Seeing is believing… or is it?

I believe that as a leader in our community I should refrain from gushing out emotional outbursts on social media and in general having some form of emotional restraint. Being the emotional person that I am this is often not an easy discipline but I do my best. In fact, I used to sign off my emails saying Love Angela x and was told that it was very unprofessional to do so, so I stopped. My reason for my sign off was simply to be as friendly as possible but I guess it can be taken as too familiar. Over time I have learned to be careful! Equally, I know that it’s true that I can’t please all of the people all of the time only some people some of the time. I try my best to at least please some of the people some of the time without being a fraud as being authentic is very important to me. Anyway, that’s not the point, the point is that this post is a bit of a gushy one! But since it’s my personal blog why not?  😉

This week I wanted to give up! After nearly fifty paid delegates didn’t turn up for our Maximise Conference & Awards 2016 I wanted to throw in the towel! One of the reasons we don’t do free tickets is because I believe that when people pay for something they value it more and are unlikely not to show up. This past week I saw a whole new trend that I have never seen before – people paying and still not turning up. Either our tickets are too cheap (don’t worry I am not going to put the prices up, it will remain £22.50) or people have too much money or people don’t really value what I do. No need to remind me that some people were ill or had transport problems, I get that these things do happen too. But nearly fifty? That’s a lot!

I cried the morning after Maximise from sheer disappointment and concern that I had let the exhibitors down who were expecting fifty more people to their stands. The following morning I woke up crying too and felt a bit embarrassed that I had promised so much and delivered so little despite my best efforts. Expecting the hate mail to start arriving I approached my computer with a bit of fear each morning. Experience has taught me that after every event there will always be a nasty email or two so I prepare myself for it and try not to take it personally.

Day three after Maximise I still felt down despite the amazing feedback that was coming in. Great things were being said despite what I believed to be a flopped event. One exhibitor and one delegate asked for a refund. That’s all! I know this is not unusual for events such as these which is why I have a clear no refund policy on the booking page. Yet even though the evidence was stacking up proving it was a fantastic event I remained down in the dumps refusing to see what was right in front of me. I had built up this negative case in my mind and could not shake it – this is so unlike me as I am generally a very positive person and find a way to see the good in everything. This time I couldn’t. I had convinced myself that I should quit and abandon my dream of creating this fantastic support network for business women that climaxes at the end of the year in a grand event called Maximise that we welcome men along too, to join in our celebration and successes of the year. I couldn’t see and didn’t believe that I could do it anymore.

Thanks to the lovely members, after so much great feedback from the event and how much they enjoyed it and gained from it, I was able to snap out of it and see the truth about Maximise and not focus on what nonsense I believed to be the truth.

And so on that fine note, I would like to award name #Maximise2016 a winner! Not for me but for all of you who have made it the successful event that it truly is. Sure it needs tweaking and improving but look how far we have come from last year’s event and based on that imagine how amazing next year’s event will be!

I will leave you with this question,

What are you seeing but not believing?  Tweet This!

Are you allowing things to hold you back based on what you think you see?

Here is some of what people have said:

“I thought it was a really fantastic day! I learnt a lot from it about the organisation of an event and everything that needs to be done to make it successful. It was also really nice to be able to meet so many businesswomen, and put faces to the names I’ve seen on social media.” – Bethany Jones, events intern at the Women’s Business Club.

“Loved the Author’s Hub – it gave us a great opportunity to connect and talk with those that loved to read and were interested in writing a book.” – Sheryl Andrews, Step by Step Listening, Southampton

“Maximise was a fabulous end to 2016. I spent all day chatting and laughing and meeting new connections – I was inspired by Jen’s talk and loved the buzz of the awards ceremony. It was such fun!” – Amy Box, Singing Coach, Bristol

“Met some very interesting new people and caught up with others I haven’t seen for a while. I loved the Linked In talk by Andy Gwynn, learned a lot and enjoyed the speed networking which was rather comically brilliant! The book room was great! Well done Angela all in all a wonderful day!” – Louise Craigen, Platform Social, Southampton

“Angela’s support pre-event with marketing ideas and suggestions was excellent. It was a pleasure to see the Mayor involved at the Awards Ceremony. As an exhibitor, I was pleased to see how many of us worked together during the day – helping to man each other’s stands. Women working together!” – Mary Collin, 3 Degrees Social, Worcester

“It was a fantastic day where I managed to finally put some faces to names. It had such a friendly and approachable atmosphere and nowhere near like any other faceless exhibitions that I have attended, everyone seemed so interested to hear what I said to them and really got to interact with other like-minded business women. Thank you for all your hard work and organising such a wonderful day 😃” – Lindsey Green, Hot in Glos, Bristol

“Maximise is a crucial date in my calendar! It’s a non negotiable ‘must attend’ for me. I always come away buzzing, with fruitful leads, and totally inspired! See you next year! Is it time yet?” – Jennifer Hall, The Life Buddy, Cardiff

“I found this year’s Maximise was quite focused on networking for those who attended. I took part in the fashion show as a model, which was a very different experience for me, but actually fun and it meant my jewellery has now been used on a catwalk!” – Fiona Jones, Sunago Unique Creations, Cheltenham

“I had a fantastic day at Maximise 2016 surrounded by amazing business women (and men!) who have such a wealth of inspiring knowledge and experience that they are all willing to share. I made some great new connections as well as catching up with friends I have made previously through Women’s Business Club. I’m so glad I joined Women’s Business Club this year. Definitely one of the best decisions I’ve made for my business in 2016.” – Amy Coe, Anorak Cat, Bristol

“I enjoyed the atmosphere that all the women gave to the event. This is what the main benefit for me is.” Sarah Bolton-Locke, Isbourne Centre, Cheltenham

“I met so many fabulous people who gave me such great support and feedback on my product. I loved the fashion show and the speakers too, along with all the wonderful stalls. The Dragonesses were all very lovely and winning made me really believe in myself and to hear they thought my product could be in the high street shops was amazing. Being a small business can be lonely at times, so I am very excited to belong to your Women’s business club and to grow and develop with you all.” – Chrissy Lowery,  Snugglebedz, Dragonss’ Den Winner

“Lots of good contacts made, a very busy day of networking and really inspiring talks.” – Karin Whittaker, Karosa, Monmouth

“I really enjoyed attending Maximise and found networking with both attendees and stall holders really beneficial. My personal highlights included the fashion show and inspiring talk by Siobhan Freegard, founder of Netmums. I came away with some really good leads plus felt I had really made a connection with other likeminded business women who I hope to do business with in future.” – Francesca Ciereszko-Lane, Stella & Dot, Gloucester

“This wasn’t the first time I’d attended Maximise; I was a delegate last year and my experience inspired me to join the club. This year I  took a stand and was nominated for several awards and was a finalist in the “Dragoness’ Den” competition.   The conference is held in the majestic building of the Cheltenham Pump Rooms. The main hall houses members’ stands and a walkway where fashion shows, the main speaker of the day, the Dragoness’ Den and the award ceremony are held. Several other rooms were devoted to interesting and inspiring talks and I managed to attend one which gave me some great tips for my subsequent presentation on the main stage.  The whole conference has a positive and vibrant buzz about it and a vast number of contacts were made and networking successfully carried out.  The awards are a great way of acknowledging the successes that members have achieved throughout the year; partially as a results of the continuing support and coaching provided by the monthly Connect lunches and boardrooom meetings at the Women’s Business Club.” – Wendy Murphy, WMM Silver, Forest of Dean

WOW what a great lot of feedback!



Leave a Reply