Hear from 12 different companies what they can do to help you during this time.

FASTHELP is a unique new online event, when companies tell you what they can do to help you during this period of crisis and rapid change (and hopefully by July 9th, what they can do for you as we head out of this crisis).

How will the sessions work?

Throughout the day on the 9th July, whilst the judging is taking place, finalists and non-finalists can watch FASTHELP panels. There will be six half hour panels between 0900 to 1500, each with two companies, who will share what they can do to help, plus discussion panel at the end.

Each company has ten minutes to tell you what they can do to help. After both companies in each panel finish with their speech, there will be ten minutes for questions from the audience for clarification or further detail. They will have to present clear and useful information to get their message across!

Each panel is hosted by a chairperson, primed with questions from the audience. The questions will be selected by the chair via ‘chat’ during the pitch.

The panels will be grouped according to common themes, whether it is sector or product or service. The panelists are business men and women who are members of The Judge Club and Awards International finalists or winners.

The panels may lead to new connections and new ideas of how you can help other businesses too. To assist with this audience will be given details of all panelists and all other audience members who elect to share them. The details will be limited to name and company only. It is up to the audience and the panelists if they wish to connect, on LinkedIn for example.

It will also be possible for audience members to message panelists and each other privately vIa the event software. The panelists may or may not accept to reply to the messages they receive.


09:30 - 09:45 Peter Milligan - New Generation Leaders

Being a 3-Dimensional Professional in a 2-Dimensional World
Lessons learned from Lockdown

Although video conferencing is not new, never before has so much face-to-face communication taken place online. With so many people working from home in recent months, we are restricted to cameras, screens, microphones, and speakers, for “face to face” communication. Rather than allowing our standards to drop, we need to make more of an effort. How we appear and engage online will affect people’s perception of us and the effectiveness of our communication. There are many common mistakes that can be easily addressed. Being natural and authentic on camera is important and so is coming across as credible and professional. Building upon 3 decades of leadership development, group facilitation, and professional speaking, Peter Milligan has created an online programme (Learning & Leading in Uncertain Times). He has been on a steep learning curve and, in this session, will share some of his lessons so far.

09:45 - 10:00 Michelle Ansell - Douglas Jackson

Why Job Descriptions Are a Waste of Time.

Have you ever hired someone with all the right skills and behaviours who did not deliver on performance? If you were to take a look at your recruitment process, how has it changed over the last 10 years? As a Director, Business leader or, HR professional, one of the most important decisions you make will be who you hire. A great hire will help you overcome your challenges and achieve your goals. Join me for my 15 minute presentation and learn why you need to stop wasting time on job descriptions and what you need to start doing to hire and retain top tier talent, that saves or, makes you money and reduces your commercial downtime.

10:00 - 10:10 Changeover
10:10 - 10:25 Marina Sykes - Octopus Energy for Business

1. WFH approach

Technology: Ensure ease of communication and ability to work from home via up to date and effective technology (laptops, Slack, Kraken technologies). Create an environment whereby employees are permitted to work from any place, anytime, without judgement. Employees get used to flexible working, thus a smoother transition during crisis. Going forwards: For some, working from home has worked well – we will continue this going forwards for those that prefer it.

2. Company culture

We grant high levels of trust and autonomy to our employees – lack of micromanagement leads to independent employees who use their initiative – well-suited to this time of stress. Our modular approach to teams - hugely beneficial in an environment where instant access to another team not so easy. Employee engagement – whole company weekly meetings, engagement directly with CEO – allows everyone to stay connected and engaged. Octo-kids – supporting employees working from home with children – providing entertainment to keep kids entertained for 4 hours a day.

3. Customer approach

In times of stress, empathetic and proactive customer communication is more important than ever. Proactively contacted customers to offer them the option to dial down their direct debits. Also summarised government grants and offered Octo-Kids in our customer communications. Helping customers back on their feet – we are now planning a ‘Back to Business’ scheme & looking to partner with like-minded companies to offer other prizes to businesses and their employees who are beginning to start up again.

10:25 - 10:40 Kevin Doyle - Ascenti

Kevin is responsible for managing client relationships and new growth opportunities, having previously led Ascenti’s clinical network and national expansion.

A former professional footballer for Leeds United and Nottingham Forest, he qualified as a physiotherapist in 2006 after sustaining a career-ending injury. He began his physiotherapy career at Birmingham City Football Club, before becoming a founding member of a successful private physiotherapy business, later acquired by Ascenti in 2010.

Kevin’s experience in elite sports has been instrumental to embedding Ascenti’s results-focused clinical philosophy.

10:40 - 10:55 Break
10:55 - 11:10 Mark Wright - Climb Online

‘How to rebuild your business for super success post COVID-19’

Mark Wright is an award-winning, influential entrepreneur and self-taught digital marketing specialist, renowned for his success in winning BBC’s The Apprentice. In securing the winners title, Mark went on to find and develop one of the UK’s fastest growing digital marketing agencies, Climb Online, in partnership with Lord Sugar. As the most successful business to have been founded by an Apprentice winner to date, Climb Online is renowned for its disruptive approach to digital marketing, working with household brands to scale growth and generate profit. Mark’s experience in building and creating a multi-million-pound turnover digital empire has led him to source and invest in additional businesses within the property investment, web development and public relations sectors, where he has dedicated his time to implementing strategies that have replicated admirable levels of success. Aged just 30, Mark’s proven skill and capability in business has earnt him credentials as an ambitious influencer on lead generation, profitability and growth, where his journey to success has inspired Entrepreneurs globally, who regularly attend his public speaking engagements and motivational talks both across the UK and overseas. During the FASTHELP panel, Mark will provide insight into this journey to success, whilst discussing the impact COVID-19 has had across his businesses and what strategy he has implemented to maintain profitability and dominate target industry sectors, as competitors have struggled to keep pace. Listeners will also benefit from straight-talking advice and motivational tips that will ensure they remain focused and are ready to tackle whatever else 2020 has to throw at us.

11:10 - 11:25 Helen Pettifer - Helen Pettifer Training

Where to start with supporting vulnerable customers

Vulnerability is a much talked about business topic, with Covid-19 and many UK regulators now bringing it sharply into focus. Vulnerable customers are not just the elderly who may be frail or individuals with an obvious physical impairment. Events such as bereavement, a serious medical diagnosis, divorce, or relationship breakdown can happen to anyone at any time. These sorts of events cause stress and affect a person’s ability to cope with life, carry out day-to-day tasks, make decisions and interact with organisations. How companies approach and help customers facing such tough situations will have a huge effect on what the customer thinks about them and how they engage further with the organisation. In this session, Helen shares her key points on where to start when creating, implementing, and developing a vulnerable customer strategy. She touches on what drives vulnerability in individuals and how front-line staff can identify potentially vulnerable customers.

11:25 - 11:35 Changeover
11:35 - 11:50 Dr Paul Phillips - Weston College

Crisis Leadership – strategies to create the new normal, engage employees in innovation and build resilience for change. Dr Paul Phillips CBE is the Principal and Chief Executive of Weston College, one of the fastest growing Colleges in the UK, with its own University Centre and a turnover of c£67m, 750+ staff and 30,000 annual enrolments. When COVID19 came, the College successfully switched over its entire educational operation (within 7 days prior to lockdown) to a ‘Virtual Campus’ model for day one readiness. This allowed outstanding education to be continued to be delivered remotely with 4043 virtual teaching/support sessions delivered in the first week.

In this FASTHELP Panel, he discusses:
What makes a good leader in a crisis, communication strategies, rebuilding for the new normal, engaging employees in innovation and building resilience for change. He gives an honest and frank account of what COVID19 has taught him and how he is looking at future strategies for upskilling the College’s workforce, as well as developing a culture of positive mental health and flexible working in order to sustain talent within his organisation. He looks at identifying and working with stakeholders for skills delivery for the future and building an entrepreneurial growth mindset for staff in order to ‘Build Back Better.’

11:50 - 12:05 Ash Vipani - GUURU

Crisis management in customer service

The COVID-19 crisis poses new challenges for online trade: solutions and approaches must be found quickly in order to continue providing great support to customers. By no means all online retailers are set up for home office use - at the same time, online enquiries and purchases are rising and so are support requests.

How can companies provide easy scalable solutions on all digital channels while keeping costs low? With GUURU's cloud-based smart customer interaction solution companies not only meet requirements during COVID-19, but offer a solution to respond to today’s customer expectations: easy accessible, fully scalable, 24/7 and instant live chat support on all digital channels.

Through AI-driven smart routing, incoming support questions are sent to either certified product users – so-called Guurus – who share their knowledge and expertise with support seeking customers; or to the GUURU SmartBot for automated answers. The SmartBot knowledge base constantly grows by processing the content of the peer-to-peer live chat content, with the help of machine learning. This not only saves costs, but also improves the quality of service and response speed, while boosting sales.

12:05 - 12:45 Lunch Break
12:45 - 13:00 Basia Szumska-Hare - Capita

I will be presenting on how Capita has helped businesses survive through this Pandemic. I will be talking about how we are helping Govt, Education , Pharma, Telco recover and return to thrive. Capita works with the following Industries, Retail, Utilities, Govt, Charities, Financial Services, Telco, Education and Learning and Health. We are proud to have helped businesses across these sectors, from providing help with resourcing and workforce management to assisted technology transformations, together with moving thousands of people to work from home at the height of the outbreak.

13:00 - 13:15 Rossa Malone and Rodrigo Furtado - LogmeIn
13:15 - 13:25 Changeover
13:25 - 13:40 Fleur Hicks - onefourzero

Agility in the Face of Adversity: How to use data to understand what normal looks like now, prioritise business efforts and forecast post COVID KPIs

1) We will take a look at what data is available internally and externally that everyone can access, so that they can successfully map the following:
a. Current market demand
b. Current competitive landscape and market share
c. What good looks like

In each instance, particularly of outside data, I will point the audience to links

2) I will go into detail as to where they can get that data from (with links), focusing on:
a. Audience demand b. Customer loyalty c. Marketing and spend analytics d. Competitor dynamics

3) Finally, I will give them a steer as to how to use that data to decide on some important factors:
a. How to prioritise based on ROAS
b. How to Prioritise based on product/customer demand
c. How to set KPIs based on this free competitor intel

13:40 - 13:55 Homayoun Dayani-Fard - YWH

Reflections on navigating times of uncertainty

Over my 25-year career, I have worked with many leaders and their teams during difficult times – both as a coach and a business consultant. Yet, when a client of mine recently asked me what he can do to survive, I had to dig deep to find the courage to tell him “I don’t know”. In fact, in these uncertain times, nobody knows the answer. When we accept that, we can tap into the resources of our teams not only to survive, but to thrive. Here I offer a simple framework for leading through these uncertain times and hope it will help you navigate your business successfully!

1. Remain healthy and safe. YOU, your family, your staff and their families need to be healthy for your business to survive and thrive! Focus on the whole of the person: physical, mental and spiritual.
2. Manage your liquidity. Financial strain, i.e. cash flow, is the main cause of stress on leaders and their teams. Know your position and explore diverse options available to you. Be open and transparent with your team, ask them to co-develop creative solutions.
3. Make a small bet for the future. The world will continue, businesses will grow again, customers buy, suppliers provide. You need to come out of this pandemic stronger. What is the one thing that you could bet on now that will strengthen your business to thrive in the future? As a team, connect with your purpose: why you do what you do. Be courageous and tell your teams that you don’t have the answer, so they can feel O.K. that they don’t have the answer. And that as a whole you can find some answers.

13:55 - 14:05 Changeover
14:05 – 14:35 Panel Discussion
14:35 - 15:15 Break
15:15 - 15:30 Registration
15:30 - 17:00 Awards Ceremony

We value the security of your data. In this way networking opportunities are increased, whilst ensuring the choice to share details rest with the owner of those details, not Awards International.

Most of all we hope you find some useful help for your business or can see a way you can help someone else! We all need all the help we can get.

We will share information about the panelists on our website following the awards.

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