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Events agency boss to ‘level up for better’ after COVID-19

An events agency boss has expanded her venture after admitting the COVID-19 pandemic forced her to “level up for the better”.

Hilary Dunne, founder of The Brand Activators, has launched ‘SOS’ Speakers and accelerated plans to introduce a training arm.

She has also committed to increasing speakers’ diversity.

The Brand Activators offers a speaker bureau that is skilled in delivering events and a roster of experts with experience and authority across numerous fields who speak at events and in consultancy environments.

However, with the pandemic having made Hilary look again at her business model, she has introduced new stage finding service ‘SOS’ Speakers.

“She says: “This is PR – reimagined. I came up with the idea to attract more people to use speaking to share their experiences with audiences, rather than just relying on traditional PR.

“Speaking to a live audience is on another level.  Our ‘SOS’ service finds the stages to suit our client’s niche.”

Hilary is also bringing forward plans for a training arm, which she says will help aspiring people with experience in their chosen field to develop their confidence in public speaking.

Furthermore, Hilary is making changes to the speaker bureau element of her business, which she created three years ago.

She says: “At first, it was a case of battening down the hatches and hoping the pandemic would pass as quickly as possible.

“Then the lockdown was announced and literally everything was put on hold.

“In that first week, 60 per cent of our workload was postponed overnight.”

Hilary continues: “One thing that became very clear when I looked at the speaker sector was the lack of diversity in the speakers who are represented.

“Nationally, it’s generally 70 per cent male versus 30 per cent female speakers who are booked in the UK.

They are also generally white and 45 years-plus.

“To my embarrassment, my bureau reflected this and that’s when I knew I had to disrupt the marketplace to bring in a diverse range of speakers and sectors that better reflect the world today.

“We are actively looking for younger people to speak.

“We are also seeking out diverse and ethnic minorities, and by covering more sectors we will have a far more diverse pool of exciting speakers to offer clients.”

Photographer credit: Lee Scullion