By Nick Gold, Speakers Corner
Following on from the previous post in the series, we worked with research company BDRC Continental to come up with some solid data to support our claim – the ‘Speakernomics’ element if you will. Following their evaluation, entertainment emerged as one category which really stood out, with a direct correlation to the status of the UK employment market.
There can be no doubt that, whether for business or pleasure, people have enjoyed being entertained throughout good times and bad. From an employment perspective, providing an element of entertainment can be a great way to engage with staff, whether this be an inspirational speaker at a company conference or a comedian at an internal awards dinner.
From our data analysis, we discovered that this is especially true during tighter economic times. When employment’s high, wages low, and staff retention essential, a little light entertainment offers a cost effective ‘reward’ to which a workforce can relate.
As Leonie Bulman, associate director, hotels, meetings and leisure at BDRC Continental highlights: “Incentives and other similar events have been a major driver in helping the meetings market back on its feet in the past few years, after budgets for these were slashed following the recession. Now, not only have the purse strings been loosened, but these incentive events have become a vital way for businesses to keep employees happy in the face of stiffening competition to recruit and retain the best people. Our annual Meetings Metrix survey shows that the proportion of event planners organising these types of events has risen by 60% in the past year.
To ensure the success of these events, organisers are spending more of their budget on speakers and performers, and specifically those with ‘Entertainment Skills’ which includes award presenters, after dinner speakers, comedians or magicians. During the past five years, we have seen that every time the unemployment rate drops by 0.5 percentage points, the demand for speakers with entertainment skills increases by 25%. It will be interesting to see how investment in employee satisfaction will evolve in the next few years.”
Certainly in feedback we have received from clients who have specifically booked speakers based on ‘entertainment’ value, we have found that the shared experience of a unique live performance from a well-known artist or act will leave the team motivated and sharing a common bond from the collective memories of the event.
We’d be really interested to hear from employers and companies which have successfully used entertainment, or entertaining speakers to motivate and reward their workforce.