Learning and entertainment

1st October 2015 |   Nick de Cent

John McCarthy

John McCarthy: sense of humour was vital. © Nick de Cent

An eclectic mix of celebrity speakers, business gurus and corporate thinkers entertained the audience at the UK’s National Sales Conference.

Some 500 delegates and almost 50 exhibitors gathered at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry for the UK’s National Sales Conference on 8 October 2015. This is an event in transition, rebranded from Successful Selling when it was run by the Institute of Sales & Marketing Management and now in its second year as an independent conference. Accordingly, delegates were treated to an eclectic mix of oldschool “entertrainers”, inspirational celebrity speakers and serious development experts plus the occasional high-level speaker from the corporate world. A separate stream in the venue’s Jaguar Club – Sales Learning & Development 2015 – catered specifically for HR and training managers.

For many, the highlights of the day were the two keynote sessions by John McCarthy CBE in the morning and Midge Ure OBE in the afternoon; both had important messages about resilience and staying the distance that are applicable to the day-to-day sales world.

Kidnapped by Islamic Jihad

In his presentation “Against the odds – staying motivated and positive when the chips are down” McCarthy told of his kidnapping by Islamic Jihad while being driven to the airport to catch the plane home from Lebanon. Suddenly, he was catapulted from an uneventful first trip as a cub reporter to a nightmare five years of imprisonment.

Founder of the International Journal of Sales Transformation | + posts

Nick de Cent is the founder and editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Sales Transformation. A business journalist for over 35 years, he has been covering sales since the mid-1980s and has been a strong advocate of enhancing its professional status. He has freelanced for the Financial Times and edited the Sales Performance supplement in The Times. He also writes and edits extensively on behalf of corporate clients, including a Big 3 management consultancy and a top four global executive search firm.
Contact: editor@journalofsalestransformation.com.