Margaret Thatcher or Carl Lewis? Jazz up company events with a celebrity

Milena Amvrazi-Diamantopoulou wants to perk up stuffy corporate events, fire up a political convention and jazz up an ordinary after-dinner gathering. In short, she plans to add a touch of spice to an everyday function via her newly set up company, Celebrityworks which aptly has a chili pepper as its logo. Launched just a week ago, Celebrityworks provides the services of international speakers from a variety of fields and specialties. Association with the UK’s Celebrity Speakers International Ltd (CSA) means Amvrazi-Diamantopoulou, 34, has access to more than 5,000 speakers from around the world, all of whom are well-known in their own spheres, be it politics, economics, sports, culture or fashion. She says her company, the first such venture in this field in Greece, aims to make an event stand out for the client. «A good speaker can set an event apart and differentiate it from others. You know what they say about the singer and not the song making the difference,» she notes. «And we all know that Greeks pay a lot of attention to celebrities.» Celebrityworks’s speaker bank, courtesy of CSA, includes famous personalities such as former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, former USSR President Mikhail Gorbachev, former European Commission President Jacques Delors, former German Foreign Minister Hans Dietrich Genscher, Jacques Attali, the former head of the European Bank of Development and Reconstruction, Hans Tietmeyer, former Budensbank president, Edward Bono who popularized the concept of lateral thinking, former US astronaut Neil Armstrong, world chess champion Gary Kasparov, and US runner Carl Lewis. Responding to the current fad for motivational and management speakers, the company can also call on the services of Delon Dotson, an Internet pioneer, Yves-Michell Marti, author of «L’intelligence Economique,» Cathy O’Dowd, the only woman to have scaled Everest on both sides, Sumantra Ghoshal, writer of a groundbreaking book «Managing Across Borders,» and Peter Senge, author of bestseller «The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization» and a host of other prominent economists and business leaders. Amvrazi-Diamantopoulou predicts demand for management and financial gurus in Greece. She says changing trends and the need for companies to stay a step ahead of the competition mean that businesses will want to keep tabs on what’s going on outside of Greece. She says Celebrityworks takes the hassle out of finding an appropriate speaker and bringing him or her to an event. «Being a local company, we know the market and the companies. We can consult and advise our clients on their best interests from beginning to end,» she stresses. Amvrazi-Diamantopoulou plans to sign on Greek personalities this year to offer their services either locally or abroad. At present, the only Greek celebrity on the books is Stelios Hadzioannou, founder of budget airline easyJet. Many observers liken this new-looking European institution to the 1787 constitutional assembly of Philadelphia which laid the foundations for the United States of America. Is this an exaggeration?

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