There was a man walking through the woods on a fresh warm summer's day. The warm sun dappled his skin and the sweet scent of cedar and foliage filled his nostrils on this fine morning. Life was great. He came to a clearing and saw a man in overalls frantically sawing a huge tree trunk. His face was red, his body dripping with sweat as he relentlessly sawed, without pausing to look around or take in any of his surroundings. The man, who had chanced upon him, couldn't help notice that his saw was almost completely blunt, yet still he persisted. Not wanting to let this go, the man who had chanced upon the lumberjack shouted "Excuse me, Sir! I couldn't help noticing that your saw is hugely inefficient and not nearly as sharp as it could be! If you stop for a few minutes, I can help you". Feeling happy that he was able to give some crucial advice and be of assistance, the man was shocked when the lumberjack turned his head, still sawing and shouted back " Stop! You think I can STOP!? I don't have TIME to stop. If I do I'll get behind and won't be able to feed my family!"
This man was a dedicated, hard working, well-meaning busy fool.
"There just aren't enough hours in the day!". How often have we muttered that phrase to ourselves? Well, recent research demonstrates that the are, actually. In fact, it turns out that everybody in the world has exactly the same number of hours each day in which to do stuff, whether they're Richard Branson, Will Broome or anyone else in between!
In effect, 20% of your focus will result in 80% of your productivity and success, so taking a strategic approach has been the focus of my week. Our new londonlaunch.com site is all about cool stuff in events. In fact, we might even make that our new strap-line because its what we're discovering week in week out. It's exactly what it says on our tin. There's a a big message to spread here as we genuinely believe that after years of hands on experience and research, we have the best events portal in the world (by far) - and we're actually, primarily on the strength of our end user interaction, the collective voice of the events industry. Whether its via interactive ever-evolving profiles created by our venue and supplier members, real-time reviews (we're the only site that offers that for the events sector), Be Inspired editorial stories, News or even our hugely popular events calendar, its all there to help you discover cool stuff for your events!
Talking about discovery, we launched an awesome new venue earlier this week in north London. Shillibeer's Bar & Grill is a big brash bustling American style bar in an amazing warehouse style factory-scape location. Combining cobbled courtyards, giant tram sheds a newly refurbished bar (with one of the most spectacular back-bars in London) and even a world famous arts theatre (The Pleasance), Shillibeer's crashed in on the London events scene with a 300 strong corporate guest list, despite the searing 32 degree heat! In fact, with my (sometimes misguided!) penchant for dressing up as a firm fixture on our monthly events agenda, my desire to become 'George Shillibeer', the inventor of the modern day bus (Omnibus back in 1826) really was a blisteringly memorable experience (for me!) as it consisted of thick, heavy woollen trousers, about four layers, a large stock tied round my neck and a top hat to make the Cat in the Hat's effort look inadequate! It would have been hot even without the false moustache (complete with glue trickling down my upper lip!).
Following my hot Victorian experience, I found myself the following day within a Victorian Masterpiece (again!). One of Augustus Pugin's masterpieces (the other being Alton Towers, no less!) the House Of Lords is becoming a familiar meeting place. I'm helping the committee with The Chinese Dream Ball which is the brainchild of Lord Wei, the House of Lords' youngest and possibly most forward thinking peer. During this week's meeting things moved on enormously, mainly due to the phenomenal committee he's put together. With huge international brands in line to sponsor and benefit from this unique concept (bringing/showcasing the best of China and Chinese culture to the UK and vice versa), as well as being a giant leap towards securing what is possibly London's most exciting, flexible and dynamic large scale event spaces, we're almost in a position to reveal all!
Talking of exciting event spaces, you can't (in this weather at least) beat an English country garden! Having gone off on one about rooftop gardens and terraces last week, I was honoured to be invited to a private drinks reception at the home of the Chairman of one of the UK's leading charities. After getting completely lost in Richmond, completely misunderstanding the very specific directions (and to be fair, my satnav also misunderstood the postcode somehow!) I found myself in a forest clearing, not knowing which direction to go in. After charging off in the wrong direction twice, I did manage to find the garden party and was only an hour late! Needless to say, the place was stunning. A glorious country garden, with sweeping lawns, terraces and a beautiful conservatory leading to an impressive 'country pile'. But this was 20 minutes from our Fulham office, in traffic, Awesome. You know that thing I said about 80/20 and not being a busy fool. We'll this guy clearly isn't one!
And so to lunch. This week I attended a fascinating discussion about social media and entertainment as a guest of Boisdale Entertainment, the newest (yet the Directors have 100 years experience between them!) entertainment agency on the scene. The ten or so guests consisted of the global head of sponsorship from Visa (their incredibly successful sponsorship strategy is summed up in one word - Sport), the manager of the Kaiser Chiefs, the mastermind behind 'The Audience' (the very clever concept where people get cheap theatre/music tickets in return for reviews), the lady responsible for promoting Mayfair and, in particular, Bond Street, amongst other fascinating thought leaders. Oh, and once again (this is a recurring theme), me!
So this week is all about strategic thinking, prioritising and making sure we focus on what's urgent and important (it's amazing how many things that we choose to do first, just aren't).
As an inspirational author once said, "Eat that Frog!" (meaning do the difficult, contentious stuff first and get that monkey off your back!). It works.