'It is a balancing act ... who we put on stage is not just a series of business speakers'
ASK anyone who has attended the Yorkshire International Business Convention (YIBC) who their favourite speaker was and you will get a variety of different answers.
From the loud, proud Brian Blessed and Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the creator of the worldwide web, to the driven and determined Michelle Mone, people respond to different speakers for a range of different reasons.
Often, people head to the event looking forward to one particular speaker but end up being blown away by someone else, much to their surprise and enjoyment.
But aside from the stellar networking opportunities that people ignore at their peril, how does the day benefit delegates when they return to their desks on a Monday morning?
CAR KEYS AND REMOTES "FREE REMOTE KEY FOB BATTERY" 01482 423414 ...View details
FOR ALL YOUR CAR KEY NEEDS CALL US NOW ON
SNAPPED KEYS, LOST KEYS, KEYS LOCKED IN VEHICLES,
WE ALSO REPAIR 90% OF ALL REMOTES AND KEYS, NO FIX NO CHARGE.
FREE REMOTE KEY FOB BATTERY ONE PER CUSTOMER
Contact: 01482 423414
Contact: 01482 423414
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
As Paul Sewell, YIBC 2013 master of ceremonies points out, the messages conveyed at the event not only serve to inspire; they are also important to shaping the way you run your business.
He said: "I was at an event and someone asked me which three speakers had impacted on me the most in the terms of the way I view business.
"It is easy for people to say who their favourite speaker has been but putting it into the context of the way I do business was really interesting.
"The first was Tim Sanders, who was then the creative director of Yahoo.
"He spoke about how you don't need to be 'nasty' to succeed in a competitive dog-eat-dog world of business. He pointed out nice guys do win, or rather emotional attractiveness does win.
"In 2004-5 that was a different message to what it is today.
"I remember he said that in the 21st century, your network is your knowledge, whereas it always used to be assets, power and land.
"I took his messages and have developed it into part of the business."
As a big fan of Dave Stuart, it is perhaps no surprise that Paul was inspired by the guitar-strumming entrepreneur.
But it was the message Paul took from his speech that has again helped shape the way he works.
Paul said: "Dave Stuart's message was that it's no good being a bit different; you have to be dramatically different.
"He pointed out that a penny cheaper or a percentage here or there doesn't get you anywhere.
"You can do that if you want, he said, but it won't make you dramatically different.
"Instead, what you should focus on is doing one thing every day that scares you – then you might be on the right road to being dramatically different."
Paul's third choice was Rudy Giuliani, the former Mayor of New York City.
"He came from the aftermath of 911 but was famous for zero-tolerance and the messages I took from him were about leadership," said Paul.
"I remember he walked to the very front of the stage as though he was actually going to fall off. "Then he said to the audience, 'there are three things about leadership'.
"The first is if you want to be a leader then you'd better like people.
"Secondly, he said, 'if you want to be a business leader, you have to be an optimist'."
Rudy then told a story about when Martin Luther King went to Washington and Rudy went with along his father.
Paul said: "His father had said, 'son, this man is a communist and he will be the death of this country'.
"But Rudy told the audience how, after a quarter of an hour, his father had picked his hand up. "After half an hour, Rudy saw a tear in his father's eye.
"He then recalled how, on the way home, his father turned to him and said, 'son, I know what that man stands for, he stands for change through non-violence'.
"The message from that was, if you want to be a leader you had better know what you stand for."
Over the years, the YIBC has attracted a host of stellar names, not just from the world of business but, equally importantly, from the world of sport, politics, music and even intrepid adventurers.
"It is all down to a balancing act," said Paul. "People sometimes don't realise that who we put on stage is not just a series of business speakers.
"Yes, they are people who are all great speakers in their own right, but when you blend them together in the fantastic setting that is The Spa, the sum of all the parts is much greater.
"That is the unique thing about the YIBC and forms part of the culture of the event."
This year, speakers include former Tesco CEO Sir Terry Leahy, paralympic gold medalist David Weir MBE, David Miliband, former Arsenal vice-chairman and football entrepreneur David Dein, global adventurer Rosie Swale-Pope MBE and Professor Brian Cox.
Paul said: "This year we have a great blend. "There is something for everybody but, more importantly, it is the people at The Spa who make the event.
"It is all about the people and the environment they are in.
"I don't think you could get that kind of environment at Harrogate or Leeds."
Over the past two decades, the YIBC has developed into what is widely considered to be the leading business event in Europe.
Beginning in West Yorkshire, in 2005 East Yorkshire staged its own convention, albeit a satellite event to the YIBC a little further along the M62.
This year, the YIBC will only be staged in Bridlington, demonstrating the support of East Yorkshire businesses and making our corner of the county the YIBC's new spiritual home.
"There will be no helicopters this year; the speakers only have one gig to do, so we will have them all day, giving much better value to East Yorkshire on the day," said Paul.
A record number of tickets – 600 so far, and counting – have now sold for the event, with huge interest already being shown in Biz Week events.
This is despite the fact the Biz Week website, which has been designed by communications partner eskimosoup, only went live at the end of last month.
"We are seeing lots of new companies booking for the event, which is great," said Paul.
"What tends to happen is someone will attend as a guest one year, and as soon as they have been once they know they have to get involved, so they buy a table the following year.
"This brings a lot of new faces to the event."
Another change comes from the shift of responsibility from the public sector to the private sector, with tickets once bought by organisations such as the now-defunct Yorkshire Forward being snapped up by local companies.
That said, the public sector support remains vital to the mix, but the balance has shifted.
"The YIBC is a good reflection of the overall economy," said Paul
"The private sector is a business convention that reflects the modern local economy.
"Hull and East Yorkshire has been very dependent on the public sector in the past and has received lots of public money, so when the Government cut back, our area was hard hit.
"But the private sector is stepping up and working to fill the gaps left by spending cuts and growing the economy, and this is reflected at the YIBC."
Mike Firth, CEO and founder of the YIBC, said: "From Mikhail Gorbachev to Neil Armstrong and Bill Clinton to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, many a high-profile figure has graced the stage under the prestigious YIBC banner.
"We've had some great times in other parts of Yorkshire but I am very pleased to say East Yorkshire will be the shining light for 2013.
"It promises to be a resounding success."
The YIBC takes place at The Spa Bridlington on Friday, June 7.
Visit www.yibc.biz to book tickets or email firstname.lastname@example.org for details.