Highlights of 2015: a speak-tacular year with more to come

Nick Gold 17 December 2015

As we reach the end of Speakers Corner’s 15th year and move into 2016 with the same kind of giddy anticipation we’ve all felt on Christmas mornings past (excluding our MD Nick who, although very much looking forward to the New Year with us lot, had to be strategically lured into his festive jumper), it is only fitting that we reflect on the last 365 days (ish) and announce what we have lined up for the next!

Tim and Nick: two brothers alike in dignity, but not in Xmas spirit

Thanks to the impartial and friendly advice of our Account Management dream team (Adam, Lucy, Debbie, and Tim) and the skills of the-most-organised-people-I’ve-ever-met over in Logistics (Helena, Rebecca, Paula, and Seye) and office management (Louise), we’ve helped organisers plan and find speakers throughout 2015 for 1000 events across 6 continents, while Jason and myself (Lucy the 2nd) in Marketing have been documenting it all in-between our frequent coffee breaks (writers need fuel).

Beyond our day jobs, intense karaoke sessions, and intrepid bake-offs ( stunning gold-sprayed triple-layered chocolate and vanilla cake, anyone? ), we’ve also been fortunate enough to celebrate our part in this industry with the speakers, event organisers and conference planners who also help make it what it is.

Rising out of the firework cinders of 2014, the beginning of the year positively sparkled with the success of the first of our two exciting showcase events of 2015 in collaboration with The Brewery, also known as The Knowledge Guild.

In February, we donned our party gear and headed off to a unique  event built on trust , hosted by some of Speakers Corner’s most authentic and authoritative speakers, including economics professor  Andrew Scott , presenter  Gavin Esler , politician  Tessa Jowell  and TV broadcaster Gemma Godfrey. With fascinating insights and eye-opening lessons flying around the room between stage and audience (the canapés magically stayed in our mouths despite the fervent discussion), the evening was one that we wanted to do again.

So we did. In line with the demand for speakers on innovation, tech and disruption that strengthened as the year progressed, we teamed up once again with The Brewery in September to bring an evening of stimulating chat and thought-provoking speeches on these topics by some of the best orators on the corporate circuit, including former TV Dragon  Piers Linney , broadcast journalist  Misha Glenny , and web psychologist  Nathalie Nahai , whose subjects were seamlessly woven together by host and tech reporter  Kate Russell .

Our September Knowledge Guild

February also saw us work with Confex International, when we watched our keynote speakers take to the stage at the longest standing event for the MICE industry, including entrepreneurs Louise Fowler  and Gerald Ratner , designer Wayne Hemingway , and doyenne of the sports world Clare Balding .

We also had a blast hanging out in the heart of the city with the team at  SquareMeal  – the ultimate trade show for event organisers. The day involved two sessions, including a fireside chat with serial entrepreneur Sahar Hashemi, hosted by award-winning journalist Nadine Dereza.

The second session unravelled the results of our  Speakernomics  project. After logging and analysing every enquiry we’ve had over the last five years to understand how the demand for speakers mirrors the wider economy, our very own Nick Gold, Speakers Corner MD and chairman of the IASB, led the discussion, and was followed by a panel comprising Sundial Group leader Tim Chudley for further opportunity to explore the sourcing of speakers according to sector.

A million pieces of data turned into Speakernomics

In fact, Nick’s been pretty chatty all year. Speakers Corner have spent the last 14 years immersed in figuring out how to maximise the effectiveness of content at events, conferences and seminars by ensuring that the right speaker is chosen to communicate a message with lasting value for the audience. As one of the workshops we hosted throughout the year, October saw him share industry insights to those at  c lic+ 2015  at Robinson College, Cambridge, alongside the likes of HR expert Linda Moir . The dulcet tones of our leader were also heard this December echoing around the halls of Olympia London at The Business Show 2015, as he explored the world of such occasions from the perspective of external speakers, facilitators and hosts.

Nice little chat with Linda Moir at Clic+ 2015

It’s pretty clear that we jump at the chance for a good chat, some bubbly, and delicious tiny food, so it didn’t take us long to start planning more opportunities to do so in 2016.

As January creeps nearer, we look forward to a special evening of inspiration and debate with  Unique Insights London 2016  to invigorate and guide us through the grim grey post-Christmas haze as we prepare for another financial year. The evening will focus on return on investment, not just for the events we organise, but also for our own personal growth and development, and will feature business speaker Javier Bajer, sport and psychology expert Jamil Qureshi, and numerous leading industry representatives.

In February, we will be making an appearance at the Buyers Network Club Global Event Show , an exciting biannual networking occasion for corporate and agency event planners and suppliers to meet, again in the lustrous surrounds of The Brewery (hey, if it ain't broke). On top of that, we're also cooking up a treat for the New Year with Confex International and, hungry for more intelligent discussion to get the low-down on hot topics, we’re thrilled to announce that we have three more Knowledge Guilds lined up for March, July and September!

Stay tuned into our blog where we will be revealing their themes, and in the meantime, we wish you a speak-tacular (I realise that I over-use this pun), relaxing holiday season with your loved ones to prepare you for what’s to come.

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