Growing your events business — a course for senior management

For conference directors and managers and senior product managers

This intensive two-day course, Growing your Events Business, is designed for senior managers who are leading either part of, or the full breadth of a conference business. It will cover the key areas of devising strategy, understanding finance, and managing product, sales and marketing. Managing and Growing A Portfolio of Events will also focus on people management and leadership skills.

Next course:
21 & 22 May 2019


Introduction and industry overview

  • Introduction
  • About me
  • Looking ahead at the event industry

The big picture — strategy and numbers

  • Understanding the financial numbers and what to look for
    • Exercise — delegates will review a set of management accounts this year v last year v budget and draw conclusions from them
  • Core KPIs — identifying the KPIs and what are the benchmarks?
    • Revenue KPIs
    • Activity KPIs — LSEs (definition is 100-200)
    • Activity KPIs — annuals
    • Exercise — delegates will complete the KPIs for their own business
  • Pricing and yield
    • Exercise — delegates will review booking patters for events with different prices
    • Delegate sensitivity to prices
    • Experience of early bird discount Of 50%
    • Tiered pricing
    • Differential for 1 – 2 – 3 day events
    • Discount strategy
    • Group discussion — how else can you increase yield?

Core components of a business plan for an existing business

  • What should be included and what should not?
  • Exercise — delegates will complete some areas of the business plan
  • 5 common pitfalls and how to avoid them
  • 5 tips on turning around a poor performing business into a high-performer
  • Acquisition selection and due diligence

Managing the core building blocks of an events business

  • Product strategy (playing to win)
    • The core components of a product strategy
    • Creating an events database
    • Exercise — delegates will draw conclusions from an event database
    • Exercise — delegates will complete the product strategy part of the business plan
    • Event strategy meetings
    • Managing and supervising product
    • The new world of experience
    • Exercise — generate 2 formats that may be unique to your events
    • Topic generation sources
    • Exercise — delegates will discuss one topic successfully generated and one that was not and lessons learnt
    • 5 Lessons in topic generation
  • Sponsorship strategy and management — playing to win
    • Sponsorship strategy
    • Group discussion — brainstorming new sponsorship packages
    • The optimum Spex brief
    • Sponsorship supervision
  • Key marketing knowledge for business/product heads
    • Timeline — planning the optimum timeline
    • Getting the focus right in marketing
    • Managing marketing

Summary discussion and close

This course is designed for an individual who is:

  • managing a team of producers
  • has been doing so for about a year to up to 5 years
  • their portfolio might be Stage 1, Stage 2/Annual, LSE, Webinar, Training
  • they are in a commercial setting (have to make a profit) but might work for a professional association or publication

 Rosalind Oxley

  • Ros Oxsley - trainer for Advanced Conference ManagementMore experienced at a senior management level than almost anyone else in the events industry, Rosalind has extensive experience in event and training organisations profit growth, margin and yield growth, start-ups, turnarounds & crises, acquisitions, business sale and staff recruitment, motivation and retention.
  • She joined the pioneering IIR conference business at its inception in 1985, rising to divisional management level in 1989 and then became an MD in 1992 with full P/L responsibility. When the IIR business was sold in 2005 to Informa, Rosalind was a key member of the ‘sales team’ and remained with Informa until 2015.
  • Latterly, managing seven separate businesses within Informa, she was responsible for a business with a turnover of £60 mln and 250 staff. Within that she has experience of a variety of product types including large scale events, annual events, exhibitions, seminars, distance learning training, on-site courses and public training and is able to operate within product, sales, marketing and operations with practical ease.
  • In 2012 Rosalind was honoured to receive the award for Outstanding Contribution To The Conference Industry (The Conference Awards) an award that had never been previously given and has not been awarded since.
  • Rosalind is best known for her pioneering work in creating large-scale events (a term she coined) under the brand of ICBI which she launched in 1993 under the IIR business and which continues to be one of the most profitable businesses in the conference industry. She is also known for her skills in recruiting, managing and retaining senior level management.
  • Amongst much else, Rosalind is now trainer with The Media House

To pay by cheque or bank transfer, use our registration form.

To pay by credit card for the 21&22 May course, please use the form below.


21 & 22 May 2019

How long?

Two days: 09:00–17:00

How much?

£895 plus VAT for all commercial companies
£795 plus VAT for not-for-profit organisations


21 & 22 May 2019
etc.venues, Marble Arch
Garfield House,
86 Edgware Road
London, W2 2EA

Ros thank you so much for a great course. I really enjoyed it and learned a lot. It importantly brought back from the depths of my mind a lot of key aspects of conference business management that I believe in that I had let evaporate to a degree. All are being reinstated! It was a privilege to be in the same room with you. Thank you very much.

Fiona Miller

Group Events Director, Wilmington Healthcare

Excellent – I learned so much!

Mindy Emsley

Conference Director, Smarter Shows

Thoroughly enjoyed the two day course, so invigorating to have a dedicated training course for my role and Ros is fantastically knowledgeable. It was so useful to hear such insight from someone so experienced – thank you!

Sara Boomsma

Conference Manager, Optimus Education

Overall I found the two days very valuable and enjoyable. Great to get validation and tips on so many aspects of managing events. Ros was extremely knowledgeable. I liked her approach which is direct, straightforward and

Richard Pope

Managing Director, Sigaria

Ros’s contribution to the events industry includes her pioneering work in creating large scale events, her innovation and her leadership qualities demonstrated over a career of nearly 30 years in conferences

Spencer Keyworth

MD, Finance, Tax, Legal & Accounting Events, K&N, Informa

Your hard work, endeavour, commercial prowess and leadership will forever serve as an inspiration to all of us.

Julian Kirby

Divisional Manage, ICBI

Ros’s business grew 9-fold to £60 million+ revenue in a decade – growth no direct competitors achieved. The biggest single factor in this was Ros. She’s a brilliant people and business manager and a fantastic innovator who knows how to turn good ideas into reality. Ros achieved growth in both good economic times and bad, with customer-focused events that set the standard today.

Alex Moilliet

Marketing Director, KNect365 Finance

An inspirational tour-de-force of conference best practice, first-hand from an industry legend. Ros is very generous in giving so much thought and energy to the course. You’ll head back to the office invigorated. Your team won’t know what’s hit them!

Nicholas Lockley

Director EMEA Conferences, PEI Media

I just wanted to follow up and say thank you for the course this week! My brain was a little fried when I left so not sure I put anything useful on the feedback form but it was an incredibly useful two days. The amount we covered is slowly starting to sink in and I’m able to start thinking about how it can be applied to our organisation. It has boosted my confidence that there is lots we are doing right already as well as lots that we can change and improve going forward and how I can drive this!

Holly Clark

Senior Event Manager, BMJ

The training went very well. To be honest it has changed my whole approach to the business right now. For the last two years I feel like I was building events. Now I feel like I am building a company that runs events.

Ros and the course played a big role in this in this mindset switch which was needed.

Ben Pullin

Co-founder & Managing Director , Global EVRT

Some of our clients

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This