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AVN Seminar - as good as it sounds?

My colleague has been looking into the AVN seminar and received a free invite to attend. I'm pretty sceptical by nature and feel that some of the marketing material is so good it really can't be true that you can achieve what they promote!

It would be free to attend but would require a full day away from the office and travel and over night accomodation so its not quite as simple as "what have we got to lose by attending" so i'm hoping for some feedback from anyone who has attended a seminar previously. Thanks in advance.


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23rd Oct 2011 15:11

Covered this before

Here is the link

Just an up date, I decided not to go ahead because of the monthy outlay. At my current fee level it is just not viable.

It is well worth going to the seminar, you will leave with some great ideas and some free stuff.


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By nigel
23rd Oct 2011 16:09

Give it a go

If you have never been to an AVN event I would encourage you to do so. At the end of the day you may well decide it's not for you, but you'll definitely pick up some ideas you can take back to your office and use. AVN is as much about attitude and positioning of accounting practices as it is about selling them a load of software resources. Whether or not you decide to go, do get a copy of Steve Pipe's latest book and see what other firms are doing, it really is inspirational stuff.



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23rd Oct 2011 17:35

I agree with Nigel

If you've never been to an AVN event before, its easily worth a day plus a few expenses.

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23rd Oct 2011 20:19

Thanks for the feedback everyone

We will go along and see what we can use to help improve the service we give our clients.

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24th Oct 2011 09:52

... hear hear!

I am a member of AVN if you want to PM me at all - but whatever you decide to do I would certainly go along to Steve's event - he is such a motivating speaker and I'm confident you will leave absolutely buzzing.

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24th Oct 2011 10:56


Why are you looking at AVN?

There must be a reason, some form of motivation. Are you concerned about maintaining margins in the years ahead want to win better work or perhaps you are bored with basic compliance work?

Whatever the issue/s think about the costs and then ask yourself is it worth poking your nose. My guess is that it will be just so you know what then competition are doing.

But, if you do decide not to go or not to join ask yourself what are you going to do instead? Basic compliance fees and margins will continue to fall over the coming years.

Bob Harper

Portfolio Marketing and co-founder of the Crunchers franchise




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24th Oct 2011 11:56

... eh?

Bob, please enlighten us as to the point of your post - 'is it worth poking your nose in?' - what does that mean?

'Just so you know what the competition are doing' - ???

I'm not really sure what point you're trying to make?

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24th Oct 2011 17:25


I went along and found that most of what they said was not ground breaking, just common sense.

I think it depends on your client base, and if you can get the right clients in.  if you go along i think you will see from the practices they use as examples.

Was not for me and my practice has grown by 45% this year without it.

A lot of my clients would not want the tools they promote and would not pay for it.

Not sure if it is ALL AVN's doing that has helped the practices they use as examples, but it might be. Would the practice of done as well without AVN? Maybe

I know a few people have asked if there is a particular size you have to be for AVN to work for you as a practice and not had an answer.

In my opinion, i feel that you do have to be of a certain size or have a certain size of client base.

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25th Oct 2011 16:28

 You asked "What size firm is it suitable for?"


As the above thread shows, AVN is right for many but not all firms, and some like Fidodido are able to grow at 45% a year without our help.. However, the determining factor for suitability is not one of size of firm,

I am, though, mystified that Fidido says we haven't answered the question of what size AVN is best suited for - since what follows in italics was posted by me in this very forum earlier in the year...

The reigning 2010 Accountancy Age medium size firm of the year is Hallidays – a successful AVN member in Stockport with 8 partners and a 100+ year pedigree.

One of the runners up in the 2010 Accountancy Age small firm of the year award was Wirral based Woods Squared – a really successful one director + 3 team members that started in business and as an AVN member in 2007. (In fact their principal Alan Woods has posted a comment above).

And one of the previous Accountancy Age Small Firm Of The Year is Landers, a successful AVN member with one equity principal and c 10 team members on a village green in Toddington.

While Stark Main, who in June 2011 were named as the "The UK's best accountants" by David Maister, Paul Dunn and Mark Lloydbottom, are AVN members from a two equity director practice that was a 2006 start up in Scotland and now employs 18 people.

So the reality is size and location of the firm are irrelevant, as is the age of the firm itself.

Doing the right things with the right attitude is what really counts.

And with the right attitude extraordinary results (such as growing from startup up to 18 team members in 5 years, as Stark Main has) are possible.

But the acid test is clearly this…

… you can see above the sorts of results and awards AVN members are getting doing things one way – if you are doing things a different way, how do your results compare?



All three of the small sole practitioner finalists in the Accountingweb Practice Excellence Awards are AVN members.



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25th Oct 2011 09:33



@Jaybee661 - the point of my post is to get the OP to think about the reason/s why they are considering attending an AVN event. I suggested research (poking a nose)is a good idea and asked what else they can do if they don't do something like AVN.

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25th Oct 2011 14:00

... not sure there's a lot to think about...

Bob Harper wrote:


@Jaybee661 - the point of my post is to get the OP to think about the reason/s why they are considering attending an AVN event. I suggested research (poking a nose)is a good idea and asked what else they can do if they don't do something like AVN.

... not sure there's a lot to think about if you're offered a day's worth of ideas to dramatically improve the service to your clients completely free-of-charge... there's absolutely no obligation to do anything at all even after you've been to the seminar so not sure I'd bother 'poking a nose' around at all...

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By thacca
25th Oct 2011 14:39


I've just been on to AVN website because I was thinking or attending. However it is priced at £200 (proactivity seminar 23/11/11); am I looking at the correct thing?

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25th Oct 2011 16:25

Yes, free as my guest


Thacca - You are right, tickets are actually £200.

But we do also have some guest places that we offer to selected invitees. But, given the mention of free places in this thread, I am happy to extend that offer of a guest place to any accountingweb reader in practice.

Dates are 15 November in Manchester and 23 November in central London.

So if you want to come as my guest please email me urgently on [email protected]





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26th Oct 2011 12:25

@Jaybee661 - your first post was good, the rest leave me wondering what point you're trying to make. You'll have to enlighten me.


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27th Oct 2011 18:31


Bob Harper wrote:

@Jaybee661 - your first post was good, the rest leave me wondering what point you're trying to make. You'll have to enlighten me.


Funny that as that was exactly my opinion of your initial post - which made absolutely no sense at all.

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