The planning of an event is never straight forward. The first challenge is the venue, however for us the decision was very simple – stay with the Emirates Stadium. The conference co-ordinators know what we need and how we work; they take very good care of us and the standard of customer service is exceptionally high. This year was no different.
And so with an early start for our team and our sponsors, the delegates started to arrive for a mouth-watering breakfast. Even a bomb scare at King’s Cross station did not prevent anyone from arriving.
Our first speaker, Christopher Hamer gave an insight into complaints handling and how this impacts business and customer service. Following on from managing complaints was what many people thought was estrange choice of speaker, Stephanie Davies from Laughology. Laughology began in 2006 when its founder, Stephanie set out to create a unique, ethical, development tool built around the psychology of humour, laughter and happiness. Her aim was to develop an approach that was effective, fun and useful both personally and organisationally. It works – her presentation was full of useful tis to motivate and uplift – of course the room was full of laughter. We underestimate the importance of laughter and Stephanie reminded us all just how valuable it is to laugh and smile.
In this digital age we felt it crucial to include a speaker who would focus on technology and who better to inform us than Jon Notley, Commercial Director of Zoopla. Jon’s presentation started with way in which consumers search for property through to ensuring that letting agents know exactly where the consumer can be found. Having an awesome website and scheduling the way in which agents target their audience, were just two of countless invaluable tips shared by Jon.
After lunch we had an hour or so of legal instruction from John Coyne, barrister and Judith Butler, Associate Director of the CMA. A flurry of note taking ensued as John and Judith discussed Superstrike, Prescribed Information, Retaliatory Eviction, CPRs, BPRs, the ASA ruling on fees and the purpose of the CMA guidance for property professionals. The history lesson was given by Kevin Cahill, journalist and author of “Who Owns Britain” . Kevin provided a snapshot of ownership in the UK and the world.
Our keynote speaker, as expected, raised some eyebrows not the least when he arrived just before lunch. Dressed in Shaolin clothes, Matthew Ahmet sat cross legged, meditation beads interwoven through his fingers whilst the audience listened attentively to the other speakers. When Matthew’s turn came no one knew quite what to expect from this young man from North London. Matthew’s story started at the age of 11 when he saw the Wheel of Life and decided that he too wanted to participate and perform. At the age of 20, after 4 years in China he made his dream come true and became the only non-Chinese monk to perform in the Wheel of Life. After years of touring, Matthew built his own Temple in Hertfordshire where he trains children and adults in the art of Kung Fu. His outlook of life is based on positivity and focus and with this in mind, he believes anyone can achieve their goals. Failure and excuses are not an option. However, it was not only the words that inspired us; Matthew demonstrated how years of training and focus have allowed him to eliminate pain – and in this case seeing is believing, Matthew smashed a metal bar across his head.
Our gratitude goes to all our sponsors – DocuSign, Hallmark Corporate Services, ARPM, DPS, TDS, MoneyPenny, Imfuna, HomeLet, FCC Paragon, Dogs Trust, Gas Safe and all the speakers who made the day so special.
Susie Crolla – CEO