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Hello,

Please feel free to contact myself at any time should you be arranging an event, be it for Team Building, Conferences, Management, Award Evenings, Family Fun Days or any function you may be considdering.
We own all our equipment and have plenty of extras to be used as either back-up or for spares keeping our clients assured of hassel free running of the event at all times. The company has been in business for the past
several years supplying entertainment and event managment services to many business andound the country. Some of our close clients are Royal Bank of Scotland, Deloitte & Touche and BP to mention a few.

We are professionals in our field and we can assure you the finest quality of service possible.

Look forward to hearing from you.

You can visit: Http://www.eventadvisor.co.uk/

HMac's picture

eventa: Do you have any familiarity with [i]Manager-Tools[/i], the podcasts or the content of these forums? Or are you just advertising your services in the guise of posting?

stephenbooth_uk's picture

Maybe it's just my imagination but, it does seem that we're more and more of these random advertising posts. On the plus side it means that MT is becoming prominent enough that companies find it worth the effort of posting ads, presumably uninvited as M&M don't strike me as the type to invite advert posts. On the downside I've seen this sort of thing kill forums, my own employer had to remove their customer forums due to the sheer volume of spam posts.

Have Mark and Mike ever published a cast on corporate entertaining? There's [url=http://www.manager-tools.com/2006/10/time-to-party/]Time to Party?[/url], but that's about attending a work's party. I'm currently organising a relaunch event for a department (we're changing the way we perform some of our functions and taking on some HR type responsibilities). It's...challenging, not something I've ever done before.

Stephen

HMac's picture

[quote="stephenbooth_uk"]Maybe it's just my imagination but, it does seem that we're more and more of these random advertising posts. [/quote]
Stephen: It's not your imagination. They ARE popping up more frequently lately. I don't want to make more work for Mike, but I'll tell everybody that I've pointed out the more aduacious ones recently by sending him a PM, and they're gone within a day.

-Hugh

AManagerTool's picture

It's like graffiti. You need to get rid of it as soon as it shows up or it gets impossible to deal with.

I try to politely chastize these posters and encourage them to join the community instead of trying to profit from it. That usually makes them go away...keke :lol:

HMac's picture

[quote="AManagerTool"]That usually makes them go away...[/quote]

And then we have a few others...who appear to think that answering every topic by referring people to their blog isn't gonna be seen for what it is.... :wink:

stephenbooth_uk's picture

[quote="HMac"][quote="AManagerTool"]That usually makes them go away...[/quote]

And then we have a few others...who appear to think that answering every topic by referring people to their blog isn't gonna be seen for what it is.... :wink:[/quote]

I must admit that for at least 50% of the questions I answer on LinkedIn Q&A the answer includes at least one link to MT, there's usually a book recomendation and links to one or more other management/business podcast or blog site entries as well.

Stephen

bffranklin's picture

[quote="stephenbooth_uk"]
I must admit that for at least 50% of the questions I answer on LinkedIn Q&A the answer includes at least one link to MT, there's usually a book recomendation and links to one or more other management/business podcast or blog site entries as well.
Stephen[/quote]

Stephen,

It's one thing to cite your sources. It's another thing to consistently and solely drive traffic to your personal site where you may be profiting from advertising revenue.

I'd also like to note that I love the lack of ads on MT.

HMac's picture

You've put your finger on something Stephen...

It's not impossible to think that someone new to the M-T forums can be genuinely motivated to post saying [i]"Hey: here's my opinion, my advice, and I've got a lot more of it here - on my blog."[/i] I just don't think I've ever seen that here. It always seems to be a post that's really saying: [i]"come over to my site so I can sell you some stuff."[/i]

What I look for is some acknowledgement of M-T content in their answer - some clue that they've listened to a podcast or two.

Having watched this for a few months now, I can't think of many instances - other than wendii - where a poster with their own services showed an effort to integrate their thinking with Manager-Tools. I might be missing others, but it seems like in every other case the underlying message is [i]"come to my site so you can buy my services."[/i]

And that's too bad - because they [i][b]could [/b][/i]add so much diversity to the conversation. Again, the great example is wendii. I read one of her recent posts that was long, thoughful, and immensely valuable. Sure, she has her website in her signature block. And I've visited her site. So her "advertising" has worked, in the sense that she's demonstrated credibility, and made it worth my time to check her out. But because she's taken the time to understand M-T, to acknowledge it, to use it in her posts, and to build on it.

So, kudos to everyone who's genuinely trying to add diversity to these conversations.

And kudos to Mike and Mark for keeping the conversations free from posters who are just here because they think this is a clever way to advertise.

-Hugh

jael's picture

[quote="HMac"]Stephen: It's not your imagination. They ARE popping up more frequently lately. I don't want to make more work for Mike, but I'll tell everybody that I've pointed out the more aduacious ones recently by sending him a PM, and they're gone within a day.[/quote]

I admin a technical forum elsewhere, and we had to start manually reviewing new users' profiles before activating them to keep the spam down. Annoying to the legitimate new user to be delayed, but necessary to keep our forum members from being inundated with spam.

AManagerTool's picture

As is being pointed out, there is nothing wrong with telling people that you have a website, advertising your MySpace site, LinkedIn profile or anything else. It's the constant drone of " Hey I got great advice or some fantastic service, come buy stuff from me at my site." I find that obnoxious.

I read wendii's post with great interest. I have never read her posts to find that she has tried to steer traffic to her site or service. She is a fantastic asset to the community. This is also true of the vast majority of our posters. It's the people that kamikaze their way on to the board and think that with a post count of 1 they have some right to advertise or pontificate on this board that aggravate me.

I know that Mike doesn't want to become bogged down with this forum's administration. I also moderate another forum (Stupid video game fan site that my wife wants me to quit...lol). What we do at the other site is empower our most prolific and well known posters to act as moderators. That way the owners of the board don't have to be the police force at the same time as providing content. This would be my recommendation to Mike. I know that a rating system is currently in the works for the new site adding moderators to this would alleviate this issue.

Here are my nominations for mods:

jhack
US41
HMac
stephenbooth_uk

Why:

Always on the boards, always have good content, always treat everyone with respect.

HMac's picture

I'm humbled to be included on that list - of posters I truly respect.

Hack just went over 1000 posts - he deserves SOMETHING.... :lol:

-Hugh

thaGUma's picture

Quite a lot of umberella poking going on here. It doesn't take long for spam to disappear onto the next page if ignored.

kklogic's picture

Eh, I wouldn't call it umbrella poking - the internet is a little different.

Like the others, I moderate a site of 20,000+ posters (with usually 300+ online at any given time of day). We initially employed the "don't feed the trolls" tactic. Unfortunately, it doesn't work. It needs to be deleted on sight.

These trolls don't care about being banned. They care about hits to their website - often because they are trying to generate clicks to get more money for ads they are sponsoring.

cruzwithme's picture

Dear Friends,

I flipped through many posts which talk about team building and corporate training extra. Many of the corporate trainers start their training without any icebreakers and eventually the whole session turns to be a failure. I would like to personally recommend a god's gift (book) no props which provides excellent icebreaker and other corporate games.

http://www.inspireyourgroup.com/books.htm

AManagerTool's picture

He didn't even read the whole thread. He just posted it on top of the anti-spam rhetoric....LMAO. :P

stephenbooth_uk's picture

True.

To address it as a serious issue, I do have a serious dislike of Ice Breaker exercises. Maybe it's just my High-C/Highish-D side coming out but, I see them as a waste of valuable time; insulting (I left kindergarten some years ago, thank you); often cringe worthy in their ability to cause embarrassament.

I can only think of two Ice Breakers that I've seen/experienced or read about that actually served a useful purpose. The first is basically the same as the introductions at a large meeting described by Mark in [url=http://www.manager-tools.com/2008/08/the-meeting-introduction-for-large-... cast[/url]. The other really only works for something that's multi-day, e.g. a training course. At break times, rather than just sending people off to check their voicemail/email, move them out of the room they've been in, have drinks and snacks served to them then have a number of small tables set up with 3 of 4 chairs at each table and a person's name on each chair. they have to sit in their designated chair. Each break mix up the arrangements so people are sitting with a different group. This works best if you close each session with a preface of the next, ideally in a way that will intrigue attendees.

I was recently made a BEST leader (BEST is a process improvement programme my employer has been running for a few years), this involves running workshops. The handbook recommends using ice breakers to get people talking and energise them. The recommended ice breakers include Hangman, logic puzzles (e.g. Surgeon's Dilemma - "A young man is involved in a car accident and rushed to hospital. It is determined that he needs brain surgery but when he is wheeled in the surgeon exclaims: 'I can't operate on him, he's my son!' The surgeon isn't the young man's father, how can this contradiction be explained?") and games involving moving different body parts in different ways at the same time. I don't think I'll be using any of those.

Stephen

HMac's picture

Stephen - I think your criticism of icebreakers makes an important point: there's a difference between [i]bad [/i]icebreakers and [i]effective [/i]icebreakers.

I've designed and facilitated - and endured - a lot of training in the workplace. And at the risk of generalizing, I've come to believe that every session can benefit from some type of "warm-up" if it's designed properly and executed efficiently.

[list]There's no place for hokey, all-too-familiar "If you were a tree what type of tree would you be?" exercises that just piss off the cynics.

There's no place for overly-long warmups that just pull time away from the purpose of the meeting.[/list:u]
A quick and effective warm-up will "get peoples' heads into the room" and focus their attention on Being Here Now. It might provide an way of introducing strangers (as M/M's meeting intro does), or it might give everybody a shared experience to draw from during the session.

But as a trainer, I depend on a good session-starter to do its job.

-Hugh

ctomasi's picture

I took away a whole lot more from the meeting intro at the Chicago Conf in March than a few names.

At the time I was interested in taking over a role at our company. I made notes of who was already in that role, or closely related to it when they introduced themselves. I then made a point to introduce myself again and let them know my plans. Everyone I spoke with was very willing to extend some type of help.

Now that I'm in the role I was after, I've called up many of those people for peer input. Thank you very much M&M for doing the introductions and thank you everyone I spoke with for the valuable input.

Don't think we're just wasting time with those intros... People are getting more from it than you might think.

stephenbooth_uk's picture

[quote="ctomasi"]Don't think we're just wasting time with those intros... People are getting more from it than you might think.[/quote]

I don't think the intros are a waste of time,one of the two positive examples I cited is introductions. Getting to know people is good and valuable. It's the time spent throwing a ball around a room or working through a list of instructions alone only to discover that the last instruction is to only do the first two that feels like a waste of time and umbrella poking.

Stephen

AManagerTool's picture

Steve what happened to Milton?

corinag's picture

I read the thread, but will pick up on the icebreakers, not the spam :-)

I like the distinction between effective and bad icebreakers.

Having been "in training" and a trainer, I find that some sort of "ice-breaking" if not a traditional icebreaker, is necessary for a couple of reasons:

- To give people who don't know each other some degree of comfort / familiarity before asking them to work with each other or share experiences

- to break with the "business as usual" mindset and introduce people to the "training environment" - this being especially useful when delivering trainings to people in the same department, and on-site.

I have a couple of icebreakers that I remember fondly:

- in a communication skills training, after classical introductions, we were paired up and asked to draw a poster representing ourselves (one team member would tell the other, so two posters were produced in the end). The nice part (other than also illustrating the concept that communication happens in the listener's mind), was that as the course progressed, our means of communicating about ourselves and our work became better and broader, and you could literally see their evolution, from the poster to our final presentations. I have used this exercise several times since, with great success.

- in a group communication meeting (communications officers / managers from various entities who knew each other but worked together infrequently), the icebreaker was (after introductions, of course) a kids game with playdoh. Each person was give playdoh, and the drawing of an animal, and asked to come up with the best 3D representation of that drawing. After each individual completed his or her work to their satisfaction, I switched seats and asked each participant to improve upon their colleague's work. The debriefing was about working with another's materials to improve them but not compromise their vision, the feelings engendered by changes brought to one's work etc. Again, it worked great, because it was pure and simple fun, that allowed people to relax, but in the end also reflect upon how they interact with others.

Lessons learned about icebreakers --

- In order to be effective, they must not be gratuitous (i.e. let's do them because that's part of the training script)
- People must understand their purpose and intended outcome.
- they must be connected to the contect of the training, otherwise they feel out of place and jarring.

That being said, the best "ice-breaker" I've ever had was at a recent marketing meeting, where (as we did not know each other) we all went to dinner and a spa before doing any actual work. It worked wonders :-)

stephenbooth_uk's picture

[quote="corinag"]I have a couple of icebreakers that I remember fondly:[/quote]

Yet both of those you describe would be a real turn off for me (I actually cringed when I read the playdoh one).

The Spa example would probably be pretty good, but only because it would give a chance to chat and make contacts. You could replace the Spa with drinks and nibbles or a game of golf and it would probably work as well (unless of course someone was really anti drinks, nibbles or golf). A conference I used to attend every year would have an event on the first evening (it was a 3 day conference) were they would set up various games (Scaletrix, skittles, roulette (using Monopoly money) &c) around a room plus a bar and free buffet. It was a good opportunity to network with people, chat and generally have a convivial time. You didn't have to participate in any of the games if you didn't want to but could just sit down and chat with people. It probably worked as an ice breaker but that wasn't really the intent (the aim was to keep the conference goers int he conference centre and near to their hotels rather than going off into the surrounding areas and getting mugged.

Stephen

corinag's picture

[quote="stephenbooth_uk"][

Yet both of those you describe would be a real turn off for me (I actually cringed when I read the playdoh one).

Stephen[/quote]

I cringed when i heard the pre-assigned seating one. Talk about discomfort :-)

I guess one more lesson is to tailor the icebreaker to the group.

The group I was with still remembers the playdoh one and smiles fondly about it 4 years later.

Also, I bet it's cultural. Most people in Romania, if left to their own devices, will naturally gravitate towards people they already know, so they would not be breaking the ice with the others, with the attending result that in the meeting room the next day there will be awkwardness and false starts galore.

Corina

garyslinger's picture

[quote="stephenbooth_uk"]
Yet both of those you describe would be a real turn off for me (I actually cringed when I read the playdoh one).[/quote]
No kidding. Put me in a room where I'm expected to play with playdoh on company time, and I'm through the door. I'm absolutely certain my management chain would support me doing that.

There's ice-breaking/setups, like M&M's Introductions exercise, and there's screwing around.

G.

corinag's picture

It's different strokes for different folk, I guess.