Cranmore Park Blog
Cranmore Park Blog
Sending employees to a conference
This might not be the ideal solution; however it is much better than not sending anyone at all. Your company will still gain valuable contacts and business expertise, both of which will be incredibly useful. Unfortunately, it does mean a bit more work for you.
If you want to get the most out of the conference you are sending people to, you will need to set up meetings before and afterwards, and perform a solid amount of supplementary work. This can be difficult, but the rewards if you do it well are more than worth it as it can give your business a real boost!
Budgeting for your next trade show
Trade shows are a great way to gain new customers and increase awareness of your brand. However, like anything in the business world, they cost money. You will have to pay out for a number of different things in the course of a show or exhibition, which can end up putting people off going to them.
However, the investment is more than worth it. The money you put into the exhibition will end up leading to more people becoming aware of your company and interested in your products and services. But that doesn't mean you can just splash out and lose track of what you're spending.
Any questions? Preparing for audience queries at a conference
Almost every presentation ends the same way: the presenter gives their conclusion, turns to the audience and says: "Any questions?" Then, they respond to the queries the audience throws their way. This increases the value of the session, as it means anything people are unsure about can be clarified and expanded on.
However, if you are the one presenting then this puts a lot of pressure on you. It might seem like the onus is on other people to come up with good questions, but actually it is all about how you answer them.
How to choose sessions at a conference
The key is to pick your sessions carefully. You can't just go to whatever you feel like, choosing sessions at random, unless you want to have a fruitless conference. Instead, you should carefully select the seminars you want to attend based on how much you will get out of them.
Sometimes, this might involve doing a bit of research. For example, look up the people taking each session. They might just be people who know a bit about the topic they're talking about, or they might be published authors and experts in the field. Often this information will be included in the agenda.
Calling contacts after a conference
When you get back from your next conference, you will almost certainly be doing so with a bundle of business cards in hand. If you have organised yourself properly, these will already be sorted and you will have a plan of action for each contact. However, you will still need to make that all-important follow-up call for them all!
If calling people isn't really your thing, then sorry! You are going to have to be on the phone a lot in the days - or even weeks - following a conference. However, the payoff is definitely worth it. Good follow-up work leads to a whole range of benefits for your business, so don't neglect it!
Training should be continuous, not 'one and done'
Training your workforce is something that most businesses understand is a necessity. However, many view it as a chore - something that takes employees away from their daily tasks, and therefore impedes productivity. This view has led to many companies seeing the process as a one-off incident that can then be forgotten about.
However, simply training your workers in an aspect of the business once and then leaving it is foolish. The rapidly changing nature of most workplace skills means that if you don't keep everyone up-to-date on the latest developments, your business could become bloated and inefficient, falling behind its competitors.
Employers and workers disagree over training provision
Every business is aware of the importance of training and continuous professional development, but the extent to which this is carried out appears to differ greatly when the perspectives of both companies and their workers are taken into account.
That is the key finding following two reports published by the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (NIACE) on workplace learning, one of which adopted the point of view of employers, and another which questioned their staff.
How off-site training can benefit your organisation
Why exactly would your organisation choose to run training sessions away from your own business premises? This approach adds to costs, as you have to hire a venue - such as specialist meeting rooms or conference facilities - and transport your people to the alternative location. It also increases the amount of time employees spend away from their desks, which can lead to reduced productivity and output on the day.
From a short-term cost perspective, there seems to be a strong case for running training sessions on-site - essentially getting them done without incurring additional costs and then allowing employees to get back on with their work. But if things were so simple, why is it that so many organisations prioritise the provision of off-site training for their people? Why do these companies choose to use third-party facilities in a different location?
How to guide a discussion
Whether you are meeting with clients, colleagues or members of your board, you will want to make sure that you have a good discussion that reaches a solid conclusion. However, this is often easier said than done. Without a skilled guiding hand to keep the conversation on the right track, you can end up having an unproductive time.
If you are responsible in any way for chairing or leading a meeting, you are going to need to make sure it remains on-topic for the duration. Otherwise you are going to struggle to talk about any pressing issues you have. However, people have a tendency to get distracted and overcomplicate conversations.
SME recruitment on the rise
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have recorded the highest hiring growth since 1998, according to new findings.
Research published by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) revealed that 34 per cent of those polled increased their headcount in the three months leading up to July.
Business meetings: Presentations vs. conversations
One of the keys to staging successful meetings which offer maximum value to your organisation can be knowing which approach to adopt.
According to Nancy Duarte, author of the HBR Guide to Persuasive Presentations, different meetings require a different strategy from the outset.
Seek help from others when planning a conference
If you're planning a conference for the first time, you might not realise what a big job you've undertaken. Even if it's going to be a relatively manageable event in terms of numbers on the day, or over the period of the event, there's still an awful lot of preparation to be done in advance.
You want to make the best possible impression with everyone who attends, in order to build a strong reputation which will stand you and your organisation in good stead in the future. In order to achieve this, you've got to hire great facilities, organise high-quality events, book the right speakers and ensure everyone's needs are met.
Plan your trade shows diary well in advance
How far ahead can you plan your business diary? The one thing you should always expect in business is the unexpected - circumstances, scenarios and events which force you to change course at short notice.
While you can never be sure exactly where you'll be at any given point, or which tasks will be your most immediate priority, it is vitally important to plan ahead as far as possible. As a business leader, your year needs a degree of structure - week by week, month by month. This gives you the best possible opportunity of achieving both short and long term goals.
Know your training goals before you start
Before your organisation embarks upon any programme of employee training, it is important that you identify its precise needs. Why exactly are you investing in learning and development exercises for your employees?
When there are specific goals in place, it provides a clear focus for the training. Sessions can be constructed in such a way that targets key aspects of employees' knowledge or understanding, and seeks to improve upon it.
Flexible approach needed to engage with consumers
If you're advertising at a trade show or exhibition, you may come across many different types of customer - or potential customer - over the course of the day.
What works for one individual may not for another, meaning your organisation needs to adopt a flexible approach to consumer engagement.
Recording conference sessions
Modern technology means we no longer have to sit through hour upon hour of seminars and lectures at a conference, doggedly taking notes in the hope that you will retain as much information as possible. You can still do this if you want, of course, but you might find that you struggle to remember what all your notes mean.
Instead, it might be better to record things wherever possible. This has long been a practice at conferences, with people asking friends to take dictaphones into sessions they can't make themselves so they don't miss out on anything. However, it might be a good idea to record the sessions you attend as well.