skills do not
matter, the worse you are the better. Then you take it in turns to hold up your drawing and
everyone has to vote on who they think it is. Lots of laughs, a memory-bridge to names, and
gets people more willing to contribute.
So please post any others you have in comments and share them with colleagues.
You can follow us and find about future free industry events for anyone involved in
conferences/events that we will be co-hosting with interesting venues in the South West.
John Dalgarno – Creative Producer
Production People 07930 256 059
10 ‘Scientifically’ proven reasons for choosing
They might be reasons but I think this company is expressing their values in an interesting and fun
We’re experts in our field
We’re good listeners
We speak your language
We’re part of your team
We take it personally
We thrive on pressure
We’ll make you look good
We keep it simple
We are nit-picking perfectionists (you say this and we see it as a compliment)
We’ll never let you down
These work for me and linked to cartoons makes the values more fun. This aligns with values that
our company Production People has and that we see as very important. It shows that this is a
company that listens to its clients and in a very demanding field they have a passion to get it right.
Production People’s Vision:
To provide exceptional service to our clients and to exceed their expectations every time by
delivering creative flair and technical ingenuity.
· To listen to our clients’ requirements and work as an extension of their team
· To provide an expert service and always do what we promise
· To provide this service to an agreed specification, on-time and on- budget
· To constantly strive to improve our service and always look at smarter ways to do things using
cutting-edge, (yet reliable) technology
· To keep everything simple for the client (even though we know how complicated things can be!)
· To look after our planet by working in a sustainable and ethical manner
Call Tom Dalgarno 0333 121 5123