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Business Excellence Forum and Awards 2016, our Biggest Event Yet!

May 6th, 2016

In April 2016, our annual Business Excellence Forum and Awards took place at the Celtic Manor Resort in Wales. Our biggest and best yet, we welcomed 844 coaches and clients to our two-day conference with the sound of the Newport Male Voice Choir kicking off proceedings.

The Business Excellence Forum (BEF) exists to recognise and honour the innovation, passion, risk-taking and results of some of the best companies and business owners in the world. It brings together a like-minded community of entrepreneurs to share ideas, build relationships and learn from some phenomenal success stories. This year we invited six world-class speakers from Australasia, the Americas and the UK to fill our programme with breakthrough content and, once the forum had concluded, every single attendee left with multiple actions to grow their business.

Frank Dick, OBE, is widely acknowledged as one of the most outstanding sports coaches and coach mentors in the world. He used a quote from Arie de Geus to explain the huge value in continuous learning to be the best in any field, “Probably the only sustainable competitive advantage you have is the ability to learn faster than the opposition” and pointed to the audience to spell out the power in the ActionCOACH network. He also introduced a theme which, unintentionally, ran through the whole of the conference: think BIG, act SMALL. The notion of achieving a large goal by many small improvements.

Paul Dunn, who recently featured in Forbes Magazine alongside Richard Branson in a global piece on disruptors in business, spoke about the HUGE power of Small. He stressed to the audience that whilst they may have many ideas for their businesses, the only power of an idea is in its implementation and that their coaches were ideally placed to support that implementation. Paul is also well known for his charity B1G1, Buy one Give one, that has so far clocked up 80 million donations. This was part of the inspiration behind ActionCOACH’s new charity, The ActionCOACH Foundation, which will give entrepreneurial students a business education and gift start up capital to their ActionCOACH approved business plans.

Brad Sugars, the founder of the business coaching profession and Chairman of ActionCOACH, led sessions on customer service from a marketing perspective, the loyalty ladder and the importance of using a system in your sales process. He also spoke about the elements involved in good management and using questions to team members to help them find solutions and assess competency. Attending Brad’s annual seminar tour of the UK is what many clients and franchise partners attribute as their reason for partnering with ActionCOACH.

Roger Pemberton has been a franchise partner with ActionCOACH since 2008 and has attended many BEF events, “Brad has the ability to provide content that inspires clients that have not seen him present before and remain current, challenging and educational to those who have seen him a number of times. As a result, I had 12 clients attending, all of whom found his sessions on the impact of customer service, sales, and leadership and management compelling, educational and thought provoking. All of them left with clarity on what they should take back to their business as a result of attending BEF. I look forward to working with them over the coming weeks and months to assist in the implementation of what has been learnt at Celtic Manor. They all thoroughly enjoyed the conference and, amongst a list of top speakers, put Brad as the one who gave them most to take back to implement. In addition, myself and my business development manager also came away suitably pumped up about what we can do in my business and similarly inspired to improve my business further.”

Brad’s sessions never fail to inspire and it is events like this that set ActionCOACH as industry leaders. Silvia Krivosik, Director of St. George’s School of English, attended BEF for the first time this year with her coach, “I was introduced to BEF by my business coach, Tim Rylatt. I must admit that I didn’t know what to expect as this was my first business forum of this scale. Now I can say for sure that BEF is truly beyond my expectations. Not only did it provide me with inspiration and education relevant to my business but it also expanded on the support network and resources available to me. The learning content has defined new heights and visions for my business and provided clear direction filled with motivation and charge. No goal seems impossible after having heard the presentations of the incredibly insightful people we were so privileged to meet. I left the event filled with excitement, determination and heaps of practical steps that will enable my business to reach a very different level. The organisation of the event, the quality of the speakers and their presentations leave you with no doubt in mind about why ActionCOACH is one of the top global business services.”

The first day of the conference progressed to the evening with a black tie awards ceremony celebrating the last 12 months of client achievements. Sixteen awards were given ranging from Best Company Culture and Best Retailer through to CEO of the Year. For those award winners it was a chance to celebrate and for everyone else it was something to aim for in the next 12 months.

Lucas Vigilante has been an ActionCOACH franchise owner for five years and regularly supports the network with seminars and is a huge advocate of the Business Excellence Awards, “There's plenty of ways the exceptional ActionCOACH franchise support system teaches you to win, retain and develop brilliant clients, but there's one sure-fire way which is simply a by-product of the fantastic results that come from applying our 6 Step growth process. With great results, clients are happy to put their story down on paper, allowing them to enter prestigious awards. When they win, oh boy, the flood gates can really open. Attracting more grade A clients becomes easier for them and it’s easier for their coach too. It's proved to be a wonderful winning formula - even if we don't win, entering allows us to reflect on the significant progress their business has already made.  My clients have amassed over 75 awards and citations in the past five years. Their stock, and mine, is at an all-time high because of this. This strategy might not be an official part of the franchise system but it's one worth considering whether you're starting out or long established. It's a real winner… pun intended."

Sir Terry Matthews, Wales’ first billionaire and owner of the fantastic Celtic Manor, took time out from his busy schedule on the day that he was included in the Sunday Times Rich List for yet another year, to present the award to the overall business of the year and open the second day of the conference. He focused on what a business owner must do to grow a company successfully. He stressed the importance of the business owner presenting THE team and not MY team as a business is only truly successful when it works without you, something that every Action Coach works towards with their clients.

Allan Pease, known internationally as ‘Mr. Body Language’, followed Sir Terry. His definitive book on body language became a multi-million seller and the communication bible for organisation worldwide and he has coached royalty, rock stars and high-profile politicians to improve their non-verbal communication. Allan’s humorous story telling provided some quick-win tips on how people perceive us on how we stand, shake hands and much more. After all, people do business with people they like and with over 80% of communication being non-verbal, your body language can help you to win business.

Matt Ewer joined ActionCOACH in 2015 and was blown away by the conference, “This was my first BEF as an Action Coach and I never thought it would be such a large event with so many informative and impressive speakers with global standing. As a relative newcomer to ActionCOACH having started in May 2015 the support I’ve received as a new franchise partner has been great. A recent example being in the support of an event I’m putting on in association with Rugby First and Warwickshire County Council in Rugby. ActionCOACH have supported me with access to a PR agency for the event, as well as connecting me with other Action Coaches who’ve run similar events and direct advice as well. We’re looking forward to a great event and great outcomes for the town and my business as a result – although not quite the 840-strong audience that we had at BEF!”

James Sinclair took the last guest speaker slot to blow away the lunchtime cobwebs with his unique style that comes from his first business he started as a teenager, the Partyman. Today at the age of 29, the Partyman Group puts on 7,000 parties a year and owns a string of businesses within the children’s education and leisure sectors. His advice for the audience was simple, entertain people and they will have an unlimited attention span. He echoed the strategy of think big, act small with his critical steps to creating business success.

Brad Sugars closed the event asking everyone to take time to reflect on the huge amount of information they had to process from the two days, “Prioritise the new goals you have set yourself and lean on your coaches to guide your decisions. The aim of building a better business is to create a better life for your team, yourself and your family.”

Would you like to join us in 2017 for the next Business Excellence Forum? To find out more information click here.