From one year to another

Fireworks New Year 2010

The end on the year is near and in fact today is the last day of 2010. As everybody does at this time a year I will also try to look back at what I have accomplished in year 2010, and what goals and expectation I have for 2011.

Year 2010 was the year where alexanderhold.com was born, which I so far feel really good about. A couple of thousands have read one of my articles and have studied my CV. I have been able to make a few new connections through this media and I have great expectations for alexanderhold.com in the New Year to come.

Looking at my CV there is only registered four events in 2010, which might seem like a little. However I have been quite busy during 2010 and I have spent a lot of time expanding my horizon and cultural understanding by traveling.

My first trip went to Spain in the beginning of the year, visiting different production companies, among which Gerresheimer was one of them. The trip was great experience and became possible in connection with a great friend of mine. I have had several of these experiences in 2010, where I through a friend or a connection have been challenged with things that I have never tried before. I have been shooting clay pigeons, windsurfing, sailing optimist, visited high class societies, and in general had unforgettable experiences; All possible because of good friends and great connections.

During the summer I experienced the capital of Norway, Olso, which was a great experience and opened my eyes for a very beautiful city and a neighbour country with several opportunities.

I spend a week in the capital of Britain, London, where I enjoyed several attractions and visited the parliament, West Minister, which I strongly recommend to all visitors of the impressive capital. I met up with an old American connection during my stay and spend a pleasant time in great company. Further I love the theatre and London was a great opportunity to fulfil that enjoyment.

Year 2010 was also the time where I spend a week as a volunteer in the Nordics largest entrepreneurial event Emax Nordic, where 200 youngsters form the Scandinavian countries compete in a business simulation game and extend their Scandinavian network. The experience was amazing and without no doubt something I would do again if I will have the opportunity.

For the first time I visited Eastern Europe which turned out to be a pleasant surprise. My stay in Vilnius, Lithuania brought a lot of great experiences and several strong connections in the European countries. The annual JA-YE Alumni Conference is one of the events that I have a strong connection to, and which will remain an important event for me to participate in.

My latest journey went to Barcelona, Spain, which is a city and society that have so many great values and should be admired for it. My impression of Barcelona was way greater than expected and it is for sure a city that I would like to explore further, because I believe that the rest of the world can learn a lot from the way of life, which is lived in Barcelona.

Year 2010 was not just a year with great traveling experiences; it was also the year where the Thought-Leader Series was founded by me at the AU-IBT. 6 interesting and successful CEO’s have visited me at the university and the experience of getting this project up and running has been a great challenge. That is also why I have decided to continue the success and I will present 6 guest lectures for the third season of the Thought-Leader Series at AU-IBT. I look very much forward to it, and expect a lot from the CEO’s visiting, the students attending, and from myself as the host and founder.

Looking back at 2010, I feel proud of my achievements and look forward to 2011, which will bring even more great experiences and adventures. Not just do I have the Thought-Leader Series in sight, I do also have the preparation and planning of a two semester study trip abroad. I can only be glad that I have so many great opportunities and I look forward to be challenged in the New Year.

Happy New Year! to you, your friends and family, as well as your connections and acquaintance. May the New Year bring you joy and happiness with whatever you do!

What is a Flash Mob?

Flash Mob T-mobile Heatrow Terminal 5

Have you ever heard of the term Flash Mob? The Concept is pretty cool and can easily be explained. Read hear Wikipedia’s English definition:A flash mob (or flashmob) is a large group of people who assemble suddenly in a public place, perform an unusual and pointless act for a brief time, then disperse.”

In other words; a flash mob is a social gathering in an unusual place. This is one of my favorite flash mob’s because of it professionalism, but there is a lot of viral flash mob’s to find on youtube.

What you see in the video above is a part of advertising campaign for the German telecommunication provider T-mobile in Britain. The video is recorded in Heathrow Airport, London, and is a product of 300 people’s hard work. T-mobile have done several of these flash mob’s around Britain, and have had great success to attract the attention of the media as well as the public.

What is interesting about flash mob’s in general is the massive attention it gets in the public atmosphere, and how it engage and gives an experience to people who accidently is in the spot where the flash mob takes place.

I keep referring to the viral effect of these events, but the viral effect is not just online in video form. It also exists in mouth to mouth verbal form, where people tell their friends and family about for instance: what an amazing welcome they had in Heathrow Terminal 5 by T-mobile. People blog about the experience and share armature video and pictures from the happening. All this creates the difference from a regular viral video, which does not catch the surprised faces of the public. When doing professional flash mob’s the epicenter is way larger than regular viral videos and the message of the event (flash mob) is so much stronger and will reach even further.

When we talk about modern business and marketing, the competition is so intense and we have to think different. That is what T-mobile is doing and they are really good at it.

At last I would like to share and example of another flash mob that surprised travelers at Grant Central Station, New York. Notice that more than 24 million have watched the video.

Merry Christmas to You

Merry Christmas - AlexanderHold.com

Christmas is the time a year where families join together in social bond and enjoy each other’s company for good and for bad. It is a time where people spend a lot of money on good food and presents that makes their love ones happy. And it is a time that brings up the best in people.

Christmas is also a great time for taking the opportunity of writing a personal Christmas greeting to your friends and network and wishes them a merry Christmas. Especially; you have the opportunity of expressing if you admire or are thankful to someone who, in one way or another have helped your or meant something to your professionally. Usually I would argue for why to do so. However it is Christmas and I believe in the best in people and I am sure, that you as reader of this blog are aware of the importance of greeting and thanking people that have done well.

I would like to wish you, and all your fellow readers, bloggers, followers and experts in your particular subject a Merry Christmas.

I hope you all will enjoy a happy time with your families or friends spread the joy of Christmas to your surroundings.

The concept of Full House

Boxen Herning Handball

Some might think that by Full House I am referring to the popular 90‘s TV series by the same name. However I am not.

I am referring to the concept of “sold out” for different events; here sport events in particular. When we talk about events we talk about a product of experience an entertainment and in general a product that competes with other cultural and entertaining opportunities such as theater, movies, concerts and might even TV. Therefor is it also a challenge to attract an audience for these events.

Sport events are especially tough, due to fact that a part of the experience is the excitement of the audience, which means that the organizer must present an arena full of people. This is what is needed to meet the expectations of people who have paid a lot of money for a ticket.

So how to fill the arena and deliver the expected experience. For certain sport events it is no problem, because there is a large fan base that shows up for every game and support their team. However other sport events are not that popular and need much more care to sell.

Here comes the concept of free tickets. But why give tickets away for free? Do you make money on giving things away for free? I would claim that you can make even more money, than when charging the audience for the ticket. Tickets are a money making machine and stop charging money for the product you are selling is not the infinitive solution. The problem is when you cannot sell tickets enough to deliver the expected atmosphere, which is required for not disappointing the audience.

So when that happens it is about time to give the tickets away for free. Do not see the concept as giving away the product for nothing, but see it as effective advertising. You should keep in mind that no matter if you hand out fee tickets or not, your expenditures for having the event will be almost the same. However your revenue will increase dramatically. Because when people go see sport events they buy a beer or two, or might even three and of cause they also need something to eat meanwhile, as well as snacks to pleasure the experience. All these goods are bought in the arena and are goods with a large profit margin, which means good revenue.

Let’s try a simple example with imaginary figures: We have an arena with a capacity of 10.000 spectators. Of these 10.000 tickets we have sold 5.000 to a price of 350 DKK. which is equal to 1.750.000 DKK. An average spectator spends around 100 DKK. on snacks and beverages during a game, which is 5000*100 = 500.000 DKK. 1.750.000+500.000 = 2.250.000 in total revenue. Then calculate the extra revenue of filling up the arena. 5000 extra spectators multiplied with 100 DKK. equal to additional half million. In total 2.750.000 DKK.

A bonus to the extra revenue is the advertising effect, which might tempt people to buy a ticket for the next game. Therefore is it also important that people feel special when receiving free ticket and therefore should it not be the same that gets free tickets every time. There are various opportunities to award people free tickets, but it might be clever to give people free tickets in uneven numbers. Imagine receiving three tickets for free and then have to buy the last one, so the whole family can have an experience together. If this is possible it will result in a 25% increase in revenue from tickets.

Another potential source of revenue is to think of the sport arena as marketplace for lotteries, accessories and competitions. In reality it is all about being creative and one nationality that Danish event organizers could learn from is the Americans. One thing is clear; giving away tickets for free is not such a bad idea, because when people first are gathered around an event you have every opportunity to sell additional goods.

Mayor, Lars Krarup

Lars Krarup, Mayor of Herning

Monday the 22nd of November Mayor, Lars Krarup spoke as the last guest lecturer in the Thought-Leader Series second season. It was an exciting day for me personally, since it is not every day you get to meet the mayor.

Lars Krarup has been mayor for 9 years, and was when he was elected, among the youngest mayors ever elected in Denmark. Lars is daily responsible for 9000 employees which he only can describe as a mouthful. However he finds his job very interesting and assured the audience and I, that there was never a day looking like the day before. One of the problems you are facing when you have 9000 employees is that you don’t know every single one of them, and therefor does Lars also put an honor in personally welcoming new employees working at the city hall.

Even though Lars Krarup today is a well-respected and popular mayor, the story of how he ended up at the city hall is far from usual.

Lars carries around a scare on his hand from the time he was a trainee to become a butcher. That was where his career started, at the local butcher, where he was taught a lot about sales and service. The important aspect was to treat the costumers with respect and please them, so they would come back.

At some time Lars looked at himself and realized that it was time to try something new and he became a sales man for the Danish Beer Brand Tuborg. Within Tuborg, Lars advanced and grew to become a key account manager for Tuborg, and was later selected for the team, which mission was to merge the two sales departments of Tuborg and Carlsberg. This was where Lars got the interest for strategy and leadership and when offered the position as CEO of the Blue Fox (Herning Ice Hockey), the answer was yes.

At Herning Blue Fox Lars learned about the difference between black and white. In the word of sport there is only one thing that counts: “TO WIN”

It was very much a coincidence that Lars was elected the mayor of Herning. And looking back at Lars’s career, everything has seemed to be randomly coming to him. This was also one of the messages he wanted the students to understand. Lars does not really believe in career planning but he has been really successful with the things he has accomplished. Why this is so is according to Lars himself, that when he is confronted with a task, he goes all in. As he said: “There are no easy ways to continuous success.” By this should be understood that you might be lucky to be elected the mayor, without any particular efforts. But to remain successful as mayor for 9 years, it takes hard work and effort.

“There are no easy ways to continuous success.”

As Mayor, Lars Krarup is today using one of the first lessons he was taught as a butcher trainee: To sell a good service so people will come back. Because even though Lars is working for a public institution, he prefers to see it as business that needs to make a profit to survive. Therefore is Lars also putting a great honor in employing the greatest people to do the job, even though they might be smarter and brighter than himself. This approach is also what have lead Herning to be one of the most successful regions in Denmark, where the distance from though to action is very short.

The meeting with Lars Krarup was a great experience and both the students and I learned more about the system and the man who makes Herning a great place to live.

Alexander Hold and Lars Krarup, Mayor of Herning
Alexander Hold and Lars Krarup, Mayor of Herning