The smarta way to do business LIVE welcomed entrepreneurs such as MOBO awards founder Kanya King, ex-Dragon and School For Startups' owner Doug Richard and King of Shaves CEO Will King.
As the experts talked from the stage, the audience commented from their seats with a live twitter feed providing the backdrop, resulting in a truly interactive experience.
Early entrepreneurial traits selling whistles at Camden Market and Kanya's passion for music combined to shape her idea for the MOBOs which now reaches 250 million viewers worldwide. "A great entrepreneur is a futurist, historian, ambassador, analyst and a contrarian," she concluded.
Secret Millionaire Carl Hopkins (@Carlhopkins) packed a 90 minute seminar into 30 gem-filled minutes, and laid out his 'extra but ordinary steps for being extraordinary' and extolled the the virtues of differentiating your brand, and learning from others' mistakes - "it's cheaper than making your own" - and of the BHAGs (big, hairy, audacious goals).
4Networking's Brad Burton (@BradBurton), who introduced himself as "a fat Grant Mitchell", delivered a series of straight-talking lessons to prove he certainly isn't "as stupid as I look". From hard work and determination - "Insufficient funds is ok, insufficient desire is NOT ok," - to the power of personal relationships and "creating the conditions where people want to buy", Brad certainly made his mark.
The "Godmother of PR" Lynne Franks (@lynnefranks) delved into the feminine way of business. "Women make up 80% of all consumer decisions, and we don't know how to talk to women," revealed Lynne, who runs women's business networking club B.Hive.
Doug Richard (@DougRichard) treated the audience to a Jackanory recital of his recent battles with the woefully inadequate experience of shopping with PC World. The moral of the tale? "If you want to do good, you must do well, if you want to do well, you must do good," he said.
Guru John Popolini (@gurujpopolini), the self-proclaimed guru (and sex god) opened the afternoon session with a snapshot of his teachings and soon had the crowd chanting and growling at one. Yes, really!
'Ideas Man' Shed Simove's (@ShedSimove) speech Don't Attend My Talk - How being a business rebel is the only way to succeed proved the 'must-attend' talk of the day. Let's face it, anyone who has the gall to change his name by de-poll to God is going to have a story to tell! Shed demonstrated how his Control-A-Woman remote, Chavstick, Flying Fuck and iPood products are helping him eat into the £8 billion UK novelty gift market and combined a lot of laughs with practical lessons in innovation. "Do things differently to stand out in life and business," was his parting message.
Finishing up for the day was a genuine entrepreneurial heavyweight: Will King (@kingofshaves), the founder of King of Shaves. "You will not be successful unless you are passionate about it and persistent at doing it," said Will, recounting how in the early 90s he left his job at a marketing agency to build his brand into an international name. 17 years later - it's still a learning curve.
Will talked in detail about the growth of King of Shaves and how he's looked to use social media and customer service to establish a brand that can compete with the likes of Gilette on a fraction of the budget.
He even left the #smartaLIVE crowd with the exclusive announcement of a new King of Shaves iPhone app.
Videos of yesterday's event will be available very soon. But remember, for now, you can catch up on yesterday's debate at #smartalive.