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Fast Forward 15 programme update

The first ‘Milestone Meeting’ for Fast Forward 15 was held last week, an inspirational event with our 30 enthusiastic and motivated mentees and their industry figure mentors.  This initial session had a very specific goal in mind, to provide the mentees with an opportunity to further develop their confidence and presence through educational content provided by the FF15 business coach, while reviewing their individual experiences from the first quarter of the programme.

Tasked with creating their own ‘elevator pitch’, the meeting commenced with a session on story telling representing the techniques, impact and delivery of a good presentation.  Each mentee then presented their own three minute elevator pitch, with mentors and coach Ishreen Bradley (Bizas Training) giving them immediate and constructive feedback on their presentation skills. A great success, the mentees really enjoyed the activity and gained a lot of value from the process, which helped to build their confidence and work towards developing their ‘personal brand’.

The second stage of the Fast Forward 15 programme is now underway, which will include modules on development, momentum and performance. Mentees will be constantly striving to complete their breakthrough goals and achieve their objectives. They will be meeting with their mentors one-on-one three times between now and the next meeting in autumn, where we will provide another afternoon of educational content as well as an update on each individual’s goals and achievements.  

Following the ‘Milestone Meeting’, it’s clear Fast Forward 15 is giving women an opportunity, through their peers, to progress and be supported. However, I think it is worth reiterating that Fast Forward 15 is not just about women needing help on their career path. It also helps to highlight a number of wider, gender parity issues that exist in our industry, such as the concerning lack of women in senior management positions and on boards, given that proportionally, more women work in the events sector than men. Meetings like this give a relaxed forum to discuss these issues and look at constructive ways in which we can surmount them.  

All the evidence suggests this programme is already making a big difference. One of the observers at the event, a longstanding acquaintance of one of the mentees, approached me at the end of the day, noting the remarkable, positive transformation in the mentee’s demeanor, a greater deal of confidence and exuberance and an increase in self-belief. It’s great to have this kind of feedback as it demonstrates how effective the initiative has been in helping these women realise their potential and ambition.

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