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Louise Ash

My Meaning hangover

Thoughts from the morning after…

Despite being in the grip of a particularly pernicious hangover, following a super fun night of post-event celebrations, my head is whirring with ideas and possibilities. Next year has to be even better. It has to have more impact.

I had a wonderful (if green) morning reading tweets and emails from so many generous, passionate and pumped up people. Clearly Meaning 2014 was a very positive and impactful experience for most of our participants. That feels good. Really good. But I want to resist being too self-congratulatory. We can do more.

It’s magical bringing lots of switched on, like-minded people together. It’s brilliant to hang out together for a day. That really is a buzz. And I love knowing that folk get inspired and motivated by our awesome speakers. But I can’t help thinking they’re kind of preaching to the choir. It would be pretty cool to broaden our reach.

So here’s an initial list of aims for Meaning 2015:

1. Get more brand side leaders along. I want more people from big business in the room.

2. Get more young entrepreneurs along. A partnership with our new friends at GEW will help make that happen.

3. Get some politicians along. We tried this year, but not hard enough.

4. Get the naysayers along. This one came from Mr Nixon senior (Tom‘s dad). #bringaskeptictoMeaning

We also need to keep tuning the programme to create more time for debate and deeper exploration. I’d love to hear some proper rows going on next year!

Give me a shout if you have energy or ideas to help meet these aims and create greater impact with Meaning 2015.

Of course there will be lots more content to share from Meaning over the coming days. Watch this space. Meanwhile time for hair of the dog…



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  1. I cheerfully volunteer as a naysayer. :o)

    Posted 20th November 2014 at 3:15 am | Permalink
  2. David

    Firstly, congrats on organising an event that so many people loved.

    It’s great that you’re thinking straightaway about how to improve it too.

    And I think you’re pretty spot on with most of the things.

    I agree you need more people from big business. I felt like one of the only ones. Change is just not going to happen fast enough otherwise.

    To appeal to more big businesses the content needs to be about the issues businesses face. It was too idealistic to me, not real world enough.

    Naysayers definitely needed. Everyone was violently agreeing with each other. (I’d have been more up for it if I hadn’t been unwell!)

    A couple of logistics points too:

    I’d prefer to see round tables rather than theatre-style seating, to encourage interaction and debate.

    The breakout rooms were just too crowded and chaotic.

    On the plus side the catering was first rate (even down to thinking of the nice little touches like tea break chocolate bars!), as was the organisation and the look and feel of the event.

    I hope you go on to organise an amazing Meaning 2015!

    Posted 20th November 2014 at 5:40 pm | Permalink
  3. I work for a big company – happy to come and speak next year, if of interest

    Posted 21st November 2014 at 2:34 pm | Permalink
  4. Jamie Pyper

    Hi Lou,

    It was epic and I really enjoyed it. The balance was pretty good, something for everyone. Some I loved personally, but Mark as an opener was inspiring. He really makes you think because he’s talking about what is happening now and where it might lead in a few short years. Other than that I think I like your thoughts above. It would be good to find ways to bring more business owners/representatives to it, though I don’t know the mix. Not sure if there are more traditional but interesting partners like the EOA you can try and co-promo with? John Lewis are also planning their own conference soon about their way of doing business, I might be able to hook you up with someone there.

    Anyway, nice mix of formats this year, sit down and workshops. Starting to differentiate nicely from the Tedx type experience.

    Posted 26th November 2014 at 12:41 pm | Permalink