London can be a lonely place at times – especially if you are new to the city and you don’t know many people. But in order to benefit from what the city has to offer, live life to the full and take your career to the next level, it is important to build a strong social circle and maximise every opportunity that comes to you.
Let’s be honest here. It can take time to reap the benefits of living in such a large and fast moving city, but if you play your cards right, then your life will become an exciting and memorable adventure. After all, why go shopping in a boring home town when you can spend your weekend sipping fruity cocktails in Oxford Circus on a Saturday night? This article will point you in the right direction. If you do have any more questions then please feel free to Tweet us @MyEventBucket
Meetup.com is free and you can join groups based on your age group, interest areas and size of group, etc. So for example, if you happen to be into tennis and you want to find a local tennis group then you could search by postcode or popularity of group and join it. Once you have done so, the moderator will email you every time a new Tennis event is scheduled. Some groups are very popular and can have up to 150+ people attending. It doesn’t matter what your interests are, you will definitely be able to find it on Meetup.com.
2: Go To Social And Business Networking Events
We also recommend going to social and business networking events. Why? Because there are different events for people with different interests and it is far easier to make friends in an environment where everybody else wants the same thing. If you like a drink and a dance, you could try a cocktail social event which are very popular. It is just like going to a nightclub but the difference is, everybody is there to make friends.
If you run your own business or want to gain new clients then attending regular business networking events is a powerful tool as you will meet a variety of people from different industries and you may be able to seek advice, find your next supplier or even generate a lead. To give you an example, I met a freelance web designer from Germany last week and I have already sent her my specifications for our website upgrade to compliment our 2014 plans. Because I have met her and built a rapport and checked out her work, I trust her completely and know that she will do a good job. This is far more powerful than gumtree!
3: Organise Your Own Events
Organising your own social events is a great way to make friends and have some fun. If your work colleagues are a bit stubborn, try ringing around your local restaurants and asking what deals they have on. You can then email your work colleagues and say ‘hey guys – what are you doing next Thursday? I can get us all a 2-course meal for £_____. What do you think?‘ They will appreciate your enthusiasm! And it will be a great way to bring your work team closer together…
If you do have any more questions then please feel free to Tweet us @MyEventBucket
In 2012, roughly 400,000 new companies arrived on the UK market. It is estimated that out of those companies, 1 in 3 will fail in their first 3 years of trading. But why is this? Is there a secret formula for success? Some small-business owners back out early at the illusion of picking the wrong product and others believe that going in with the wrong investment is to blame. According to Zak Roby from SE1 Events, sticking to your initial price offering and company values is crucial in successful business development so offering a discount is a no-go; especially in your first year of trading.
Zak also believes that following strict business strategies, creating a strong set of company values and sticking to them is the key to his success. Offering an unquestionable solution to problems that consumers and companies face is how we establish a ‘competitive edge.’ But how can one do this? It would appear that creating a company vision and a set of core-values whilst sticking to them religiously is the way to a bright future in business.
So who is Zak Roby?
With over ten years of experience in successfully delivering large and sought-after events whilst establishing a strong reputation in the industry, Zak was head hunted by technical giants Stage Electrics and given the opportunity to head up their new sister-company SE1 Events which would focus more on the creative delivery side of their clients’ requests as opposed to the technical side which Stage Electrics already deal with.
From working on the biggest events all over the world from Iceland to Abu Dhabi to Morocco, Zak adds that ‘if companies want an event then they have come to the wrong place as we deliver an ‘experience.’ Based on the pictures from their website and their fast-growing reputation, I think it is fair to say that they have accomplished this.
Since taking on this new opportunity 18 months ago, the company has gone from strength to strength whilst rapidly dominating the events industry in the process with their unique ideas and delivery. But the big question is how? How does one achieve such a rapid growth in such a short space of time? Let’s find out.
‘We are a creative events agency born out of an idea from Stage Electrics; the biggest production house in the UK who have backed it financially to drive the business forward. We deal with corporate event management that is all about delivering a powerful message; the right message to the right audience. We know how to get that message across and we have the largest technical supply in the UK.’
‘Clients don’t care how it is done; they just want it to look great and sound great. They want an experience, and one saying I always use is that ‘a good event manager will deliver a good event, and a great event manager will deliver an experience,’ and that’s what we do. We want people to leave knowing why they went to that event in the first place.’
It appears that delivering a powerful message and delivering a memorable experience is what has put SE1 at the top of their field. Other companies can learn from this. Offering a solution to a problem without question is clearly the driving force behind their success amongst other mechanisms which are mentioned below.
‘The key to our success is two things:
1. A powerful relationship and strong guidance from stage electrics which has given us our edge.
2. We come up with a great idea and then we prove we can do it.’
Delivery is crucial here. Creating a concept, delivering that concept and keeping to your promise or ‘values’ as Zak would put it is how we define a good product. So how can small companies without the same financial backing learn from this? What can they do to create a powerful message and deliver a great concept?
Zak has two pieces of advice. ‘Firstly, decide what your brand is and stand by it. Do not give discounts. Do not offer deals because you’ll be known as a wheeler dealer which is a hard rut to get out of. As long as your brand values are right then you are on the right track.’
What are our values? What does this mean?
‘Remember, you do not run an events agency, you run a business. The end product is an event agency. You have to stick to business formulas. The event agency is simply an output of your understanding of strategy, profit and loss, commercial knowledge, and company direction.’
For those of you that haven’t considered brand values and company identity, then now is the time to do so. Being able to stick to proven business methods and being fully aware of what you are offering is what sets the distinction between a successful company and a non-successful company. But what about offering a solution to problems that people and companies face?
Theodore Levitt from Harvard once stated that ‘people don’t want to buy a quarter-inch drill. They want a quarter-inch hole,’ and Zak agrees. ‘People want the solution. They don’t care how to get there. They don’t care how many projectors they have or what sound system they use – they want their delegates to walk away feeling satisfied. It is all about the end result. You are nothing more than a facilitator of the end result.’
This is interesting because it proves the relevance of identifying a problem and delivering an unquestionable solution. This is what creates a good product. Instead of thinking of ‘what shall I design?’ Think ‘what is the problem, and will my product deliver a solution?’ That is how we define a competitive edge. And this could explain why the events industry has been so successful.
‘The events industry is booming. Anyone can set up an agency in their bedroom, but will they be here in 26 months? Mature clients want more than that. They want a delegate message. Large collapses of well-known brands have happened recently because companies weren’t innovative and this has weeded the market out.’
‘Apple were revolutionary a few years back but the iPhone 5 is not any more. Where’s the new revolution? People want something they can touch and it blows them away. When the iPod came out, people were stunned. They couldn’t believe it. That’s why their market value has dropped. Nobody would have thought that MySpace was going to die but it did, and Google+ is the next big thing.’
This is why it is so crucial that companies evolve and consistently revolutionise their market otherwise unexpected crashes can occur, and it is true. Nobody expected MySpace to go down and two years ago, people would have found it hard to believe that Facebook would experience such a rapid decline but this is the reality. Evolution is crucial, but some industries are bullet proof in the sense that humans will always have certain requirements.
‘The events industry has an incredible future because people will always need to communicate. Companies will always need to deliver a message to their consumers whether it is at an award ceremony or a product launch. The events industry will never fail. We are social beasts and this is why the entertainment industry will always remain consistent.’
This is true. People will always need to socialise and this is why networking events and social events will always remain consistent – because they fill a constant need that will never go away. We are social beings. Industries that have dipped can blame new technology and new solutions to the problems they use to solve.
So taking all of these great points in to consideration, what are Zak’s visions and dreams for the future of SE1 and how will he achieve them?
‘We want to continue to stand by our moral ethics and business integrity whilst building a bigger, stronger and aggressive business whilst always remembering why we have been a success in the first place, and when this happens, I’ll be a very happy man.’
But can you blame him? Hard work and the importance of business strategy is what gets us there. Creating some core values, sticking by them, and offering a solution to a problem is what companies need in order to succeed. Identifying key business practices and evolving over time is how we can make it. And this is what counts more than anything else.
Nowadays, industries across the globe are struggling to keep their heads above water in this tough economic climate, but it’s not all doom and gloom. The events industry is one of a minority of industries that have not only survived, but instead is booming. But why is this happening? The world is becoming a more sociable place. Many people love attending events; especially young professionals in cities as they often have the disposable income to do so.
It doesn’t take a genius to work out that for an industry to stay fresh, people need to stay innovative and on trend. Welcome social media. There’s far more to social media than sharing cat videos to your network. Social media has developed leaps and bounds. It has far exceeded its’ initial aim of connecting friends and family as now businesses are taking it on board and if they are not then they should be!
The cost/benefit analysis is ridiculous. It needs to be utilised! The events industry is naturally one of the most sociable industries therefore, what better way to capitalise this than social media. As social media has been growing exponentially (much like the events industry), more and more companies have subscribed. It goes far beyond Facebook and Twitter these days…
Each outlet naturally offers its own advantages and disadvantages. Whether it’s the arty style of Pinterest/Instagram or the more serious LinkedIn; a mixture of various social media platforms tends to be the key. In my opinion, Facebook and Twitter should be at the absolute forefront of your social media strategy, but why?
A lot depends on the age range of your target audience. There seems to be an upward trend in younger people leaving (or not joining Facebook) with the replacement of elderly people instead. The key point is that social media is constantly changing and it will continue to do so.
How Social Media Can Be Used To Promote Your Events:
Step 1: Facebook – Create a Facebook event and invite relevant target audience members. If it’s a big event, keep the event as public so that other members can see this. Encourage attendees to share the event page and what you have is free, effortless advertising for your events company.
Step 2: Twitter – Tweet links to the event. Twitter comes into its own a lot more here, as your tweet can reach large numbers of people; especially with effective hash-tagging. You could also be specific and use the search options on Twitter. For example, if you’re running a high-key event in Kensington then search ‘Kensington Nightlife’ and see what comes up. You can always comment on tweets linking the two, or follow relevant people who come up. This is great as it is targeted marketing which is quality over quantity.
Step 3: Instagram – Take selective pictures of your event and upload them onto your Instagram feed. With carefully thought out filters to optimise your picture quality you can produce some really impressive photographs. Again, the hash-tagging comes into play here. Use them well to bring more and more new followers to your Instagram feed.
Step 4: Twitter – Delegate one team member to ‘live tweet’ during the event. Set up a hash-tag for the night so your followers can tune in to the event as it unfolds; especially if they were unable to attend.
Step 5: WordPress – Write a blog about how the event went. Key themes of the night and a couple of interesting photos should do the trick. As a general rule, 500-800 words are the optimum amount of words to be informative, but not too long-winded. Another point to get across would be that WordPress is the biggest blogging site. Tumblr is often associated with teenage girls so steer clear if these are not your target audience.
Step 6: Facebook – Upload an album of the photographs you took at the event. This is a great way to grow the Facebook fan page due to the fact that you can alter the settings so that people have to ‘like’ the page to tag themselves or friends in the official photos. This is something I have noticed that nightclubs do very well at!
Step 7: YouTube – Take some cool videos of your event. Edit the video so that it’s nice and short. Upload it to your channel and drive traffic to your site – again with Twitter and Facebook.
NOTE: You’ll notice I haven’t really mentioned Google+ or LinkedIn as I’ll be a focusing on them for my future articles.
Your life will be made easy when your customers start doing some of the work for you. This happens when they upload their own photos or blog about their experiences of the events. Please note: These suggestions are my own personal thoughts so use them only for reference and ideas. I hope you found the above useful reading. Every event will be different and trial and error will naturally occur. Keep what works, leave what doesn’t. One last thing, social media is designed to be light and informative – remember to keep it short and sweet.
If someone were to ask you what the city of the love is, most humans and even machines (just type “City of Love” in Google Image and voilà) would say Paris. If you were to think about the palace of love, the Taj Mahal might spring to mind; built by the loving Shah Jahan for his favourite wife. You may mention a hundred different locations before you finally reach the crux. The real city of love is London and romance has been known to form in the most unique of places; including the tube!
We’re not joking. The ‘Transport for London’ should change its’ name to ‘Transport for Love.’ I’ve lived in Madrid, New York and Moscow and I’ve never had so much attention (buses are also included in here). People can often approach you when you least expect it, start a conversation and in 5 minutes they have your number! Being polite but picky is key otherwise you might just end up with half of London in your phone book.
I’ve often wondered whether men in London have a Masters in Love as they can flirt without giving the game away. Jokes aside; don’t feel bad if you are yet to experience this. It only happens to me a couple of times a year! What is true though, is that in this city you can find love in any corner and there will always be someone who finds you sexy and interesting. The coexistence of cultures and different races makes your black hair an ordinary thing in this country and quite often it can become a preferred characteristic for a hot blonde Irishman. Someone may love the shape of your eyes, the colour of your skin and your accent. There are new people coming and going every day who are looking for new experiences and adventures; and what better feeling is there than falling madly in love?
I arrived in London a year ago from Madrid. I made a pact with myself that I would avoid serious relationships. I stepped into the city on the 10th of July and on the 26th I started dating my current partner. Who would think? London is invaded by a spirit of perpetual youth and a sense of risk-less-ness. No matter what age you are or where you come from, here you have a beginning with people in the same situation than you in a huge city with thousands of activities and let’s be clear; lots of hormones.
When a good friend of mine visited me last May, she was shocked by the amount of men who tried to approach her in coffee shops which proves that you don’t even need to go to pubs or have a considerable night life. You could even find your soul mate on your way to work.