Sunday Muse – Liz Clark – I do not know beforehand what is or will be the subject of any LizianEvents article. The first reading is always while drinking my morning fruit tea. Ian and I rarely interfere with each other’s work. It seems I have fallen into the Sunday morning article spot. And sometimes like today it is a little inconvenient because after reading the superb article by Gary Longdon yesterday, I felt there were a few points worth reflections.
One point Gary makes is about charity stands and political agenda. I have no concern for the underlying Political current of the likes of Oxfam, RSPCA, RSPB. My feeling is their work has value and people will choose where to gift their money.
This brings me to the subject of emails we received after the Newark Show. All asked about our standpoint on political viewpoints given by Community Members during talks.
My reply to the concerned is factual. We have no political agenda, and our organisation has no political stand-point. Of course, we are human and have a personal opinion. However, Ian and I are open-minded and embellish all aspects of an issue.
In future, we will give clear disclaimers to Visitors. The words will be simple: “The viewpoints of speakers are their own”. Ian and I feel the talk rooms are no place to offer a political opinion. If the talk is about the meditational power of Origami, then the presenter should keep the subject on folding paper as a spiritual exercise (By the way I have copy-written this idea).
I am interested in Gary’s thoughts on speakers.
While we see McKenna and Icke earning money from presentations. The reality of the larger shows is that speakers have to pay to talk! Last months Olympia event saw a fee of 995 plus vat. From our experience, paid workshops and talks are poorly attended. Only if you have the marketing skill’s of Dave Harper will you get people through the workshop door. Incidentally, the stall fee for that show was also 995 plus vat. It is a different ‘show’ game, but remember, those who pay to speak, are determined and proactive. They bring their fans to the talks.
Gary is right about talks being profitable.
An exhibitor complained that they could not afford a sales stand and an information stand and speech is the only way they would work with us. That’s fine until the moment Visitors complained the exhibitor’s talks were sales pitches. I know it is a fine line. However, it is one understood by the Olympia organiser.
Incidentally, when people flock to see a speaker, it is because the speaker has already built a reputation, usually, through a book or other visible media stream. The individual has to be current and up to date. Many authors only enjoy short term fame, and as Moya says in his superb speech at Olympia, many cannot fulfil the promise.
We are happy with the way our shows are progressing. And we will demonstrate support of this who support us: Ian has chosen to have a Jane Osbourne week over the last few days and next week as well! It is of no surprise, Gary and Jane support and promotes The Community and The Inspiring Well Being Shows. Energy flows where attention goes!
For the moment we’ll continue to evolve.
Many Thanks, Gary enjoyed your article.
Thank you for your kind and generous words, and for giving me a platform to write for you, unedited.
I think that you do very well with your speakers and stands. A feature of modern life is that Charities have been politicised in a way that I could not have imagined in my youth. Within reason and good taste, I don’t think that you can do any more than offer the public a choice.
The nature of the community is that people will hold opinions. Veganism can touch on Animal activism, Buddhism has a proud political tradition. No one wants a bland event, but few will want to attend a political rally. Good luck!
Your additional comments to my speakers thoughts were important additions, thank you. The balance between a speaker making the most of their time, and it being no more than a sales talk is not easy.
Ten years ago I would never have imagined that Bear Grylls and Brian Cox would be giving Arena shows themselves, just talking. It just goes to show the appetite the public has for good popular speakers.
I think that there are several excellent speakers at Lizian’s shows who will grow and grow, with Lizian having been a vital showcase for them in the future.