Expert outlines staff meeting tips

A business meeting expert has outlined a number of top tips to help leaders craft the perfect meeting.

Eric P. Bloom, writing for, likens business meetings to a dentist appointment, claiming that leaders would rather be doing a thousand different things, but he also urges business owners not to underestimate the importance of the humble business meeting.

When it comes to maximising the benefits of a staff meeting, Bloom suggests starting a meeting on time regardless of attendance. This way, it sends a message to people that they should arrive to the booked conference space on time and it helps the meeting end on time, too.

Furthermore, an agenda can help attendees prepare for the meeting.

“Your meeting agenda should contain a schedule the amount of time to be spent on each topic,” writes Bloom, cited by “This has the dual advantage of keeping the meeting moving and allowing you to gracefully end discussion on topics because of time constraints.”

Bloom also advocates the use of snacks should the meeting be scheduled in the afternoon. He suggests it will help staff look forward to meetings because they know they will be getting a treat – like Pavlov’s dogs.

In addition, he adds: “Always end your meetings on time. If your staff meetings have a tendency to run late, it makes it hard for your team to plan the rest of the day.”

London to stage annual festival of disabled sport

An annual festival of disabled sport is to the staged at London’s Olympic Park. reports that the event will be funded as part of a £2 million fund dedicated to the development of disabled sports in London.

The event is likely to attract an influx of tourists into London every year, many of whom could be keen to utilise some of the event spaces or party venues the capital has to offer.

Although the date of the first festival is yet to be disclosed, it is thought that it could be one of the first major events staged after the stadium reopens as the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

The news comes as Team GB continue their gold-medal winning haul at the Paralympics.  

Xavier Gonzalez, from the International Paralympic Committee, was delighted to hear that Britain had already made plans for a disabled sports legacy in London.

Speaking to, he said: “By working with the operator of the venues on the Park now, they are ensuring that Paralympic sports will continue to be at the heart of the sporting legacy. Commitments like these give me confidence that London will continue to lead the way on having an inclusive and accessible legacy from the Games.”

London named fashion capital of the world

London Fashion Week looks set to prove exceptionally popular for tourists, if the results of a new study are anything to go by.

Figures gathered by Global Language Monitor have indicated that London remains the most talked-about city amongst fashion journalists and bloggers.

According to, the capital was placed ahead the likes of New York, Paris, Madrid and Milan in terms of fashion media mentions for the second year running.

This could indicate that the capital will be buzzing with journalists, designers and fashionistas alike when the annual show begins on September 14.

The various trendy function spaces and party venues London has to offer are traditionally very much in demand during this week and this year would appear to be no exception.

Global Language Monitor president Paul Payack claimed that recent high-profile events in London have helped the city retain its prestigious title.

Speaking to, he said: “Kate Middleton has proved to be incredibly impactful on the British fashion brand. The second thing is the Olympics being in the UK.”

New York had been named as the most talked about city in fashion for a number of years, until finally being overtaken by London in 2011.

The Global Monitoring Company came to its conclusion by analysing data from the world’s top 175,000 fashion websites and magazines.

Olympic Park to host annual sports disability event

The London Legacy Development Corporation has promised to invest £2 million into the Olympic Park to create an annual festival that will celebrate disabled Sport.

It is all part of their plan to create a sporting legacy in London after the Games have ended and will help provide new sporting, leisure and employment opportunities for the area.

New homes, public and event spaces and sporting venues will all be created on the Queen Elizabeth Park site and more sports for disabled people will be introduced including wheelchair basketball, and goalball.

Daniel Moyan, chairman of the London Legacy Development Corporation told “This has been the most successful Paralympics in the history of the Games.”

“Thousands of people will be inspired to get involved in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and we want to make sure there are opportunities for everyone.”

London Mayor Boris Johnson also said that the Paralympics had ‘captured the hearts and minds’ of people in the UK and that the event had given the nation heroes they could look up to. He also added that he was glad the park would continue to be used now the Games are over.

The Park will see a staggered re-opening, with each part being opened in stages. The site will begin opening on 27 July of next year with the final section being opened in spring 2014.

London to benefit from introduction of 4G

Mobile broadband in London is set to dramatically improve with the introduction of a 4G network.

The providers of the network, Everything Everywhere, have pledged to officially launch 4G in London and 15 other cities before the end of the year.

The company, who today re-branded themselves as ‘EE’, said that they were already testing the high-speed network in the capital and that a service should be ready within “weeks.”

With mobile broadband playing an increasingly important role in corporate events, this could see the demand for event spaces in London surge throughout the winter months.

Connection to a 4G network will allow those with mobile web devices to download websites, films or music at least four times faster than at present.

Speaking at EE’s launch event, London mayor Boris Johnson claimed that the launch would be really important for professionals in the city.

He told “I barely understand it, but information will spout unstoppably from these gizmos. It will bring huge advantages to anyone living or working in London.”

Those who want to take advantage of 4G will probably have to purchase a new smartphone or tablet, as few of the current models available support this new technology.

However, reports that the new iPhone, out later this year, is expected to be 4G compatible.

Expert gives advice on how to 'own' a business meeting

An expert has given out three tips on how to improve any board meeting immeasurably.

Narges Nirumvala, an executive speech coach writing for, believes that while many people dread the prospect of going to a meeting, the event can be improved through reading the agenda, practising talking points and using non-verbal communication to explain a point.

Nirumvala believes that as a leader addressing executives in a conference space, reading the agenda before the actual meeting can help.

“If you’re a busy executive attending the meeting, then either try to make time to read the agenda (even on your smartphone on the go) or have your assistant read it and brief you on the key points, particularly if you need to address the board on a particular subject,” she writes, cited by

Furthermore, leaders need to prepare talking points and practice them out loud. This reduces the chances of clumsily stumbling across points and being ‘found out’ with regards to preparation.

Finally, visual glances or gestures can have a complementary effect on a verbal speech.

“Plus they can convey how you feel with more tact, which is essential if you want to maintain good working relationships around the table. So use your hands with purpose and maintain good eye contact,” she added.

Hospitality firms to dodge safety inspections

Pubs, hotels and event venues of Britain are to be made exempt from constant safety inspections under new plans by the government.

According to, only businesses belonging to high risk industries such as construction will have to bring a halt to their everyday operation, as inspectors continue their search for examples of bad practice.

Individual companies with a track record of poor workplace safety may also fall victim to rigid conformity long into next year, that’s unless they can significantly improve on their performance.

Announcing the changes, business secretary Vince Cable said the government aimed to ease the burden of ‘red tape’ on small businesses, who might feel that their time would be better spent on attending to customers rather than enforcing workplace safety.

“In these tough times, businesses need to focus all their energies on creating jobs and growth, not being tied up in unnecessary red tape,” said Mr Cable.

“I’ve listened to those concerns and we’re determined to put common sense back into areas like health and safety, which will reduce costs and fear of burdensome inspections.”     

According to, more than 3,000 regulations will be axed come 2013 in what’s been described as a “radical” plan to install common sense back into health and safety.   


BVEP chair "confident" that new ministers will come good for events indsutry

Business Visits & Events Partnership (BVEP) chairman Michael Hirst has voiced his support for Hugh Robertson, who takes over from John Penrose as the Minister for Sport, Olympic Legacy and Tourism. 

Mr Penrose had previously worked alongside the BVEP in awareness campaigns such as ‘Britain for Events’, but Mr Hirst says the new appointment represents “a massive endorsement” of the role that events play in boosting UK tourism.

Cited by, Mr Hirst insisted that the cabinet reshuffle, which saw Maria Miller move into the role of Minister for Culture, Media and Sport, can only represent a positive for the events industry, especially given that Seb Coe will contribute to the ‘Great’ tourism campaign.

Reflecting on the changes, Mr Hirst stated: “We’re obviously sorry to see John Penrose leave DCMS (Department for Culture, Media and Sport). Having worked closely with John over the years we have seen him become a big fan of the UK events industry and a proactive advocate. However we are equally confident that the new ministers will continue the good work.”

He added that the BVEP and industry figures contributing to the ‘Britain for Events’ campaign would be looking to speak soon with new ministers to discuss ways of driving business into UK function venues.

Events trade body Eventia also extended a warm welcome to the ministers, reports.

Simon Hughes, chairman of Eventia, said that communicating and striking a balance with the new members would present a “real challenge” for industry members, but that his organisation hoped to work with the team to achieve “world class results”. 


Topshop to make London Fashion Week into a 'social event'

Topshop is getting ready to turn its London Fashion Week catwalk into a ‘social event’ by allowing fans to participate on Facebook.

Users will be able to customise clothes and accessories from the Topshop Unique collection as they appear on the catwalk this Sunday (September 17).

Explaining the concept, Justin Cooke, chief marketing officer for Topshop, told “We want to take the energy and the excitement of our iconic Oxford Street store to millions of people all over the world through

“It’s social, it’s commerce and it’s entertainment all rolled into one.”

London Fashion Week, which sees a huge demand for event spaces in the city, is an annual, seven-day extravaganza organised by the British Fashion Council. It aims to emphasise London as one of the world’s fashion capitals through over 45 shows.

According to, the event generates orders in the scale of £100 million and itself contributes £20 million to the London’s local economy. It attracts visitors from over 25 countries, including the US, France, Italy, Russia and the Middle East.

In addition to Topshop’s social technology, many of the other events have also been ‘digitalised’ this year – with 70 per cent of the shows being streamed live online.

The first event begins on Friday (14 September).

Frequency of business meetings will rise in 2013, claims report

A new report suggests that the frequency of business meetings across the globe will increase next year, reports

Meeting Professionals International’s (MPI) new Business Barometer study, which offers country and region specific meeting data for the US, Canada and Europe, believes an increase will happen worldwide in 2013.

The report predicts a 3.3 per cent increase in meetings in Canada, a 3.2 per cent increase in Europe and a 2.8 per cent increase in the US.

Furthermore, the study also estimated an increase in meeting budgets for 2013, with Canada predicted a one per cent rise. Europe was also predicted a 0.7 per cent rise and the US was predicted a one per cent rise.

Overall, the study projects good news for meeting venues across the globe as more and more senior executives, suppliers and meeting planners will get the chance to outline a company board meeting, a weekly catch-up or any other variety of business meeting in the future.

According to, the report also outlined the top 16 things suppliers want from technology in meetings and the top 16 things technology can give suppliers, though this is being kept under wraps for subscribers.

The Annual Business Barometer is designed to help senior executives plan 2013 budgets, as well as give meeting planners a ‘gauge’ of the industry’s 2013 directions.