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The best you can be

by Nicola Macdonald

Bernardo Moya, CEO of The Best You Corporation, on launching The Best You Expo and the show’s new US edition.

Hi Bernardo, tell us a bit about the origins of the show

I’ve been running events or promoting events in personal development for around 10 years. I started and continue to work with Paul McKenna and Richard Bandler, co-creator of neuro-linguistic programming (NLP). Because of that and the basis of NLP, which is ‘how do successful people do what they do?’, I thought there was something missing in the personal development industry.

It’s quite fragmented; there are a lot of people doing great things but there’s not a platform where everyone could share that expertise. That’s where I came up with the concept of the brand – The Best You – and launched the magazine five years ago.

I always had the idea of live events, and also potentially being multi-platform, appreciating that we all learn best in different ways. We started this unique show, aimed at people in the wellbeing, personal development, and professional development industries. What I wanted to do was to allow those sharing expertise and those looking for inspiration to meet and connect.

Did you have quite a clear idea of what it was going to look like, the layout and programme of the event?

I knew I wanted to have different workshops going on simultaneously. We’re now doing our first one in the US and I can feel the difference within the US industry and ours. They’re a lot more focused on what it takes to build the brands, as a coach, as a trainer, as a therapist. It’s a multi-billion dollar industry, and a lot of the times in the UK we struggle to take action; it takes us longer.

The feel of the event is what I want it to be, but what we’re moving towards is how we can engage with people virtually. What I mean by that is people being able to log in remotely to stream talks, so those who can’t travel to London can either see it live, or watch the recordings. That’s where we want to go; we really want to go more online and have more of a global reach with every event we do.

In the US speakers are very up for their talk to be streamed live; you can quadruple your reach. The English or Europeans I’m finding more protective of their intellectual property.

We want to make the Expo virtual. Instead of buying it as a product, where you go online and watch it, you’ll walk up to a stand, engage with an exhibitor, download their e-book or engage with their video.

Is it important to have interactive workshops at the show, rather than just talks?

The job of the speakers is to provide visitors with a set of tools and things that they can implement. People apply and then we review their talk and what expertise they have, so they’re experts and professionals in what they do.

They’re very good at engaging and providing some great insight for people to take action. If you go to a talk and then you just make a note and you don’t actually implement something, then it’s just another thing that you’re watching, isn’t it?

You’re listening but not absorbing the information.

When you go to a lot of these events they’re quite soulless, but ours has fantastic energy. Everyone who’s there, they obviously believe in improving themselves, in enhancing their lives somehow. You can see that in their energy; they’re open, they’re receptive, and that was beautiful.

Is there a ‘typical’ visitor at the show?

It’s very diverse. There are obviously professionals – managing directors, business professionals – and they’re at the show because they’re looking at ways they can enhance their employees or their staff. But then, on the other hand, they also have their own story; they’re looking at how they can become a better version of themselves. Then you might get someone that, you know, might be a housewife who went on a weight loss programme or has read a juicing book etc.

You’re launching a new edition of the show in Long Beach, California…why did you decide on the US?

First of all the UK is a lot more challenging. London is supposed to be the centre of the UK, and we have to work very hard to put an event like this together. We can see that this is the natural home for us in the US because it’s the home of personal and professional growth; people understand the importance of them bettering themselves.

But I also believe that, having been in this industry for quite some time, I actually think that we’ve got some amazing talent, and the American admire a lot of the stuff we do, plus they love an English accent! My objective is to bring our approach to personal development to the American market, and so far the reception has been amazing.

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