Last month, I had the great pleasure of combining two of my greatest loves: my own voice, and wine.
I was speaking at the annual Tourism South East conference, held at Denbies Wine Estate, Surrey.
I was asked to speak on the subject of whether the UK's ageing population is the 'next big thing' for UK tourism. I argued - conclusively, I think - that there were indeed plenty of opportunities for the tourism industry to benefit from the large, growing and diverse ageing population.
I was on last and there was something of a soporific atmosphere, due in part to poor air conditioning. In fact, at least one person was asleep and others looked close. This was ironic as the event sponsor was an air conditioning business. So I decided to energise my presentation.
The result was akin to a stand-up comedian on speed and while I don't know where the jokes came from, there were a lot of laughs. Rather too many, in fact.
Fortunately, the laughs were accompanied with an equal number of complimentary remarks. One delegate - the Managing Director of a large leisure business - was kind enough to email me the next morning, saying:
"I enjoyed your presentation yesterday, which woke some of us 50 year olds up! You managed the delicate balance of information and humour really well and left us with some thinking to do about how we take advantage of the demographic changes you discussed, particularly in regard to communication and the changing nature of ‘the family’."
Whether he meant 'woke up' as in energised, better informed or simply roused from their post-lunch slumber, I do not know. But I took his comments as a positive and hope to be able to work with his business soon.