Whitecap’s inaugural Ignite Your Business event held on Friday 20 September at the First Direct Arena in Leeds was a big success.

It was the first corporate event organised by the Arena team, and for many delegates, the first time they had been in. We thought we would line up a pleasant surprise too – walking past the function suite many thought they would be in and presenting in the main Arena bowl itself.

Our generous host, Tony Watson, Sales and Marketing Director at the First Direct Arena, started by welcoming everyone. Julian Wells, of Whitecap Consulting, then set the scene by asking what strategy means in business and why planning backwards from our ultimate objectives to achieve your goals is vital.

Following Julian was the keynote speaker, Duncan McCarthy of Ignite Sports. Duncan is a charismatic public speaker who really hit it off with our audience. He was able to connect the parallels between sport and business using famous examples from the sporting world including Andy Murray, Tiger Woods, Usain Bolt and the British and Irish Lions.

Mobile upload from Julian Wells at 20-09-2013 16-43
Duncan McCarthy talks sports strategy

Common themes included meticulous preparation, clear aims, everyday sacrifice and a completely positive mindset. The key messages for delegates to take away were: train yourself to repeat success once you achieve it, learn from your mistakes, recognise your bad habits and break out of them, and get outside your comfort zone. Excerpts from Duncan’s presentation are available in four parts from Whitecap’s YouTube account.

There was also the fantastic bonus of two tickets for each delegate to the recent Rod Stewart gig at the Arena. We can’t promise that sort of goodie bag at every event, but it certainly pays to come along. Our aim was always to leave people feeling motivated and clear on how small improvements to their work and that of their teams could be made, which we achieved according to one delegate, Neill Summerfield:

“This is what I took away from today. Life is not even about outcomes, it is about behaviours and attitudes. Intrinsic motivation – enjoy the journey not the destination – it has taken me 40 years to get that. I was too goal driven in my previous corporate life (as many are) but I’ve been self employed for the last 8 years. Every day is different and it never feels like work. Do something /anything, just don’t procrastinate and at the end of every day ask yourself what value you added. This does not even have to be business stuff, it could be: “am I a more valuable individual than I was yesterday”, this helps focus on doing useful stuff and identifies distraction.”

With over 80 people signed up we were delighted with the turnout for our first ever event. Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, so we’re already looking to host a follow up. 100% of attendees who completed our feedback survey said they would like to attend another event, and we achieved an event Net Promoter Score of +67 with a third of respondents scoring the event 10 out of 10 when asked how likely they would be to recommend a future event to others.

So if you went, please spread the word! If you didn’t make it this time but would like to talk through your strategy and marketing requirements then please get in touch.

You can keep up with our latest news and thinking by following us on Twitter @WhitecapConsult. You can also follow Ignite Sports @IgniteYourself and First Direct Arena @FD_Arena