Some people insist that good communication is the key to everything, but I beg to differ. In all honesty, this sounds like something the sophists — you know, the teachers who prioritised form over content — might have claimed back in Ancient Greece. How you said something was more important to them than what you said, as long as you won the argument. Just like those perfectly pleasant suppliers who've come over to explain — with a smile on their faces — why they failed to deliver on their promises.

Frankly speaking, that's a load of nonsense, especially in our industry.

The only thing that matters is the end result. What use is an excellent communicator who can explain everything with great flair if the actual delivery of the event or conference leaves a lot to be desired? We will always remain a sector with deadlines, and with clearly measurable deliverables against which we'll be held to account.

Actually, I believe that last point is total nonsense too. The final result isn't the be-all and end-all: delivery remains crucial, so "total nonsense" might have been a bit strong, but simply delivering a good result is not enough.

If someone asks me what my team's greatest success is, I always give the same response: they are competent, they prepare extensively, they deliver, and at the same time, they always communicate about what they are doing and why. They're not blind to the outside world, hiding away behind the screens to organise everything down to the last detail. Instead, they keep everything in context, and they continually update their stakeholders on the status of a project.

In my experience, this combination presents the biggest (and maybe the most stressful) challenge for anyone working in our sector — finding that genetic blend of doers (the 'walkers', perfectionists and finishers) and communicators (the 'talkers', social networkers and chatterboxes) is tricky.

Is there anyone on planet earth who brings together these strands perfectly? Does a combination of these talents exist in any living human being? Allow me to say, with absolute certainty: yes! They exist, they are all around me in this office — and some of them are world-class. It's not just Seauton: I regularly encounter these types of people at other businesses and suppliers. Mainly in bars or on dance floors, but still, they exist — and they exist in great numbers. And that's one of the things that makes our sector so unique.

"He can talk the talk, but can he walk the walk?" — we've all heard that well-known saying. I think it's about time for an update to make it fit my colleagues in the MICE sector a bit better: "we talk the talk while we walk the walk".

See you next month!


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