Following the success of Lara Morgan’s keynote speech at Cvent CONNECT Europe 2019, I caught up with Lara to thank her and find out how she found the event. True to her style, she was keen to express how much she merely wanted people to take something useful away from her talk. Completely humble about her super-powered speaker abilities, she was less about the platitudes and a lot more about maximising the experience for attendees both during and after the event.
She spoke freely about having an impact – leaving a lasting impression – and advocated on behalf of audience members using or milking the information to their advantage. In doing so, they stand every chance of achieving their goals, whether business-driven, thriving in the hospitality or events industry or simply to do better at ‘winning’ life.
Let’s Help You Stay Inspired
Too many times speakers come, blurt and leave, and I know that many [attendees] do not then apply the learnings.
And she is right. This is a common problem we face in the industry. Attendees get swept up in the emotion of the day, then fail to utilise the learnings back at the office. Not because they don’t want to but because it can be challenging to take notes and remain fully immersed in the event experience. Also, your notes tend to be less emotional than you were at the time of the event.
Once the event ends, you could find yourself saying “where did I put those notes?” Or maybe you’ve got the notes, but the notes don’t do a good enough job of conveying why you liked to talk in the first place or don’t inspire you enough to act. This often results in event attendees struggling to justify their reasons for attending events.
This is something of which Lara is all too aware. As a result, she was kind enough to send across a series of reminders to help those who attended remember what motivated them on the day and to also help those that missed the talk be inspired. So now I’ll hand over to Lara. Enjoy!
A Note of Well-Wishing Reminders from Lara Morgan
You are expressive. You are energetic. You enjoy a fast pace. You may also be a busy bee (blue bottomed fly) but are you a smart one? Just because you can manage a busy schedule with many activities, are you doing what you love and executing to the best of your ability? I hope these few business reminders and well-intentioned nudges from my talk at Cvent CONNECT Europe that happened less than 2 months ago (feels like forever) allow you to reflect on gaining a return on your invested time.
- You can have it all if you want it but be prepared for hard work, sacrifice and don’t bother if you don’t get your head around the financials.
- You may have a good business, but is it growing? Standing still is not an option. When all things are equal, speed matters.
- You need to employ the best people, who do the best job and offer you consistency, loyalty and hard work in return for your efforts in making them grow too. Note to this point: be flexible and be a respectful employer who puts people at the heart of your business. Great leadership is by example.
- Borrow early on the non-rainy days when everything is going right, not when you need money most. When you think you are on top, question yourself constantly to be better still. Satisfied with the status quo means some “other,” may be winning the race.
- Be humble, admit when you are wrong and don’t know something, or indeed, if you are just not interested if it doesn’t float your boat pass it on to an expert. Surround yourself with experts who will help your business grow – people – role definition – rewards aligned to roles – what gets measured gets done.
- In order to grow, you will find you will make huge sacrifices both personally and professionally. But ultimately it does not mean you have to “Lose Out” or “Lose It.” YOUR behaviour leads others. Consistency, fairness and precedent matter. No favourites.
- Learn to let go. Allow those people you have employed to do the job to do it. Step back, step away and trust and empower. Meanwhile set a clear vision, communicate it repeatedly and relentlessly. In return, these people will treat your company and money like their own and will serve you well.
- Despite ups and downs you can get there and succeed. I believe today assets like weaving through sustainability care, relentless pursuit of innovations and the personal and authentic touch matter.
- Be infectious in the pride and the service proposition you offer and sell for value – not for discount. Selling services at lowest-price does not allow for brilliance. Are you valuing the expertise, experience, built-in security, credibility, reputation you sweat to achieve?
- Today more than ever put digital at the heart of your business please
A Little Extra Encouragement
Enterprise is not for the faint-hearted and cannot be achieved without a team mindset and approach. You need to set targets and “sell stuff” all the time. Everyone is in sales whether this is in their job title or not. If you’re not selling a product or service you’re generally selling an idea or even selling the value of your internal service.
Enterprise is hard, but if it is not also fun at some points then look to change something. It should be fun too. Make mistakes and learn quickly from them. Listen to your gut!
This approach has helped me not only grow my businesses, my relationships, professional and personal but also has improved my own health and wellbeing. You cannot possibly work as we do without an outlet for all the frustration, anger, and downright ambition, balanced with the associated deep joy when we finally reap the benefits
If you Don’t Ask you Don’t Get
We must look after our well-being. My belief that it starts with you and your determination, but not taking in some kind of exercise, not looking after our physical and mental state is not a sensible, secure way forward. You need to find ways to factor ‘you’ into your planning and maybe stop thinking you can’t take any time to look after yourself. If you don’t let the people around you know what you need, you’ll never know what is truly possible.
So, in the vein of being direct, here are some tips from me and yes, a shameless plug for a few of my own products:
- Too old and stiff, yoga is the answer –stretch well to revive and thrive (Yogi-Bare).
- Too disorganised try KitBrix. Carting stuff around that needs care and is easily identifiable with a checklist.
- Resetting for the brilliance of how you apply learning? Breathe well. Build better focus, gift and thank the brilliance of your teams. Try the super benefits of taking a moment to relish the benefits of Scentered aromatherapy (Scentered.com). Sleep well and de-stress. Brilliant corporate gifts and perfect for a daily ritual.
- Failing that, take off and spend a weekend at a luxury spa! Hopefully using Global Amenities new eco range of liquids and accessories and travel, of course, using Gate8 to avoid baggage check-in
- And if you are simply slogging your guts out try and find a few minutes in nature to enjoy all that life offers, – no excuses…too cold? Try Dryrobe
IN ALL cases apply the Lara20 code on the purchases and you will benefit from a 20% discount one-off code.
A Breath of Fresh Air for Events Professionals
In all seriousness, I am being a little flippant, but without looking after ourselves we cannot look after our families, our businesses and all the accompanying parts of our lives that make them worthwhile.
Get outdoors, walk, run swim, dance, bike, anything just anything that helps clear the cobwebs, refocus your mind and raise your endorphin levels,
By using exercise and wellbeing in your daily regime, you not only grow as a person but it enables you to be well enough, strong enough to take on the rigours of a working day, enabling you to grow your team and essentially your business. It is all connected and self-serving
Wellbeing things to try
- Game of rounders in a local park with the team
- Like Cvent Europe, you could offer a massage or relaxation sessions at lunchtime or once a month
- Make it clear it is always family first – time for family is very important,
- Having a laugh with your team is so important. It shows them you are human and accessible
- Ad hoc time out of the office. If time and tasks allow then POETS (P!$$ Off Early Tomorrow’s Saturday. An extra hour on a Friday Maybe? Doesn’t cost much but to your employees…Priceless!
little things that do not necessarily cost a lot, but mean the world and will return ten-fold in well-being and appreciation and in return more hard work and loyalty to get your company to where you need to be
Best of luck,
LARA MORGAN – FOUNDER AND FORMER CEO OF PACIFIC DIRECT GROUP LTD
Lara Morgan is best known for growing Pacific Direct, from start‐up to successful exit, 23 years later. She now invests her time in fast-growth companies and represents UKTI as an Export Ambassador, having previously exported to 110 countries.
Her vast experience and business knowledge include specialisms in licensing luxury brands, manufacturing toiletries and selling to the hospitality environment through complex global distribution chains. She’s also an expert in leadership and developing talent having learnt through her own experiences of employing 500 employees in an open fast growth sales culture.