#WEB2014 – How do you inspire?

WEB20142,000 Women in European Business gathered at Deutsche Bank’s Conference on 4 June to hear “trailblazing individuals who leave their mark both on society and in business” answer this question. The evening was choc-a-block with lessons learned, inspiring stories and valuable advice…this blog post provides a roundup, despite my usual means of note-taking being restricted by these pre-event signs – Argh!Please switch off
When I shared this photo on Twitter, with “Hmm, that’s going to make it tricky to tweet” @TDRsalon immediately replied with “When will they learn!”. Regular readers may be surprised that it’s been three years since I voiced my frustrations to The IoD and they committed to change their announcements to “please leave your phones on”.

Frustrations aside, an excellent event, with fantastic speakers and panellists…

Interview with Joanna Lumley – conducted by Mishal Husain, BBC News
Joanna LumleyAbsolutely fabulous Smile Within seconds of stepping onto the stage, anyone who wasn’t previously in love with Lumley, fell. As Husain introduced Lumley there was the clunk of a bottle falling against some glasses somewhere in the audience. Lumley immediately responded with “steady darling!”. In amongst all the laughter and loveliness was an abundance of gems (Lumley knew Husain’s grandparents – handfuls of emeralds were involved):

  • My mother told me: there is nothing you can’t do, so do it; she also told me to stand up for the underdog and face the bullies.
  • If you’re going to take on something, don’t let them finish the sentence – just say that you’ll do it. Have no fear. You mustn’t give up. See it to the end.
  • Ab Fab took six weeks a year. £3,000 per episode, £18,000. People should know. They think you earn millions.
  • Don’t be afraid of getting old! It’s thrilling. I may be the only person in London who’s kissed every single James Bond – each was special in his own way…
  • Mistakes? Not listening… when caught, say: Go on!
  • In response to: Why a bridge in London, rather than, say money for Birmingham? – If you want to raise money for Birmingham, raise money for Birmingham. I’m raising money for the Garden Bridge. Do what you can. You can always do something.

For more, see Joanna Lumley’s lessons for the ladies of Deutsche Bank by Sarah Butcher at efinancialcareers.

Business panel discussion

Husain asked the panellists to share key lessons learned, skills required for leadership, and the most valuable piece of advice that they had received. From left to right (sorry, I didn’t take a shot including Luke Johnson):

Ann Cairns, President, International Markets for MasterCard

  • Women often apologise for doing their job – stop saying sorry.
  • You’re only as good as your boss thinks you are. For the best advice, ask your ex-boss. Once you stop working for them, they tell you everything!
  • Leaders must have a clear vision – they need to communicate it well, and give people the ability and responsibility to execute.

Emma Howard Boyd, Stewardship, Jupiter Asset Management

  • Seek out what’s important to you.
  • Giving back is essential for leadership.
  • When applying for a job, women want to meet all the criteria and not look at it as a challenge. Be very clear and precise when seeking a new role.

Daniela Barone Soares, CEO, Impetus – The Private Equity Foundation

  • Focus on transferable skills. My transition from Investment Banking to Save the Children proved that my skills were transferable.
  • You need both mentors and sponsors, You need to ask.
  • Work out what motivates and drives you. Leaders have to have self-awareness – know your strengths and what trips you up.

Luke Johnson, Chairman, Risk Capital Partners

  • I do worry about failure, but it’s only from trying things out that you get to the winning formulas. Innovation and experimentation are necessary for us to advance. You learn more when things go wrong. You will always recover from failure. Success is moving from failure to failure without giving up.
  • Everyone should have a go at running a business at some point in their lives. I believe that entrepreneurs are vital for job creation, they are key to the UK economy.
  • Most valuable advice? Two pieces: (1) start a business; (2) never give a personal guarantee.

Closing keynote – Amy Cuddy, Associate Professor, Harvard Business School
Power-posingPower-posing! I was aware of nonverbal communication and body language affecting how others see us… but can we really change our own minds by changing our posture?

Cuddy’s research shows that standing in a posture of confidence (even when you don’t feel confident) can affect testosterone and cortisol levels in your brain. It can take as little as two minutes.

Testosterone = dominance and confidence. Cortisol = stress.
Increased testosterone + Lower cortisol = Increased power/leadership/success Smile

In Cuddy’s own words:

  • Years ago, following Joanna Lumley would have made me want to hide, now I’m inspired.
  • When animals feel power, they stretch, expand and take up space. When we win, we automatically do this – arms up in the V, chin slightly lifted – we can’t help ourselves, it’s hard-wired. The instinct is so  strong that congenitally blind people also strike the pose when they win. It doesn’t matter that they’ve never seen it.
  • What do we do when we feel powerless? Again, both animals and humans do the same thing. We wrap ourselves up. We make ourselves small.  
  • What should you do before difficult situations? … two minutes of power-posing improves all elements of the equation, increases creativity and your pain threshold. Our bodies can change our minds, and our minds can change our behaviour.
  • Presence creates power, and power creates presence. Tiny tweaks can lead to big changes.
  • Power posing doesn’t change what you say, but how you say it. It’s not about faking it until you make it, but faking it until you become it.

For more, here’s Cuddy’s TED talk.

Great conference Deutsche Bank, thank you. Power-poses all round!image

10 Incredible Ways to Boost Your Conference ROI with Social Media

imageConferences and trade shows are a great way to get face time with potential clients, suppliers and partners. In the past these events were all about pressing palms and cramming as many meetings into the day as possible. Social media changes all that.

We’ve found that we can massively improve the ROI of events by integrating social media with our real world activities… in fact in some cases you don’t even need to be there in person!

Here are our top tips for using social media at conferences and shows.

Before the event

  1. Help the organizer promote the event
    Find the hashtag and official Twitter account for the event and use social media to let everyone know that you’re going. Retweet announcements from the official event account. Include a status update in your LinkedIn account, with a link to the official event details. Send @messages to your online contacts suggesting the conference might be a good place to catch-up face to face. Remember to include the hashtag in all your Tweets. This will get your face and company name recognized by the show organizers and demonstrate real value to them. Smart organizers will want to encourage this behaviour. As a result of our efforts we’ve been offered massive discounts on show pricing, free upgrades and the chance to speak at future events.
  2. Build relationships
    Look at the speaker and attendee list. Speakers will often have Twitter accounts listed. Make note of anyone you want to meet in person. If you use CubeSocial, create a contact card for each person and tag them appropriately. Tweet about the speakers you’re looking forward to hearing and the people you’re meeting up with. Make sure to use the speaker/attendee Twitter usernames so that conversation can grow. Cast yourself in the role of the jovial party host. Do not sell!
  3. Schedule meetings
    Those speakers you’ve just been chatting to… the online contacts you invited to the show… now’s the time to casually arrange a coffee at the event itself.
  4. Arrange a side event
    If you can’t afford the entrance fee, or the show organizers say you don’t match their criteria for entrance, arrange your own side event. Professional marketers call this ambush marketing, and we (initially unintentionally) pulled this off earlier this year when we were told we couldn’t attend a show. We arranged a Tweetup to coincide with the conference that grew to the point that the conference organizers asked us asked how they could get involved in our event!

During the event

  1. Live Tweet conference sessions
    If you are in a conference session, live Tweet it. There are always plenty of people who for whatever reason are unable to attend. Followers who are interested in the event will appreciate the real-time insights and may add to the conversation, widen your perspective of the event, and the reach of your tweets. Their retweets will provide an interesting insight into what resonates. Remember to always use the conference hashtag. Journalists often follow the hashtags during conferences on the lookout for interesting stories. In our case, our very first piece of media coverage came from a journalist quoting Tweets we had sent during a live Tweeting session.
  2. Make use of otherwise dead time
    During the show you’ll likely be busy with all the meetings you set up beforehand, but be sure to make use of otherwise dead time: The journey to and from the event and during breaks for example. Follow the conference hashtag to discover the important news and themes of the show, and contribute to the conversation.
  3. Tag team it
    Ask your colleagues back at the office to engage in conversation with you and selectively retweet your posts. Your goal should be to put yourself at the centre of online activity, expanding your influence and awareness of your brand.

After the event

  1. Follow up on the leads you missed
    Review the hashtag stream for the conference. Regular Twitter search just goes back a couple of days, so you’ll need to be quick. If you use CubeSocial you can set up a Social Search to record the entire stream for the duration of the show. You can then review the stream at your leisure and reach out to people who might be new contacts, leads or opportunities.
  2. Share photos
    It doesn’t matter whether it is on Twitter, Flickr or Facebook. Share your photos of the event, especially of people you met there. People love photos, especially if they give an insight into something they may have missed out on. Photos are some of the most frequently shared material on the web, and will help broaden the reach of your brand.
  3. Write a review of the event
    Use your blog to write a review of the event. Write about the interesting people you met there, including photos and links to websites and Twitter accounts of people you mention. When you’re done, tell everyone you’ve mentioned that they are featured in your blog. Your aim is to make it easy for people to join the dots, make new connections, find the interesting content and build on their experience. When we took part in Seedcamp earlier this year, our Seedcamp write-up proved so popular that the event organizers mistakenly thought we were spamming them. We had to react quickly on that one and explained that no, it was simply the community at large picking up on it and sharing it.

The best thing about all this is that in many cases you don’t even need to be there in person to benefit from the buzz a conference or show generates. If you find yourself in that situation, try curating the Twitter stream instead, as we did here for a recent event.

What techniques have you found successful for maximising the value of real-world events with social media?