Entrepreneur 2012 is an event held at London Excel between the 13th and 16th November, whereby successful entrepreneurs and public speakers provide their thoughts, strategies, and techniques to an audience of budding entrepreneurs. The event has been branded as the biggest of its kind for Entrepreneurs in Europe. That being said, the event itself has attracted some impressively big names from the world of business and politics, as well as a whole host of global celebrities. Some of the key speakers include household names such as Ruby Wax, Kevin Spacey, Levi Roots, Caprice, and the biggest name of the lot- Bill Clinton. The line-up for the event promised a spectacular four days of information, strategy, and knowledge. But did the event match up to its extraordinary billing?
I arrived at the venue nice and early for a 9am start. Getting off the DLR at Custom House, I suddenly realised that I’d left my ticket in my other coat- that’ll teach me for trying to make an effort by wearing a suit! So, brimming with anxiety about whether I would get in, I rocked up to the check-in desk with the £10 KGB Deal voucher on my phone. To my relief, within two minutes the event staff had given me a wristband to enter the arena: pretty easy I thought.
Around fifteen minutes later, I was entering the 1,000 person capacity arena with the sounds of the Black-Eyed Peas booming out of the thousands of loud amps and speakers dotted around the room. At this point I was wondering where my advertised “Entrepreneurs Toolkit” was. Well, it turns out that the black plastic bag that they gave me whilst I was handing over my ticket was “it”. The contents of my plastic bag were: one copy of “Elite Business” magazine and five assorted leaflets, all trying to sell me something. A little bit of false advertising there by the event management I’d say. Thankfully, I didn’t pay the quoted £100 for my ticket; I certainly would have been even more disappointed if I had.
So, I take a seat with the other 300-400 guests (yes, it was far from a sell-out) to see what would be coming my way next. Having seen the attendance figures, my guess is that they have limited the tool kits, because the room was about 30% capacity- such a shame that there is a lack of budding entrepreneurs in the UK who want to pick the brains of leading business people around the globe. Oh well, their loss I suppose!
The MC for the event took to the stage, a guy called Ray. As he said “Everybody Love Raymond”-well this is nearly true- if you like energetic, loud, bubbly, and motivational guys- then yes, you would love Raymond. So, on to the conference…
As mentioned, the speakers at this event are exceptionally talented and successful business people from around the world. Today’s speakers were a mixture of motivational, high-quality content, and rather basic (yet successful).
First up was a guy called Andy Harrington (the self-proclaimed British answer to Anthony Robbins), who gave a rather long, three hour talk on public speaking. The guy certainly knows how to speak at conferences and his presentation skills were second to none. However, as an audience member you were always sitting there thinking “is he going to pick on me next?” However, for someone who claimed you should never sell yourself short and charges a whopping £20,000 per day for his consultancy, I found it odd that he gave away 75 days consultancy (plus over £7,500 in additions) for just £2,000. Practice what you preach (and preach he does brilliantly!!) certainly came to mind. However, it seemed to do the trick as probably 25% of the room went to sign-up for this deal. Clearly a successful man and knows what he is doing, but not really my cup of tea if I’m honest.
Second up was my favourite speaker of the day, an Australian called Daniel Priestley. Daniel delivered a shorter, more succinct presentation that in my opinion was better than Andy’s. The speaker mixed high-quality content with humour and seemed a very personable, likeable kind of guy. The keynote took a very knowledgeable and strategic look at the product and how you can achieve success by ensuring that the product that you are selling is exceptional. I’ll do another blog post on Daniel’s exceptional presentation at a later date… so keep an eye out for that.
The last speaker that I saw today was Simon Coulson. I have actually had communication with Simon previously through some of my work at Videojug Corporation and Bough SEO, however, I’ve never used his services before and I didn’t realise he’d had such a successful career. Simon explained the rather basic and simple techniques of Internet Marketing that have brought him success; ranging from writing ebooks, affiliate marketing, and other slightly grey/black-hat tactics. Almost everyone (including myself) had thought about implementing what he did, but full credit to Simon for actually taking action- it’s turned into a £10million fortune. All in all, I think Simon took simple ideas that everyone in the industry thinks about, but the difference is that he’s actually gone and carried them out. I do have a fear a bit that his techniques will become unstuck in the future, but as the successful entrepreneur that he is, he seems to be adapting and continuing to bring out new products.
All in all, the day had its up and downs. I think that the event promised some exceptional speakers and delivered on that front, but for an event with clearly a HUGE budget, the attendance was appalling (and mostly made up £10 deals or free giveaway tickets). If I was an investor in this event, I would be worried about my return. On a final note, Entrepreneurs 2012 is a great forum for anyone who wants to learn about business, however, the event owners could have done with putting a little more thought into organisation. I personally like to be organised and know exactly what I am getting, Entrepreneurs 2012 had no schedule for speakers, and therefore people were guessing when the next speaker would be coming on stage, who that speaker would be and when everything started and finished; somewhat surprising for such a well-funded event.