An Interview with Maggie Philbin
Which corporate event has been your favourite to date and why?
Oooh, you can’t ask me that!! But obviously, I do work with some companies on a regular basis, so it’s very satisfying to share their progress. I don’t argue when they want to hold an event somewhere warm…I had a great time at The Phoenician in Arizona. I’ve been lucky enough to work with some very talented and creative event producers.
How did the corporate speaking/presenting start?
I was asked to do a number of events as soon as I started work on Swap Shop, but the serious conference and after-dinner work really took off when I began work on Tomorrow’s World. I really enjoy live audiences.
Can you remember your first corporate event?
It was down in Brighton, for BT and the launch of the first hand held mobile phone!
Tell us about it?
I remember wondering how many people would buy them…they were about £3000. They lent me a phone so I would be familiar with how it worked and I took it home to "practice". I'd given the number to my husband who called me on my way back. I like to think I was the very first person to say, "I'm on the train!!!" Fellow passengers were amazed and asked to have a go.
If you could speak/present at any event, past or future, what would it be?
It would be fun to do the first conference in space. Though I wouldn’t want to pick up the bill.
On average, how many corporate events do you do a year?
Are you as happy speaking/presenting with an audience of 50 as 1,000?
As long as they all stay upright. Some years back, I remember one conference where five people fainted. I’d like to hope it had nothing to do with my presentation style.
Do you always like to do a briefing call before the event?
This is important. To be honest, I prefer to meet up with people – to find out as much as possible about the event, the audience and what they’re really hoping I’ll bring to the party. People imagine you just swan up and turn it on but preparation and detailed knowledge is what makes all the difference. I often suggest doing a day’s filming on some aspect of the company – finding out what out the people who work there really think and feel. It personalises my involvement.
What are the most asked for topics?
Because of my strong connection with Tomorrow’s World I’m often asked to talk about future trends and technology or how to use technology in business. As a woman in business, I enjoy talking about how women can develop in business.
Do you have any funny/embarrassing speaking anecdotes you care to share?
Too many to list!!! But, I remember feeling embarrassed when the Chairman of a major company walked me to my car after a conference and I had to explain that because the lock on my drivers door was broken, I had to climb in through the hatchback. He graciously held it open for me.
Your favourite film?
I love movies, so this changes all the time. I admire the Coen brothers, Fargo was a real favourite.
I’ve just finished “One Day” by David Nicholls, a wonderful, wonderful book.
Favourite holiday destination?
New York and Italy.
Country or townie?
I live in London and love being five minutes from any film or play I want to see…but I’m a country girl at heart.
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