The GREATEST Conference Ever

B1G1 Conference Birmingham

It all started when the last one ended in Bali, July 2016.

Everyone who came to the very first conference said, “this was the best conference I’ve ever been to.

So…how could we surpass that outcome?

Right after the first conference, Paul Dunn, B1G1’s chairman suggested to our tiny team in Singapore that we’d run three conferences in 2017 to celebrate the official 10th anniversary of the initiative.

The team tried hard to turn down the audacious idea. After all, B1G1 is not an events company. We were already busy enough with our day-to-day activities.

But in the end (after many debates), we decided to take on the challenge so that we could potentially connect with many more B1G1 members by ‘coming to them’.

This was how the “We’re Coming to You” three region conferences began.

These conferences ended up producing the same feedback as “the best conference ever”, and even turning into the beginning of something truly remarkable.

For the very first time, people told us (and we certainly felt that), B1G1 had become a ‘Movement.’

Three Cities. Three Events. Three Sets of Magical Moments.

Miami Conference group picture

The Miami event on 23 – 24 June was truly memorable right from the very beginning.

Because B1G1 is headquartered in Singapore, we hadn’t had much opportunity to visit America. The B1G1 community in America was still small and young.

Not only that, we seemed to have selected dates when many members happened to have weddings to attend!

So, we opened the first of three conferences with excitement mixed with slight uneasiness, with the most intimately-sized group at a rather ‘unexpected’ venue.

To our relief, all 27 delegates from various parts of the region managed to find their way to the elusive venue, following the blue balloons we’d used to mark the route (yes, the venue was not what we’d expected)!

But once the conference started, the rest was history. We spent the most connected two days together; learning, developing and inspiring each other.

Miami Conference Applause

We explored how we could work together to grow B1G1 in North America. It became the beginning of a movement.

It set the tone beautifully before we moved to the medium-sized Birmingham event then the largest Gold Coast event, both equally insightful and connecting.

You can find many great pictures from the Miami event below.

It’s About Playing a Bigger Game

The main theme of the 2017 Business for Good Conferences was ‘Playing a Bigger Game’.

It was not just about growing our own businesses to play a bigger game, but also about re-defining the ‘game’ we played together and seeing how we could co-create the greatest impact in the world.

Although we had three separate events in a three-week period, we were able to connect everyone across events through unique  activities that were linked to one another.

We set the stage for that with the opening activity called ‘THE BIG PICTURE’ — a team-building game generously contributed by Catalyst Global and their partners.

Everyone came together to paint parts of THE BIG PICTURE, without knowing what we were painting at first. We had to collaborate to mix the right colours with teams painting adjacent canvases.

The results were revealed (to cries of ‘WOW’) at the end of each first conference day. And the delegates discovered later on how their pieces really came together to form A BIGGER PICTURE, uniting all three events.

We also started a new ritual at the Birmingham conference – a new brainstorming method initiated and facilitated by Tim Wade, a forward –thinking, fun and dynamic B1G1 Member from Singapore.

b1g1 conference sticky notes

We collected nearly 2,000 feedback and ideas from the delegates at the Birmingham and Gold Coast events!

See the list of feedback and ideas, and what B1G1 is going to do about them here.

You can also find great pictures below to share in the spirit of giving we all experienced in Birmingham (30 June – 1 July).


Giving Spirit: The Event That Turned the World on its Head

One most important thing that all three events had in common was this: a giving focus.

People usually go to business events to get value. The B1G1 conferences delivered that, but in a very different way.

One participant in the UK event put the difference this way:

“When you go to ‘normal’ events, you go thinking, ‘I wonder what I‘ll get. I’m here to get stuff.’ Yet here, the moment you get in the room, you get that you’re here to contribute. And what’s so interesting is you end up getting profound changes!”

Everyone at B1G1’s Business for Good Conference focused on “How can I give more?”

Outstanding speakers travelled all the way to attend the Conferences as paying delegates. Many purchased Tickets for Good to contribute even more to everyone else.

b1g1 conference big picture

Many of the conference highlights were made possible by contributions from a diverse mix of outstanding businesses – from the dynamic team-building activities, the technology platform that allowed people to connect with ease and impact, to high-value giving auction items that were given generously by our members.

Many of the delegates actively volunteered to man the registration desks, be the official photographers, or even to give their services and products for free.

When everyone comes together to give more, entire conversations transform into how everyone can help each other and link with each other to create even greater impact.

You can get the glimpse of the atmosphere by watching the summary videos on this page.

Here are some nice pictures from the Gold Coast Conference (7-8 July).

Insights that Really Connect and Impact

Each of the three events had their own live speakers — more than 40 great speakers and facilitators in total. All events shared the same framework featuring six keys to maximise our business impact: PURPOSE, CONNECTION, CULTURE, LEVERAGE, COLLABORATION and IMPACT.

To interlink the three events, we prepared three pre-recorded interviews with three great business leaders. Everyone gained deep insights from these interviews, that were further enhanced by the live speakers’ messages.

Although we can’t share videos of live speeches and presentations, you can still view the pre-recorded interviews here:

PURPOSE: Daniel Flynn, thankyou organisation

CONNECTION: Bernadette Jiwa, Story of Telling

IMPACT: Dali Schonfelder, Nalu

If you are eager to experience the live speakers’ sessions that people rave about, please make sure to come to the next Business for Good Conference to experience them live.

The Movement (and the Family)

Earlier, I mentioned Movement.

Since the three events, we’ve been flooded by overwhelming feedback. All the feedback we received had a common theme too: the feeling of togetherness.

We all believe in the same thing. We’re part of an amazing community. And, it was like ‘finding a family we belong to’.

B1G1 Conference GC group photo

Let me share a couple of comments we received.

I enjoyed meeting so many like-minded, passionate, committed, interesting and friendly, giving individuals. I felt at home when I arrived. I felt special to be a part of something that is making a difference, and I left with a new sense of opportunity and possibility.” – Tim Wilson

We were absolutely blown away by this conference. We feel we have found a new business family … a family of warmth and friendship … a family of caring people … a family of business talent …. And a family that’s willing to support each other! This is the first B1G1 conference for us and seriously we can’t wait until the next conference.”
– Sue Horne

If you were at one of the conferences, please keep sharing your thoughts with us. If you missed it this time, I hope you will be able to join us at the next one. To unite with this amazing B1G1 family.

Reflecting on The Real Impact Behind the Scenes

Another thing everyone experienced during the conference was a shared understanding of the real impact they create through their individual day-to-day giving.

This video that was released during the Appreciation Dinner gives a sense of that magical feeling. We wanted people to know the significance of the difference they make on the lives of real people around the world by giving through B1G1.

During the two-day conferences in three cities this year, more than 200 people experienced this deep sense of connection, close to three times the number of people we connected with at last year’s event.

So, we can say we met our objective by taking a risk and stepping up to the challenge.

I feel that we achieved much, much more than we expected. These events created something we could not create in any other ways.

We are looking forward to the next conference – which will be a global event right here in Singapore. Yes, the home of the B1G1 team! We will be announcing the dates very soon, so please stay tuned.

Once again, thank you so much for choosing to be part of this amazing giving business community and movement that keeps giving.

We look forward to sharing many more great milestones with you.

P.S. Among the three conferences, we have together created 1,445,618 additional giving impacts. This is many times more than the impacts we expected to have. Another amazing milestone….

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About Masami Sato

Masami is the founder and CEO of B1G1. Despite being small, she is the guiding light behind almost every project in B1G1, from IT design to project management to guiding the culture! She is also one of the most humble and inspiring people you’ll ever meet.

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