International Speakers Conference - Swimming in Dubai

by Pool Builders on 01-17-2011 in Articles

I went to Dubai with three objectives - to make connections, to build relationships and to learn. Gaining some business would be a bonus. The good and the great travelled to the desert in the UAE, with a goal to learn and understand how to build and do business in one of the world's most exciting developing regions.

Witnessing established professional motivational speakers at work was inspiring. At the time I had just two years in the speaking industry and was still building my business model, so to learn from those globally known and experienced was a huge eye opener. No, I don't have a university or college in Singapore (Ron Kaufman). Yes, I do return phone calls and emails (Stef Du Plessis). No, my product is not protected to the standards necessary (Janelle Barlow), nor am I a serial entrepreneur (Reg Athwal).

I am constantly gathering new and improved ways to cut my craft. I don't follow the crowd, but then, how many of us do? Styles and nuances vary from one motivationalspeaker to another, from Ali Alsaloom to Ed Rigsbee, or Graham Davies to Raleigh Pinskey. It is proof that there is space for us all, be that based in the UK, USA, UAE or in a check in lounge across the globe.

What happened as a result of attending? Some key people became friends, some became JV's or partners from time to time, others are now distant memories, and there will be those that I hope to bump into again. 90% of all promises made during the conference were broken before I had even boarded the plane home! Sad but true. The intention by many to follow up, lost its potency, and became an idle threat to act. I knew who made up the other 10% and made contact. I know that I am not lost - I have been exploring. Thanks, Jana Stanfeld.

To conclude, I have a story. Had I not been in Dubai, I would not have been in the swimming pool at the Marriott before breakfast. I would not have met a fellow swimmer, who stopped to chat about our businesses and wanted to stay in touch. As a result, I left a package including a DVD at the front desk for him to pick up later that day. I went to the final day of the conference thinking no further of the meeting, other than to challenge others for not being in the pool.

Upon my return to the hotel that evening, I was given a medium sized box, beautifully wrapped, with a business card from my swimming connection. In complete surprise I opened the gift and saw fit to ring him immediately to thank him for his generosity. His exact words were, "I enjoyed your DVD and I want you to work with me on my global expansion!" Needless to say I organised another swimming pool meeting followed by breakfast the next day and attended the gala dinner feeling 10 feet tall - which for those that know me personally, is very large!

The second swimming session and breakfast was very sociable. My contact brought his son to swim as well; we had breakfast quietly and discussed business, circumstances and further opportunities in Chennai.

At the time I did not know where this might lead. I had a proposal to put together and due diligence and background research to carry out. What I know is that had I not been in Dubai I couldn't have learnt all that I did, or walked away with a proposal to follow up on. Amazing. By the way, if you wish to know what the gift was, you will have to email me!

On the plane back to the UK, I sat next to someone who happened to work within the British High Commission in Chennai! Small world. Coincidence or fate? And yes, before you ask, the proposal did turn into a consultancy assignment back in Dubai. Well worth the effort in the pool.

My mission is to "Make Busyness Simple". That trip made making connections and opportunities simple.

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