About the author:

Author: George Bothwell

George Bothwell has spent a career leading marketing and communications strategies to build corporate reputations in North America and Europe. He has acted as the senior marketing and/or communications officer at Bank of Montreal, Barclays Bank and Atomic Energy of Canada. In these capacities, he has held the corporate responsibility for special events including annual meetings, franchisee events, media conferences, financial analysts’ briefings, employee meetings and major sponsorship programs such as the Olympics. He began his career in the Government of Canada where he was Departmental Assistant to the Minister of Industry, Trade and Commerce; Secretary to the Foreign Investment Review Agency; and Vice Consul and Trade Commissioner at the Canadian Consulate in Philadelphia. After leaving the Government of Canada he was Vice President of Communications and Environmental Affairs for Coca-Cola Canada and Director of Packaging for Coca-Cola Europe. He has managed marketing and communications programs in Canada, the United States, Europe and Asia. During his career he has lived in Ottawa, Toronto, Philadelphia, Brussels and London. He currently runs a consulting practice focusing on marketing and communications issues.

Articles by George Bothwell

  • The Times, They Are a-Changing — Again

    This is the first of three articles exploring changing landscape of technology and the corporate meetings and events industry. The iconic line from the 1960s Bob Dylan song “The times they are a changing” seems to be a common refrain every decade or so, and in the intervening half-century since that song was composed, the times have thoroughly changed. We have seen generations of technology race by. We went from records to cassettes to CDs to iPods to music streaming…

  • The case for harvesting data

    As the Cambridge Analytica controversy dominated headlines, a number of commentators excitedly speculated that Facebook had been discovered engaging in data manipulation. I expected that they would soon follow with dark hints that the Ford Motor Company was manufacturing automobiles. Seriously? What business did they think Facebook was in? As the controversy unfolded, data analysis was characterized as a digital dark art thatneeded to be regulated and restricted. It was maligned as dishonest, pervasive and intrusive, and with little mention…

  • Prevent becoming a commercial casualty by avoiding current events debates

    On February 14, 2018, a mass shooting occurred at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Seventeen people were killed and 17 more wounded. It seemed yet another tragic shooting of numerous innocent victims that provokes intense political and media interest for a few days and then is eclipsed by other events. In this case, the Parkland shooting has gained a momentum that has grown in news coverage, causing a number a special interest groups to wade into the…

  • Social media: Just because you can, does not mean you should

    Americans touch their smart telephones 2600 times per day, as cited in a study by The Economist. According to Group M, Americans spend, on average, almost four hours per day of personal time online, over four hours per day in Britain and almost five hours in Hong Kong. That does not include being online at work! These statistics highlight the seemingly unstoppable growth of social media in our lives. The benefits of this new technology have been extraordinary. Anyone can…

  • Could your event be used as a platform for someone else’s cause?

    On September 1, 2016, National Football League player Colin Kaepernick opted to kneel during the national anthem, creating a countrywide controversy, which has grown into one of America’s most intense national debates. From every corner bar watching Monday night football to the White House, opinions have been voiced, insults traded and threats made. Social media has proven to be the very powerful accelerant for this explosive situation. The NFL is the richest sports organization in history with US$13 billion in…

  • Treat attendees to a day at the Bronx Zoo

    In 1967, the iconic New Yorkers Simon and Garfunkel released a song “At The Zoo” in which they sang “It’s all happening at the zoo.”  It is perhaps a little late, but I am happy to report that it is true for the Bronx Zoo in New York. I confess that for many years I did not know that there was a Bronx Zoo. Whenever I heard the Bronx Zoo mentioned, it was in reference to Yankee Stadium. It was…

  • Free speech: It is worth the price

    In January of this year, a mob attacked a building at the University of California, Berkeley. Their purpose was to prevent someone with whom they disagreed from speaking. In April, another speaker invited to address an audience at the same university was similarly prevented from speaking due to threats of violence. These incidences and many others like them have raised serious questions about the legitimacy of a right that once was taken for granted – free speech. Indeed, there are…

  • Stretch goals: Why your special event should have an exercise program

    Any presenter will tell you that one of the worst times to make a presentation or give a speech is immediately after lunch. The end of the day also ranks high in the least favourite times to speak. There is a long held adage, “What the bottom cannot endure, the mind cannot absorb.” The reality is that the more people remain sedentary at a special event, working in an office or indeed throughout the whole day, the less well they…

  • Fake news can cause real damage to your business

    As we find ourselves at the end of the Christmas season, a time of profound faith for many, it may be helpful to reflect on what appears to be our modern era of disbelief. Faith in institution has eroded worldwide. From the U.S. to Spain, Gallup World Polls show declining trust in governments. A recent study shows that a minority of the population (40 per cent) in OECD countries trusts their governments. Keep in mind that all the OECD countries…

  • Trump shock: What can we learn from the U.S. election?

    The U.S. presidential election is finally over. Since Donald Trump descended the escalator of the Trump Tower on June 16 of last year to announce his candidacy for President of the United States, there have been a stunning series of unforeseen events. All the old rules are now obsolete. These events seem to conclude that the experts are never right. Long-held assumptions are rendered baseless. Hopes have become fears and fears have become hopes. Now the pundits and party leaders…