An Irresistible Offer


TGS members during the EMEA conference 2023

Recommendations, Referrals and Return on Investment

An Irresistible Offer

Siong Yoong, CEO of Vallaris, our most recent TGS member firm in Singapore, said to me recently that, “generally you expect about a 10% return on investment on your membership of a network but why limit expectations to 10%? Why not go for a 10X? 

10 times your investment is a much more motivating and attractive proposition. It’s an irresistible offer”. 

Now, Siong Yoong is a mergers and acquisitions specialist and a heavily investment minded sort of character, so 10X makes sense to him. But it also makes sense to TGS members. And my first consideration when developing a conference program for the TGS network is your investment. I’m thinking about the time and effort you give to come and work with TGS.

How many days of work is ‘a-day-and-a-half’ conference?  

We’ve headlined our regional events ‘Recommendations, Referrals and Return on Investment’ this year. The reason we did that is to focus your attention and to help you to think hard about why you are attending the conference. 

With three regional events and one global conference every year, the TGS network is constantly asking member firms to think about best practice in our professions. We’re going to be thinking together in Marrakech and Costa Rica  in May, and Singapore in early June. 

Each of our TGS network member firms is in the network, at least in part, to increase their profit and to develop their firm in some way. Any profit you can make from participating in the network will come from recommendations, referrals and from engaging with the knotty problem of how you can develop the effectiveness of your membership. 


How much does a TGS regional conference cost? 

Our conferences are very accessible (if you reserve early) and it’s very accessible to be a member of the TGS network. Participation fees are arguably fairly neutral: your firm pays, it’s tax deductible and it is reassuring to travel in the knowledge you are working in the service of international cultural understanding and harmony. Your biggest investment is the perception of the time your conference participation is taking away from your normal day-to-day work. 

The conference itself is a day-and-a-half (download the pdf conference program here), but your psychologically experienced time is much longer. 

By the time you travel, get your hair cut, pack your bags and cook and freeze enough dinners for your family (they are going to miss you but they won’t go hungry), you’re going to have spent (at least) four days at the day-and-a-half conference. If you’re not prepared, that’s going to feel like four days of missed work. 

But if you are prepared and you’re looking at the conference like your annual gym membership you will do much, much better than a tax write off and a short holiday.  


Treat your Conference Participation Like a Gym Membership

I’m stealing this metaphor from the fabulous LinkedIn expert Miles Duncan. Imagine you’ve paid your gym membership and then you actually go to the gym. 

You go to the gym, yes, but you just sit there and do nothing. Will you get fitter? Will you lose your tummy and will you develop big muscles? No. You will feel that you have wasted your time and your money. 

But if you go to the gym with a plan in mind, with some objectives – ‘oh, I better do some back lifts to ease those pains from sitting down all day providing accounting, auditing, tax and legal services. I should really get some help from one of the coaches there. That coach, John, was super cool and I felt really motivated after I spoke with him last time.’ –  then you’re going to get a lot more out of it than a drive to and from a smelly room with your rucksack of (unused) sneakers and t-shirts. 

It’s the same for conference participation. If you want to get some more recommendations, more referrals and a bigger return on investment, you’ve got to be ready to put the work in when you arrive at the conference.

Don’t just sit there, plan to get ready to get a good return on investment from your conference participation.


Miami dinner

“Don’t just sit there!” TGS members having the conversations that drive business during a networking dinner in Miami 2023

How do you get ready to get a 10X return on investment from your conference participation? 

It’s a sold out conference and there are 50 participants going to the TGS EMEA Conference this year. (There are still places available for the conferences in Costa Rica and Singapore). 

If each of these participants are leading professionals (which they are) in either the tax & legal, the audit or the accounting professions, and if the daily rate for each of these professionals is €1000, then 50 experts times €1000 a day for two days* is €100,000 worth of expertise. 

That’s what you can get. €100K. That’s the value on the table at a TGS regional event. 

Are you really going to leave that money on the table? Or, are you going to come prepared to ask questions, to work with the right people, to benefit from their expertise, to make recommendations, to set up referrals with your international colleagues and fully benefit from the expertise of the people who are there? 


The best professional service firms will not leave €100K on the (conference) table

Even if you consider that your travel, time and ‘missed work’ investment is 5000 Euros then you stand to make a 20X return on your investment if you meaningfully engage with each of the other participants. It’s work but it’s work with snacks, drinks and good company. Look at that! We’ve already doubled Siong Yoong’s original 10X objective. 


So here we go. How can you Get Ready to make a 20X return on your conference participation? 

Read this article for tips about how you can be best prepared to benefit from your conference participation. 

Read the hour-by-hour breakdown of what’s actually going to happen in the TGS EMEA conference in Marrakech this May. 


*Yes, I said the conference is a-day-and-half so this calculation should be less, but (top networking tip) the best networkers come early to benefit from the informal conversations with other members and to set individual meetings with the TGS team. 

Find out if there are places available in our upcoming Costa Rica and Singapore events.

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