Well, we certainly ended 2015 in true EWL thought-provoking style, joined by Jason Allan Scott, host for our December lunch, held in Chelsea’s stunning Beaufort House, discussing how to get ahead in the events industry.
Attended by event professionals from IIED, Andaz Hotels, Concerto Group, Chambers Travel Management, Church Street Events and Egg London, Jason opened the conversation with an emotional story of hard starts and battling adversity, sharing with us that his USP is the fact he has been both incredibly lucky and unlucky in life.
So how has Jason Allan Scott got to where he is today? To start, he spends approximately 10 hours a day blogging, writing, and also speaking at events, regularly putting himself on the line and with activities outside of his comfort zone.
To prepare himself for a talk he will study and read for hours, reminding himself that someone has to speak and that he doesn’t know more than others. He never uses PowerPoint, gives as much as he can and ends his talks, he says, with people wanting more.
How does he battle nerves? Action he told us is the enemy of thought – just go and do it! Stop thinking about the speech and the audience and think about the subject. Have your piece, prepare, think about the body and content with a good close and great take-aways. Don’t be too imaginative, because imagination is your biggest enemy, and never prepare your jokes in advance, it never ever works!
Mentoring was also discussed. Jason is one of the founding mentors of FastForward15, a 12-month mentoring programme set up by Faye Sharp and launched in 2015. To date, 65% of women in the group have moved on to better jobs, with improved confidence and have better relationships.
There are, however, many who have questioned whether the initiative is sexist? The biggest factor, identified and voiced by women, that holds many back in their careers and choices, is confidence, and the fact remains that there are still more men than women at the top of the industry, therefore, is there a need for a similar or joint scheme for men? Many would say not. The FastForward15 programme is simply about coming together to help women.
So how can you get ahead? It’s simple when you bear in mind this great take-away “give back, support, and contribute”.
A fantastic 2015 finale, let’s see what 2016 holds for us!