Entrepreneurs2012 was a part of the Global Entrepreneurship week which culminated on November 16, 2012 at the Excel Arena.
This was a 4 day mega event featuring several big-shots from different fields – Politics, Media, Music, Business, Arts etc., came together to discuss about Entrepreneurship, about how to make it big in their fields following one’s dreams and passions.
I was able to attend only the 4th day of the event, thanks to a friend who apprised me of this.
Waking up at 5 in the morning and reaching Excel Arena at 7 AM was quite a task and was hoping that this event was worth all the effort.
I have attended plenty of Entrpreneurship events in the past. Hence this had to be something special for me to justify this blatant madness.
The highlight of the evening was supposed to be Bill Clinton!
As I was queuing up for registration (I was a free ticket holder and hence had to queue up early so that I do not miss out on a confirmed seat!) I could see the excitement among some of the other attendees. Few had come for all the 4 days.
I heard this lady who is a Fitness Advisor and wants to learn more about how she can make it big and grow her client base.
So after all the waiting and queuing we managed to to enter the arena while the show started at around 10-15 minutes past 9 AM.
There were 4 panel discussions back-t0-back on the topics of Culture and Diversity, Leadership, Innovation and Reinvention and finally on Motivation.
I did not know whether the participants were under prepared but it appeared that everyone was stating the obvious and no one disagreed with the other. None of them had a differeing view point on any topic which just made the discussions monotonous and dragging.
We were able to withstand till the 3rd panel discussion which fortunately, my friend and I enjoyed the most. The panelists had some interesting thoughts on invention and how to go about market research and developing your product.
We were too tired at the end of the 3rd panel and so had to break for a much needed coffee. Don’t know why the organisers did not account for the fact that breaks in between events helps to keep attendees mind fresh!
Amidst all this, we just found out Bruce Dickinson (IRON MAIDEN) is a fabulous speaker and an extremely competent investor!
Fortunately after several speakers, we got to see Bill Clinton who came in for a 45 minute presentation. Have to admit that he has lost the charisma while he was at the White House. With white hair and sagging wrinkled skin he was just the pale shadow of his old self. He is definitely not an Obama when he speaks but he does speak well nonetheless.
Bill spoke about his work at Haiti, about how he used some of the out-of-box thinking during his time as the President of the USA. He spoke of some of the difficulties presidents face and how entrepreneurial thinking can help Presidents make decisions that would prove beneficial for the country in the long run.
A well timed good speech, I must say.
However, I have to say more than Bill Clinton, the person who stole the show was Kevin Green, a multi-millionaire and the richest Real Estate Baron in the UK!
Well, to be honest we did not hear of him until we saw how good a salesman he was!
I wanted this event to gather more knowledge on some of the fields. However, this event proved to be a platform for several entrepreneurs to come and sell their services.
Kevin Green was at the forefront of using this Entrepreneurs2012 event to Sell his services.
He spoke for almost 2 hours! Yes, you read it right, For almost 2 hours!!!
And in that, all he spoke about was his disturbed childhood, broken family, his divorced wife, his sex life and how amidst all that he became detrmined to be a millionaire.
He was willing to “share” his secrets with the audience so that everyone can become as successful as he is. For him, becoming a millionaire and then giving to charity is the benchmark for success and he idolises Richard Branson.
He even showed a video of how he gave GBP 7,500 to this mother whose child was dying of a disease and with that money she could give her child one day of happiness which she can cherish all her life! What a Great PR!!!!
Great work Kevin!
Now to add to this, Kevin showed us what a fun loving and energetic team he has.
Please take a look at the video. He performed this on stage with his team!
And finally, he showed what courses he conducts for wannabe entrepreneurs in London.
His course pack including a 4 day workshop is priced at GBP 12,500! Too High eh?Wait! Kevin has more tricks up his sleeve.
He announced that he will give one lucky winner something special. So he asked the audience who wants to be the Winner. Several hands go up and he randomly selects this suited booted black man to be the winner!
As this guy got on stage, Kevin asked him to read through all the materials on the course pack from the screen so that everyone sees what is there. And finally he is asked to read the price which is GBP 12,500. Then he announces that since he is the lucky winner, he gets the course pack for FREE!!!
But, to attend the 4 day workshop with a partner, he has to pay GBP 2,400.
Quite nominal isn’t it? This guy was then given 10 seconds to either ACCEPT or DECLINE the offer on stage. And when the countdown started, the guy accepted it within 2 seconds! Just what Kevin expected!
He has conveniently sold his service at GBP 2,400. Now is that all??
Hang on, there is more.
After announcing this lucky winner, he asked the crowd again whether anyone else was interested to become a winner like him!
And believe me, 32 hands went up!
And he invited all 32 on stage, and he offered the same GBP 2,400 package to them in pairs. So he ended up selling further 16 packages.
So in total Kevin with his 2 hours of Selling, manages to generate 17 X 2,400 = GBP 40,800 worth of revenue!!!! Voilà!!!
He also promised throughout that 50% of this will go to Bill Clinton Foundation.
So in effect, he generates GBP 20,400. Factoring Conference Hall booking costs in London for 4 days at GBP 2,500 and stationery and printing costs at further GBP 5,00, he still manages to make a profit of GBP 17,900!!!
For a 2 hour presentation, making GBP 17,900 to bad eh?
Now, I have every reason to believe that he must have paid the event organisers to give him a slot to “advertise”! Given the usual costs for such events, I am inclined to believe, he must have paid the organisers a paltry sum of GBP 3,000.
So factoring that in the cost, he still ends up making GBP 15,000!!!
Now that is true entrepreneurship! Whether I liked Kevin’s speech or not, whether I was put off by his extra “Selling” efforts, whether his presentation was thin on content, it doesn’t matter!
I have been to several presentations and events in the past, where entrepreneurs, thought leaders and startups convened to discuss ideas, but none had this salesmanship involved!
Have to admit that through this I learnt 3 things:
1. Use every opportunity you get to make yourself visible and sell your business! No platform is bad to promote!
2. London is hungry for entrepreneurship! Every other Tom Dick and Harry wants to be an entrepreneur!
3. Every Hard Rocker or Metal head does not necessarily have to die of drugs!