Launching a series of corporate finance events

Launching a series of corporate finance events image
Adnan Sajid is a corporate finance partner at the Manchester office of national accountancy practice UHY Hacker Young.

During our first meeting with him, he explained that he wanted to run a series of events that would be of interest to business owners who were considering their future strategy … whether that be an exit or an acquisition.

Adnan was keen to convey his depth of knowledge and experience of deal making in specific sectors.  To ensure attendees had a truly informative and useful experience, it was decided to bring in other expert speakers, too.

Our first suggestion was to name the series of events to give the firm something tangible to ‘own’ and market.  Given the nature of the planned sessions and the fact they’d be covering a number of different sectors, the name ‘Industry Insights’ was agreed. 

It was then decided that the first event should target recruitment business owners.  Referencing the current political climate, we titled the event ‘Deal or No Deal’ and set about organising and promoting it.

After proposing a number of potential venues, we chose the Spinningfields Conference Centre and liaised with the team there to ensure everything – from layout, AV equipment, refreshments – was all in order.

Keen that guests should be personally invited, we weren’t able to rely on media coverage to spread the word.  Instead, we curated a database of recruitment business owners and invited them via a series of personalised eshots.

Holding an event is always a nerve-racking experience.  Will people show up?  Will the people who said they’d attend actually attend? 

Useful insight

Two rules of thumb that apply, even with a great quality target list:

  • Expect only circa 30% of people to accept an invitation
  • On the day, expect 30% no shows

So … if you want 50 guests at an event, you’ll need to invite 240 people.

Well, we’re delighted to report that the inaugural seminar was a huge success, attended by real A-listers from the region’s recruitment sector.  Most satisfying was the fact that there were only four no-shows on the morning but these were more than offset by others who hadn’t RSVP’d but decided to attend!

Feedback was extremely positive and there was clearly a lot of interest and engagement in the room.  Adnan and his fellow speakers (Simon Whitehead from HRC Law and Matt Wilden from Rencai Group) were all on the receiving end of a lively Q&A session and were individually ‘cornered’ for a number of confidential chats once the formalities were over.

We’re about to start planning the next event in the ‘Industry Insights’ series of events.  If you would like to hear more, please let us know.