Gail Davis, 01 March 2011
Tomorrow I begin my “Give Back Tour” with Andre Norman.
Excited would be an understatement. The opportunity to make a difference in so many lives throughout my home state of Oklahoma and the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex will probably keep me awake tonight.
You may be wondering what a “Give Back Tour” is … well, I just made up the name.
It all started this past December when Andre spoke at a fundraising event. Not only did he speak at the event, he also offered a future presentation for the auction.
As the bidding was getting underway, he challenged the bidders to work together to increase the overall contribution to the charity. He said that if we pulled together the bids, he would work for one week.
Gail Davis, 01 February 2011
I really am passionate about the speaking industry and the potential it has to transform lives. There are so many important genres of speakers. While I enjoy and understand the importance various speakers and topics play in the marketplace, my personal favorite is inspiration.
I carefully chose the word inspiration over motivation. I am not sure motivation has a long-term impact on audiences. However, I do believe we can be forever changed by inspiration.
Over the years, one of my favorite ways to give back is to provide a speaker to the Tarrant County Juvenile Detention Center. The first time I did this, I sat in the back of the room and was brought to tears. I did not expect so many young children to be in the audience. I did not expect my heart to break for their pain. I was overjoyed that I had the opportunity to arrange for the speaker to be there. I remember the complete satisfaction of watching these hurt kids start to smile as they began to believe their lives could be different. That feeling is like no other. It is awesome to see a ballroom of corporate employees rise to a standing ovation for a speaker. But to see kids impacted is a completely different level of satisfaction.
Gail Davis, 15 November 2010
Last week Ankit Fadia visited our office. Being around Ankit is an energy rush. His accomplishments are incredible for a 25 year old. Yet, only a 25 year old would have the energy to do what he does!!
Ankit wrote his first book at 14. He began speaking at age 15 and today he runs a successful security consulting firm. He also runs training courses in India and China on computer security, is the host of his own show on MTV India called What the Hack, has a lucrative speaking career AND is a world traveler who takes the time to meet locals and truly experience the places he visits.
I met in Ankit in 2007 and began representing him. At the time , his speaking career focused on a presentation called “Hacked”. The presentation is usually two hours long and very interactive.
The idea of the presentation is to scare everyone through his use of audience volunteers showing the ease of breaking passwords and getting into email and credit card accounts. He also scrolls down a screen showing everyone’s mobile phone that has blue tooth enabled. Audiences gasp when they see their name and phone number scrolling on the screen. Most of us have no idea how vulnerable we are to technological break-ins.
This presentation is still a crowd favorite because it is very hands on, scary, exciting, educational, very much a performance, and fast paced...perfect for someone with a short attention span.
During the last 15 minutes...Ankit gives real solutions as take-home for audience members to implement.
Since 2007, many of our clients have booked Ankit. Most of them have wanted to bring him back a second time. To respond to this request, Ankit created a presentation called “The Digital Social.”
Gail Davis, 01 October 2010
By Gail Davis
In 1994 I was issued a challenge from the chairman of EDS, Les Alberthal. He asked me to find a speaker that was new and different- someone everyone would like to hear and someone who was international in appeal. It is a story I never tire of telling. For six months in a pre-Google era, I searched and searched to no avail. Finally my dad offered a great suggestion and I went through the Uruguayan embassy to find Nando Parrado. Good idea but not as easy as you might think. They told me they could not give me his number but shared he had a television show in Montevideo. Speaking Spanish, I navigated my way through the phone maze at the tv station and eventually had the number for Nando’s office. I called. He answered. And from that moment on, both of our lives changed dramatically.
After much convincing, I got Nando to speak at the EDS sales incentive event in Maui, Hawaii. It was the wildest success one could imagine. It was even suggested that I retire because everyone agreed I would not be able to top the success with Nando. My friendship with Nando and his wife continued to flourish. I made a trip to Uruguay with my entire family. Nando thought the EDS deal was a onetime situation. However, his wife Veronique and I could not get over the impact he had on the event attendees and the letters and faxes that followed. We both felt there was a reason Nando survived and that he had a message the world needed to hear.
Gail Davis, 09 August 2010
When I was starting my company, I toyed with the idea of having a partner. I interviewed several successful entrepreneurs to discuss the pros and cons of going it alone or having a business partner. I remember my friend Jo Kling of Landry & Kling telling me that the best part of having a business partner is there is always another person there helping you row the boat. In the end, I did not base my business on a partnership model. The ironic part of it is partnerships are a key ingredient to the success we have experienced.
Looking back over the last 12 years, I can clearly say that we have been fortunate to have client relationships that feel more like partnerships. We have been invited to strategy sessions and events. We are made to feel that our experience and recommendations are key to the overall success of our clients’ events. The same is true on the speaker side of the house. We have speakers we have booked consistently throughout our company history. There is no doubt that we have forged our way by having a mutual respect and understanding of each other.
Gail Davis, 08 July 2010
This blog may not have as many specific hints for planning events or selecting speakers, but what I hope it does say is that each experience we have helps establish and create our frame of reference. Each relationship we develop with vendors is an expansion of our ability to create. Continuing to experience new things keeps us fresh but maintaining our relationships gives us trusted advisors with experience. Mixing it up ensures we do not get stale … so read on for some first-hand experience of new venues and ideas!
It’s all about ideas, relationships and people……at least that is my perspective when it comes to the world of incentives, events and creating memorable experiences.
This weekend I was in New York for the Norwegian Cruise Line Epic inaugural cruise. I was exposed to a new ship while being reunited with some people I have known in this business for many years.
The Epic is NCL’s largest and newest ship in their fleet.
Given its size (it can accommodate just over 4,000 passengers) and it has a lot of offer. Some of the concepts are unique. It has an area for travelers sailing solo. Traditional cruise ship pricing is based on double occupancy in a cabin. On most cruise lines you pay 1.5 if you are traveling alone. The Epic has some small studio type cabins designed for single travelers and an area called the Studio Living Room where those utilizing this new concept can congregate for coffee.
- When will large and in-person events make a comeback?
- Case Study: "Virtual Made it Possible"
- You need a good moderator/host for your event. Here's why.
- How are fees being adjusted for virtual appearances?
- Celebrating 20 Years- Part 8: Staying Tech Savvy
- Celebrating 20 Years- Part 7: IASB and EO
- Celebrating 20 Years- Part 6: Gratitude
- Look Who's 20!
- Celebrating 20 Years - Part 5: New Discoveries
- Celebrating 20 Years - Part 4: The Big Move...the Rebrand
- Celebrating 20 Years - Part 3: Growing Pains and Gains
- Celebrating 20 Years - Part 2: Turning Points
- Celebrating 20 Years - Part 1
- 18th Anniversary Celebration - Founder's Talk
- GDA Podcast Recap | Nando Parrado Episode 7
- GDA Podcast Recap | Richard Resnick Episode 6
- GDA Podcast Recap | Dr. Michael "Misha" Auslin Episode 5
- GDA Podcast Recap | Herb Meyer Episode 4
- GDA Podcast Recap | David Polinchock Episode 3
- GDA Podcast Recap | Jim Carrol Episode 2
- GDA Podcast Recap | Jeff Kirschner Episode 1
- The Story of the GDA Podcast
- The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same: 30 Years Of Perspective
- An Inspirational Story of Perseverance
- Less Is More
- Six Speakers, Six Days, Three Cities….. Impressions.
- The Entrepreneurial Spirit
- Top “Plan B” Questions When Bad Weather Strikes
- Business Advice From a Veteran
- Top A-Team Traits That Deliver Successful Results
- Setting Your Moral Compass
- Don’t Drop the Ball on Introductions
- A Role Model for Those Who Stay, Leave and Everyone Else
- Secret Weapons
- Celebrating 15 Years With HR Houston
- A Unique Speaker You Need
- Rex Lewis-Clack: Class of 2013- A Guest Blog from Cathleen Lewis
- A Magical Event
- The Impact of a TED Talk- A Guest Blog From Leslie Morgan Steiner
- The Day That Changed Our Lives- A Guest Blog From Steve Palermo
- Everyone Should Book John O'Leary
- Eric Saperston is Another Gift
- Create an Oscar Award Winning Event with Eric Maddox
- Cruising into 2013
- Hope for the Holidays
- Don't Wait to Book Your Speakers Part 2
- Don't Wait to Book Your Speakers
- A Guest Blog From Kristina Wandzilak
- A Guest Blog from Nando Parrado
- Do You Take the Stairs?
- Dr. Gary Chapman Brings the Love to Our Office
- DON'T HIRE MOVERS!
- Designing Women
- TEDxSMU - What a day!
- The End of the Up Experience Didn’t Leave Me Down
- Up, Up, Up. The Up Experience Part 3
- Round 2 of the Up Experience
- The Up Experience, Truly Uplifting
- A First Class Event
- An Audience with the Dalai Lama
- The Best Email Tip I've Ever Heard
- Don't Just Book a Speaker, Create a Revolution
- Kids of the Suburbs Take Note
- Visiting Their Cells Emotional. Energy.
- Sex, Mentors and Thank You ... An unexpected sort of day.
- Powerful. The only word for today.
- The Give Back Tour Begins
- Andre Norman and Giving Back
- Energy and Synergy with Ankit Fadia
- Momentum, Passion and Transformation
- An Epic Trip
- Tom Martinez- A Story of Hate, A Message of Hope
- Kids and Speakers
- Live From New York
- Customer Service: Going Above and Beyond
- In Remembrance of Randy Snow
- A Sense of Connection
- Event Wisdom: Simple things that make a difference
- International Events
- A CEO Who Gets It!!!
- Celebrating 10 Years of Inspiration
- Domestic Violence
- Milestones and Celebrations
- Meeting...No meeting? Speaker...No speaker? What's a planner to do?
- It Was No Coincidence
- Let's Get Healthy with Todd Whitthorne and Gail's Tips for Healthy Meetings
- Nando, Sonia, Tim and 2008
- Timing is Everything ... and Steve Forbes, too.
- Rex Lewis-Clack and Cathleen Lewis