Bringing In The Big Guns
Swapping war stories with Ray Martin, enjoying a girl’s night out with Lisa Wilkinson and exchanging business notes with Sarina Russo – Scott and Fiona Roberts have experienced the growth of Think Speakers and Events from the Platinum Sponsor hot seat and are now taking it to new heights under their guidance.
With a few Coopers ales under his belt, Scott Roberts made a casual comment to long-time friend Jack Childs about buying one of his businesses. But it wasn’t the beer talking, it was a genuine offer to buy Think Speakers and Events – and ironically the idea was touted at a TSE event; Lunch with a Legend with Glenn Cooper.
“When you have a few drinks you start loosening up in your conversation a bit more,” says Scott, “but I’ve always loved the concept of Think Speakers and Events, it just so happened an offhand comment to Jack has lead to where we are today”.
Sitting around the marble boardroom table, Chris and Jack Childs of Think group of companies and Scott and Fiona Roberts of IBN Direct, meet to nut out the final details of Think Speakers and Events’ change of ownership and both parties are equally as excited about the growth of the business.
Chris and Fiona have been friends for 15 years, having met in Rockhampton where Chris was a mortgage broker and Fiona was a business development manager with a lending institution.
“It’s going to be a match made in heaven for these guys to run Think Speakers and Events,” Chris says.
In late 2014, Chris and Jack launched Think Speakers and Events to fill a gap in the market and have brought the likes of Ray Martin, Robyn Moore, John Anderson, Lisa Wilkinson, Guy Leech, Glenn Cooper, Sarina Russo, Matthew Hayden and Allan Pease to Sunshine Coast audiences.
“As business people ourselves, we realised the benefits of motivation mixed with networking – it takes you out of the everyday slog of running a business,” Chris says.
“During the last 12 months we’ve been putting on high calibre speakers every month and it’s working really well, however it isn’t Jack’s and my main focus in business.
“We would never release this to anyone who we didn’t think could do it better than us and that’s what we’ve found, total gold in the fact Scott and Fiona will take this to a new level. I know they will be able to take this little seed of a business and fly with it.”
Scott says having been involved in various events in the past and through their role as platinum sponsor of TSE, he and Fiona have wanted to further their involvement in high quality events on the Sunshine Coast.
“We’ve always liked diversifying away from the finance industry and this is something that fits within what we do,” he says. “But it also fits within our own ethics and lifestyle, because at these events people always leave on a high and that’s what you enjoy in life, when you’re physically getting something out of it.
“There’s not been one Think event we’ve been to that we haven’t walked away from feeling great, so if we can continue that and expand upon it, it’s going to be magic,” Fiona adds.
By the end of 2016, Think Speakers and Events will have expanded to take in the Sunshine Coast, Brisbane and the Gold Coast and by the end of 2017, it will be a national brand, also covering Sydney and Melbourne.
“We don’t like to do things in a small way, so we’ve reached out to some pretty big names, we want to bring some heavy hitters to the Coast,” Scott says. “From where TSE was 12 months ago, it’s a completely different company now, so what we’re taking over has had a great foundation and we just need to continue building on that.
“I’ve lived on the Coast for most of my life, and rarely have we had an event company on the Coast who can bring these type of people here – that’s a great credit to what Jack and Chris have done with Think Speakers and Events.”
Chris and Jack will remain heavily involved in Think Speakers and Events as the major sponsor.
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