So, with feet barely on the ground, July has been a month of big change in my world. After 7 months on this journey, a review on my life balance was needed. During WEC this year, I participated in the Dear World Storytelling and my story was around the words, “Be the change you want to be”
My living/home circumstances were simply not working in my favour and I found myself coming back after all these wonderful Emcee jobs and being really unsettled and uncomfortable. 2 things you don’t want in this line (or any) of work. Home needs to be your sanctuary, your place of rest, rejuvenation and re-aligning. I need a workplace at home that enables me to connect with my clients and research new meeting design concepts. And socialize!
I have moved into a wonderful new apartment, with an elevator (no carrying heavy suitcases across a footbridge again!) sound proofed windows, just 20 minutes from the airport and all the creature comforts I need. I have moved to a beautiful town called Oxted, where I’ve already been welcomed into the local tennis club, I’ve joined the women in business book club and have sampled the local cocktail and restaurant, Cattle and Cocktail who have made me feel super welcome. I am finding my life balance and I am excited about this. Come and visit next time you are in the area!
Exposure versus Expenses
This seemingly endless debate continues and appears more so in the events industry than any other sector. Why do we not see value in content and facilitation?
I have been asked on several occasions whether I would like to moderate an event for “exposure” or “profile” and sadly, until exposures pay the monthly rent, this is impossible for me to do.
I have found it difficult in the past to say no, but it would be an injustice to those clients who are paying for professional services to discover the same service is being given to others for free.
Anybody who is attending an event has the opportunity for exposure or profile raising. How do you think the keynote gets work? Why is networking such an integral part of meetings and events? For people and organisations to gain exposure and raise their profiles. So why should the moderator be the only one in the room not being paid to be there?
With clients who might be struggling with a budget, my suggestion is to work on a proposal that might be mutually beneficial. Is there something that can be offered to offset part of the fee? I encourage you to have those conversations as I have had clients who have had their “free” moderators let them down due, I would assume, because they have been offered paid work. I’m thrilled that my client relationships have been positive and if this has been discussed, we’ve worked to a mutually viable agreement.
No one should be put in this position professionally. If we want to professionalise this industry, our content and our meetings, please put in a budget for your professional speakers and moderators.
I’d love to know your thoughts and opinions on this so please do get in touch.
Video killed the radio star?
But hopefully helps the MC build her career! I was lucky enough to be able to record an elevator pitch video courtesy of the brilliant Soliman Productions at WEC this year. I’m still trying to build a show reel, which is proving harder than I thought (any ideas welcome below) and I hope this gives an insight into who I am, what I do and why I do it. Go and check it out on the website and please give me your feedback!
Meeting with the Prime Minister. No, not the “Boris” one, but Theresa May during her last week in the role. It was a privilege to work with the department of international trade and be chosen as the MC for India Day 2019.
Working a high profile, government conference was really interesting. I wasn’t sure that I would be the right fit (imposter syndrome strikes again) as I’m often perceived as the energetic, non-serious, crazy one. But I am a professional moderator and work to my client’s brief, and this was a high-profile event for the UK Government that went extremely well, according to the social media and client feedback. I enjoyed learning about the protocol, working with the Lord Mayor of London and thanking the Prime Minister for joining the event. A day I made my parents proud!
Positive and honest feedback should be the ticket to great events.
One of the roles of the MC is to ensure maximise participant engagement, in whatever form that suits the client objectives. Therefore, if you see an agenda that isn’t flowing, could have better meeting design and you’ve developed the relationship with the client, please share your experience and feedback.
As a moderator, we get to work with all different sizes of groups, different cultures and different meeting formats. We see what works and most importantly what doesn’t. And this experience can prove super useful for a client. Recently, working on some exciting and innovative workshops with a client, we looked at the front end of the agenda which had executive presentations and panels. We had a great discussion and have suggested a new and engaging way that the executive can get their message across. It will present the executive in a more informal and human manner and this should then compliment the subsequent workshops and allow for greater engagement. If you haven’t picked up The Meeting Design Toolbox from the meeting design institute, then you should. It’s my bible!
So, what’s happening next in the world of Samme Allen, MC I hear you ask…😀
Exciting times ahead. I’m working with the great team at Conventa Crossover at the end of August. They are producing a really innovative conference in Ljubljana and I’m thrilled to be their moderator. It’s then beautiful Bruges and then (finally) the UK for some great events in September before the travel picks up again in October. So, time for tennis, planning, preparation, a book club or 2 and maybe a housewarming, want to join?!
How has your summer been? I’d love to hear where you are, what you are up to and any comments on my blog.