• "Be the best you can be in the arena"
  • "Success comes in cans...not in cannots"
  • "Get right or get left"
  • "Seize the day!"
  • "Sometimes silence has more presence than noise"
  • "The past is for reference and not for residence"
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In The Arena 2014 Updates

In The Arena – 2014.


For those who attended this year’s In The Arena we’d like to say a big, big THANKYOU!


Delegates and friends who attended on 1st October will know that the day was truly special for everyone involved. The feedback has been overwhelming and plans for In The Arena 2015 are well underway! For those who couldn’t join us this time around, never fear – read on for a rundown the day’s highlights and events and we’ll see you next year.


Held at Putteridge Bury in Luton, In The Arena featured a sterling line-up of keynote speakers from across the sporting and business world. All of our speakers had different messages and methods on how to be the best you can be, but they were unified in their positivity and passion for their selected skills and subjects.


In The Arena was brought to you by The Akabusi Charitable Trust to raise money for the young NEETs (not in education, employment or training) from the local community and beyond. We welcomed the legendary BBC Radio’s Roberto Perrone as our host, who did an incredible job.


 “Inspiring Confidence In An Up Turning Economy - Passion. Pride. Can-do Attitude.” So read the large screen, hung centre of the stage. As people filed in to the main conference room and took to their seats, the space was filled with a buzz of conversation, an air of curiosity and a murmur of excitement. The stage was lit up and the microphone turned on, as our host Roberto took to the stage to welcome guests to In The Arena.


Opening the show was our very own Kriss Akabusi. Kriss told of stories of his childhood in a children’s home, discovering his athletic potential while in the army, to that iconic sporting moment where the men’s 4 by 400m relay team beat the mighty Americans. The audience laughed and cheered and shed some tears as they were taken on an Akabusi rollercoaster ride through time. Kriss is just coming off the back of a two year MBA programme at the Ashridge business school, his business knowledge fresh and pure in his mind, but this wasn’t the usual “give it 100%” motivational speech, oh no, this was an amazing comparison of worlds- how to treat your business in the same way one would treat an Olympic final.


Following on from Kriss, the audience were treated to fascinating insights from entrepreneur, psychologist and the fabulously funny Katie Hart. Katie, owner of Rhetonic LTD, spoke of the importance of gender marketing, the intricate details of the human brain and “Buy-ology”.


This year we had the pleasure of welcoming another lady that brought masses of insightful anecdotes and valuable take-homes into the arena. From Ashridge Business School, business psychologist Ange Muir. Ange, who is also one of Kriss’s tutors at Ashridge, gave an in depth insight into leadership impact and making your mark.


Before the room broke for lunch, world-renowned speaker and business coach Steve Head burst onto the stage with a 35 minute keynote on how to make the 1% difference, high performance and creating personal resilience. Steve explained his theory, that to get the best out of people, it’s all about positivity, giving people the praise they so need, like a dolphin with fish! “When you have to get a Dolphin to jump out of the water, 50 times a day, 365 days of the year… What do you give them?” Fish.”


In The Arena didn’t just play host to keynote speeches, the lucky attendees then had a chance to sign up for two workshops with their selected speakers from the morning. The workshops were all different, dynamic and interactive, giving people that intimate business coaching and personal time with the speakers they so desired.


After lunch in the sunshine, laid on by the highly recommended University of Bedfordshire’s catering team at Putteridge Bury (an Elizabethan manor house in Luton) guests filed back in to the conference hall to hear one final closing presentation from Paralympian and Gold Medallist, Mark Colbourne MBE.


Mark spoke of his life shattering spinal break in a paragliding accident, how he lay on his back for 94 days, learnt to walk again – and went on to win gold at London 2012. Mark spoke of the similarity between sports and business, and how inspiring confidence among your team and your staff contributes toward the success. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house as people rose to their feet to applaud this sensational mans story.


All in all, In The Arena’s messages were about confidence, passion and inspiring those around you, be it at home or at work, to achieve their best.


Missed out this year? Fear not. Plans for next year’s event are well underway! Event Director Ashanti Akabusi of Event Management Company VirtuBrands said “This kind of seminar is what the business community needs. Inspiring stories to generate a new way of thinking among companies and staff.  I truly believe every manager or director who attended In The Arena will now be doing things slightly differently in the office. In The Arena 2015 will be bigger and better than ever before, but today has been truly special.”


For more information about In The Arena and for dates regarding next year, keep up to date at www.akabusi.com

Tweet: @Akabusicompany

Event Managers: @Virtubrands




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