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Cranmore Park Blog

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.

Employers are to be provided with assistance in recruiting prospective staff with the highest value skills, in an effort to ensure companies are taking on the most suitable candidates from the outset.

The government has revealed that the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) is set to alter the way that the outcomes of education and skills for adult learners are measured, in a bid to enable employers and training providers alike to focus more closely on giving students the skills they need in order to land new jobs and progress.

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?

Undergraduate students are, in many ways, the future of most businesses. The young people studying now will be the people employed in entry-level positions in a few years, while probably also being the people moving up the corporate ladder after that. As such, it is important for companies not to disregard this important demographic.

Students are almost a commodity at the moment. When people graduate each summer, companies will end up competing for the best and brightest who will add significant value to a business. If you have not made any effort to court these potential employees, they will go to your competitors instead.

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.

The Engineering Development Trust (EDT) has praised Cranmore Park after the nationwide education charity successfully held its latest Midlands event at the venue.

The EDT, which is in its 30th year of operation, provides STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) enrichment activities for young people across the UK, and as such needs to hold a variety of events throughout the calendar year.

If you're exhibiting at a trade show, you may well speak to hundreds of different people on any single day. They may all be interesting individuals, people who are interested in doing business with you in the future, but the reality is you can't get to know everybody properly. If you get decent footfall to your stand or booth, there simply isn't the time to have extended conversations with everyone who expresses an interest in your offering.

The fact is that every person who approaches you - or you approach - could be the next potential customer. It won't necessarily be the person you spend 30 minutes talking too, convincing them about the benefits of your products and services. Because however hard you try to make a sale, they still have the right to leave at any point without buying.

If you're running a small business, you'll know all about the importance of having a unique selling proposition (USP). In order to attract customers and keep them out of the clutches of your rivals, you need to offer something a little bit different - a product, service or characteristic that sets you apart from your rivals.

If all you do is sell ordinary goods, at ordinary prices, in a non-descript location, how can you expect to build up a really successful business? In order to kick on, drive revenues and ensure more repeat custom, you need to be unique. Your USP is what grabs people's attention and then encourages them to keep coming back - you've got to have one.

Leadership development is now the number one priority for HR professionals and senior leaders in the UK, according to a new report which suggests that business cycles and training cycles must be aligned for maximum effectiveness.

In a Right Management study entitled 'Talent Management: Accelerating Business Performance' more than than 2,200 HR professionals and SME owners were polled, with 46 per cent identifying leadership development as the top priority for 2014, rising to 54 per cent in the UK.

Professional people can spend hour after hour in business meetings without ever settling on a particular course of action.

Decisions can get deferred to further meetings, which will be scheduled in for a future point in time, or issues will simply be brushed under the carpet.

In all the frantic organisation that leads up to a trade show, it’s easy to overlook how you plan to engage with customers once your meticulously planned booth is up and running.

At the most basic level, everyone intends to be friendly and enthusiastic, but there are a few techniques that can help leave potential customers with the best possible impression of you and your brand.

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.

Now that the summer is fast approaching, offices up and down the UK will be facing the same challenge: keeping the workforce cool and comfortable.

Hot, stuffy working environments are not only counterproductive, but they can also have a negative effect on an employee’s health and wellbeing.

Every business owner knows that keeping your employees happy with their careers is key to ensuring you have the best people working for you at all times. If you have an unmotivated workforce full of people who are convinced they are stuck in a dead-end job, you will soon end up losing them.

This is rarely a good thing. A high staff turnover looks bad for your company, discouraging the most talented people from applying for a job there. When you employ somebody with the potential to have a huge positive effect on your firm, you want to ensure they stick around rather than jetting off to another business.

If you're running a new start-up business and only have a limited marketing budget to work with, is it a realistic prospect to advertise at trade shows and exhibitions?

There are costs involved with this form of promotional activity, as you'll have to pay for your booth, travel to and from the venue, accommodation and any staffing costs.

So you've travelled a few hours to get to a trade show, having spent time planning meticulously for the event in advance. You've arrived in good time to set your stand up perfectly, and made a big effort to look your best. Everything is in place and you're all set for a great day.

Somewhere on the trade show floor will be the high-value customer you're looking for, and if you're lucky, there may even be a few of them. It's just a case of drawing people into your stand or booth and identifying the big leads you may be able to convert.