When to start…

By: Richard Michie

Having ideas is easy, I have about a million a day, most are useless. But every now and then there’s a good one, ideas are like that.

That idea that sticks and keeps gnawing away at you is the one you really need to do. Over time it’ll distill until you can’t keep it in any more. That’s when you need to start.

That’s what happened with Bettakultcha. Like you, I’d sat through a million and one death by PowerPoint meetings, and had a hand in putting a few together too. One excruciating one I remember was 200 slides long and full of detailed bullet points and diagrams, it took three people several weeks to put together for a big meeting with a client.

The client arrived and dissapeared with the MD and planning director for about three hours. When they emerged I asked how far they’d gotten through the monster slide deck?

‘About slide five…’ was the answer.

There has to be a better way.

So after meeting Ivor Tymchak, who had similar thoughts but came from a different angle, Bettakulthca was born.

It’s a very simple idea that seems to have caught on in Leeds, Bradford, York and Manchester (so far).

We find people who have a story or passion to share, anyone can give a talk. We don’t vet them at all. Each speaker does however have to stick to three simple rules:

  • 20 slides
  • 15 seconds each slide

So far there have been over 40 Bettakultcha events, with over 300 presentations and 5000 audience members. Safe to say it’s doing ok.

Back to the point

To get back to the point. We started Bettakulthca because we wanted to, there was no one to ask. We didn’t have any budget, sponsors or backers – and still don’t.

What we did have was a passion to get this going, and of course each other to keep pushing the idea forward.

We begged, borrowed – stopping short of stealing – including:

  • A start up film crew, thanks Mark Dolby and John Popham
  • Projector – thanks to Mike Chitty
  • A venue – Temple Works
  • Loads of people who like talking.

Next part was to create an email, blog and twitter account. Stick some content up on the blog, fire up Eventbrite to handle tickets and get some influential people on twitter so get as exited as we were, thanks Phil Kirby and Emma Bearman

From there we snowballed, we made up the event as we went along, learned on the night. Tweaked, changed bits, had small disagreements and developed bettakultcha so much that we’re now approaching our fith year doing it.

We’re still not sure how we got here, but if we’d never started, we’d never have found out.

Interested in speaking to The Optimists?

Right from the beginning of our time working with The Marketing Optimist, they’ve taken the time and effort to get to understand Sharp Consultancy as a business and not just a client. We’ve seen a huge increase in the effectiveness of our social media strategy, particularly on Linkedin and we’re delighted with the impact it’s had on the business.

Jamie Caulfield

Regional Director, Sharp Consultancy

It was a pleasure to work with The Marketing Optimist on this project. It felt like a true collaborative effort on the day and they made the interviewee's feel at ease whilst talking about their journey on our RISE programme. The final video was professional and engaging, we have received great feedback around the quality and creativity of the case study. Including the video in our presentation made it come to life, with real humans sharing their stories, so thank you to the Marketing Optimist!

Hannah Prole

Impact Manager, Better Connect Limited

Case Studies


Marketing for Local Government

Moresby Hall Hotel

Hotel Rebranding

Sharp Consultancy

B2B Social Media for recruitment

The Edit LDN

Managing advanced eCommerce SEO

Better Connect

Digital PR and video production for events

Tango Networks

Marketing support for a global telecoms business

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