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. This course will also focus on people management and leadership skills.

Course outline

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

Next course:
Dates to be announced

Who should attend?

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


Dates to be announced

How much?

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

How long?

Two days: 09:00–17:00



Your trainer:

Rosalind Oxley

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As one of the top three non-financial motivators, 76% of employees want opportunities for career growth.


Ros was absolutely great. It was great to get her take on what we’re doing and learn from her extensive experience. She is quite formidable.

This was an opportunity to take stock with my team and we’ve walked away with so many new ideas – I don’t know where to start!

Chris Bancroft, Head of Events, National Housing Federation


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


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


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


Excellent – I learned so much!

Mindy Emsley, Conference Director, Smarter Shows


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


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

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