I’ve caused many eyes to glaze over in the last week.
No, I haven’t been sharing my holiday photos. Instead I’ve been starting up conversations about the Acumen Business Convention at The Grand in Brighton.
You’re probably starting to drift off now, just reading that last sentence.
A ‘business convention’, put on by a law firm? Snorefest.
But, as soon as I get into the details of event, ears start pricking up, and my audience becomes much more engaged.
There were the small, unusual touches, such as the zebras scattered liberally throughout the event and the acapella singing group. Unusual, you might say, but not unheard of.
It was the agenda that really defied the norm, and it was very, very good.
A keynote speaker who led one the most successful technology firms operating today, with an unexpected message. Instead of droning on about how he made such a big success of that business, he decided to educate us by telling us what he’d learned from his business FAILURES.
Acumen’s own Managing Director (and remember, it’s a law firm), who appeared on stage in a very beautiful, elegant, black dress, paired with pink, glittery platforms to present, not the latest thinking on business law, but her take on the pursuit of happiness (again, this is a law firm!).
And, if that wasn’t enough, we were then treated to the leader of The Sunday Assembly, a secular church, who had the whole audience (made up of lawyers and business owners) singing along to Tom Jones (sober).
Don’t even get me started on the cakes!
I’d heard good things about this event, but it was dramatically better than I expected. Why? Well, it broke the mould.
The legal advice was there, but it wasn’t the main event.
The PR content, Acumen’s chance to tell us about the next big thing for their business, was there, but it was delivered in a friendly, engaging way, including a slideshow of a recent staff away day (yes, they showed us their holiday snaps).
The sales pitch was there, but it was done in such a subtle, entertaining, UPLIFTING way, that you didn’t even notice it. And, I, for one, was sold. I’m not currently their customer, but I wanted in on the action.
When you think how a legal convention would typically be put together; a turgid, predictable agenda of legal dos and don’ts accompanied by a buffet of curling, grey sandwiches. It just doesn’t compare. This event was something I’ll remember and refer back to for a long time to come and I’m already clearing space in my diary for next year’s event.
What’s the marketing message today? Do things differently.
Break the marketing mould and create something fresh, and unexpected.
When you change things up you don’t blend in with your competition – you become different and memorable.
Acumen Business Law, I’m impressed.
*Photo credit, Sophie Sheinwald, reproduced with the permission of Acumen Business Law.