In The Arena
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
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
“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
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
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
Event Managers: @Virtubrands