- May 30, 2022
- Posted by: HaslerHill Consulting
- Category: Uncategorized
An interview with James Hasler, co-owner of HaslerHill Consulting (“HHc”) on the 10th Anniversary of the end of HHc’s first year of trading!
So James, why did you set up HHc?
With a background in the theatre arts and high-end customer service, I wanted to use my skills and experience to create a business focused on event curation, moderation and facilitation. I saw that there was a contribution I could make to clients based on my values of personal service, creativity and flexibility. HHc has over the past 10 years built up a wonderful client base anchored in these values. Many of our clients come back again and again – and I like that! I enjoy these relationships based on mutual respect, working hard and crucially having fun.
What have been one or two of the highlights of the past 10 years?
Taking a leap of faith – stepping into the unknown, if you can consider this a highlight, it certainly appears to me to be one. Neither Rebecca’s (my co-founder) or my family, have or are role models of entrepreneurship – setting up and running your own business. We decided though in order to have the business and the life we wanted, then we were going to trust in ourselves and take the leap.
As for an event highlight, there have been so many memorable events over the past 10 years. I suppose if I have to name one, it was the first-ever virtual open evening we did for world-renowned cookery school, Leiths, right in the middle of the pandemic. We designed, produced and moderated an amazing experience including live bread baking (if only there was smell-o-vision!)
And how about the biggest challenge(s)?
For the first eight years, we were solely an in-person events business. When the pandemic hit, we had to revaluate – did we put the business on hold for the duration or could we pivot fast, take a risk and extend the business into virtual events? We decided once again to take the leap. It was probably the most intense 6 weeks of our working lives pivoting the business (that’s saying something especially for Rebecca given her previous experience and roles), followed by 7 months of really hard work while juggling homeschooling our then 9-year-old daughter and all the other stresses and strains of the pandemic. But 8 months after we took the leap, we found ourselves on the first page of Google for our niche and haven’t looked back since.
What has been your most bizarre experience?
Probably a crypto-currency in-person launch event that I moderated at a leading Rolls Royce dealership in the West End, where a Car was bought with crypto-currency!
What are your key learnings upon reflection?
Rebecca and I really found out just how complimentary our skillsets are and how committed we both are to making the business a success for us and our clients. We’ve taken some big bets over the years. As the market has changed and our clients’ needs have evolved, we have evolved.
This has meant some changes in direction. Notably, we no longer offer training except to existing clients as part of the events work we do with and for them. Stepping away from training was a tough decision (as it’s a real passion of mine) but it was the right one for the business. Extending from in-person events into virtual and hybrid (through livestreaming) has highlighted to me the need to constantly stay curious and on top of trends, technology and keeping my skills relevant and sharp – not always easy and sometimes quite costly.
So, what comes next?
We have started over the past 10 months to build a small, trusted group of associates so we can continue to evolve and grow the business – we are committed to being a niche, high-quality events curation, production and moderation business (in-person and virtual) that works for our clients and for us! Beyond that, I am not sure – watch this space.
James Hasler and Rebecca Hill are both principal consultants at HaslerHill Consulting, an organisation specialising in moderation, facilitation and curation of events, as well as presentation skills and public speaking skills training. You can contact us via the HaslerHill Consulting contact page or call +44(0) 7773 229909.