Every year we have the challenge of making the Spring Conference better than the last - and every year the task seems more daunting. Success is of course ultimately down to the choice of speakers and this year we were not disappointed. With the theme of the conference based on the SAS and using plenty of footage from ITV’s series Ultimate Force, who better to keep the delegates in line than Col Aidan Dempsey, in the form of actor Miles Anderson.
Proving that it is possible to grow a media company of scale in Scotland by building a strong, commercially focused management team to complement creative talent, Hamish Barbour traced the development of IWC Media from quirky niche player to significant industry force. The stories shared and clips of IWC programmes shown were hugely entertaining – what some people do to get on television!!
Sheridan Snyder was a revelation (in more ways than one) and gave us much to think about regarding ambition. It often takes someone from outwith these shores to point out what strengths Scotland has and Sheridan reminded us to take pride in what we have already created and to build on it.
Emma Harrison simply inspired the Gleneagles audience with the story of how she has grown her training firm A4E from very humble beginnings in Sheffield to a £72 million business with 1,500 people operating throughout the UK, Israel, Poland, Malaysia, India and China and expecting to top £100 million this year.
The formal part of the conference ended with a real performance from BJ Cunningham on the subject of building a brand, with many references to his own ventures including DEATH cigarettes.
With a mess dinner complete with the band of the Royal Marines Scotland the post conference celebrations went on most of the night and the stamina of our members is now reaching legendary proportions with the golfers turning out on the Friday morning for the Founders Cup golf competition, won by David McCutcheon.