"Mel and her team exceeded my expectations. She was given the 'Shop in Streatham' campaign at short notice and turned it around on time, delivered a quality service and product and was professional throughout. I was delighted with result and would not hesitate to come back to Mel Larsen & Associates in the future"
Angelina Purcell MBE, Streatham Town Centre Manager, 2012
"Mel is one of the most creative thinkers we call on as a consultant and collaborator. She has helped us to formulate and deliver a number of events, multi-partner projects, consultancy and evaluation. As a collaborator, she manages to be generous and supportive, yet challenging and innovative. As a consultant, she is both an intelligent strategist and a reliable, sensitive project manager. She has an extraordinarily wide experience of leading and observing engagement practice - from networking to community activism. This has given her unique and valuable insight into what makes people tick: audiences, participants, partners. She is also great at building the confidence of those around her. I would recommend Mel to anyone needing to think differently and clearly about a complex challenge or needing to find ways to engage partners and audiences."
Anne Torreggiani, CEO Audiences London
"Mel Larsen is more than a sought after professional in market research/planning and an authority in word-of-mouth marketing within the arts sector. The reason Mel stands out from the crowd is the way she puts her extraordinary skills to use: totally focused on how to add value to the client, always looking for ways to empower both the organisation and the people touched by it, always ready to make the extra effort to make the project a success. I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to work with Mel, whether her work is directly for StillArt or our clients."
Magnus Still, CEO, StillArt International
"STW engaged Mel because of her ability to understand the complexities of the issues relating to The Complete Works and her strong track record. Mel had worked for us before and delivered excellent results. What really worked for me was the fact that although she maintained objectivity, she also cared about the lack of representation in mainstream UK poetry publishing. That brings something extra to a project and for me, made the final evaluation report exceptional. Mel is warm, approachable and very sensitive. She delivered on time and was always a pleasure to work with."
Emma Hewett, Director, Spread The Word
"It has been a privilege and a pleasure to work with Mel Larsen on delivering an audience development plan for Winchester Museums. Before Mel came on board I have to say I was overwhelmed by the sheer size of what we were trying to do. But Mel’s clear and strategic thinking provided a way forward for us. She made a seemingly unmanageable and unwieldy project manageable and achievable. She was a sensitive team player within the museums team and an empathetic and approachable facilitator of our non-user focus groups. She quickly grasped our vision for the museums and has enabled us to, through the plan to begin to realise that vision. On a personal level I found her encouraging, approachable, dedicated and I cannot wait to work with her again!"
Sher Kent, Museum Services Manager (April 2010) Winchester Museums
"Mel Larsen is an articulate, intelligent, creative and dynamic partner in business development. In my journey from Sole Trader to Director of a company of 5 experts specialising in 'Safeguarding Children' training and consultancy, she has absorbed our culture, cut to the heart of our principles and values, inspired us to think big and assisted us in realising a vision. She is an inspired visionary, experienced in the practicalities of business."
Catherine Rushforth, Director Catherine Rushforth & Associates
"Mel has been a breath of fresh air to the National Trust. She has been really supportive and appeared always to be on the end of the phone when we needed her. What struck me and quite a few other colleagues is how important it is for a consultant to truly understand what a ‘customer’ wants and she did just that plus more. Mel has delivered sessions around Community Ambassadors and also was a Keynote Speaker at our National Skills Sharing day. More recently I asked Mel on behalf of two NT properties to design and deliver sessions around Inclusive Language - a potentially contentious subject. Mel managed the sessions extremely well and carried out a lot of research to ensure that the properties got what they wanted. I would work with Mel over and over again as she makes it all incredibly easy."
Sajida Aslam, Audience Development Manager - Whose Story? National Trust
"My company Tamasha hired Mel to do a brand positioning exercise for us with the operational team and Board. As a result of her rigorous , probing yet sensitive questioning, I realized that we actually needed to have a conversation around change management. I was so completely impressed by Mel’s commitment to the preparation of this day – making sure at every turn that she understood precisely what was required at this very critical moment for our company. The preparation paid off….. the three hour session was exactly what was required and the concise, fast paced way the day was delivered was enormously beneficial. Mel again applied her excellent listening skills, showing great care and concern to follow the twists and turns of the conversation. She slightly adapted planned moments in the conversation as required and ultimately helped us find a tangible plan for the next steps of this journey. The conversation between ten people was handled with the utmost care and skill. The combination of her gentle approach with her robust enquiry and well developed skills set gives her a huge advantage over others I have experienced in facilitated conversations. On leaving, one of my Board members whispered to me ….. 'she has a very fine touch.' I could not recommend her highly enough."
Kristine Landon-Smith, Artistic Director, Tamasha
"The London Hub of Sustained Theatre engaged Mel as a facilitator to run a planning and strategy session designed to take our network to the next level. Her preparation before the session was thorough and well researched. On the day the session there were many topics to discuss and elicit clear outcomes for and Mel’s focus on keeping to time whilst getting the group to deliver the outcomes was impressive. She more than fulfilled the brief that was set and delivered it in a warm and professional way"
Pauline Walker, Hub Producer, The London Hub
"Mel has been both a Coach and a Trainer for the AMA. Feedback from our delegates and participants is always incredibly high. Delegates described her as ‘inspiring’, ‘approachable’, and ‘great fun’ – and we’d agree!"
Julie Aldridge, Executive Director The Arts Marketing Association
"Mel Larsen is an exemplary workshop leader whom I would definately work with again at BAC. Mel devised and led a series of workshops as part of BAC's participatory schools programme, which were carefully and collaboratively planned and sucessfully delivered all the outcomes we had hoped for. Mel is a warm, creative and approachable workshop leader and the feedback we had from the teachers and pupils was overwhelmingly positive - they were just sad the workshop with her hadn't been longer!"
Sophie Bradey, Project Manager, Battersea Arts Centre
"Mel listened carefully to what we wanted, asking questions and ensuring she totally understood what we wanted to achieve. She then came up with a really relevant, useful day. She had real empathy for the businesses we were asking her to work with, and showed a genuine interest in what we and the business we were supporting were trying to do. She showed a brilliant ability to mix her inspirational thinking with a well grounded and experienced understanding of putting things into practice....The attendees to our session all left feeling inspired rather than weighed down with just more information – they came away with tools they felt comfortable with and each had received some personal attention and insight into their businesses, they left feeling like individuals rather than one face in a training room! ...I hope we have the chance to work together again"
Catherine Zoll, Market Development Officer (May 2010) Crafts Council
"Every student I spoke to said your workshop was a real highlight of their week and that they had thoroughly enjoyed it. It was a really enriching experience for the students and fitted in so well with the overall aims of the week. I appreciate that a successful event means there has been excellent preparation before hand, and thank you and your team for all you did behind the scenes as well as on the day"
Clare Constant, Head of English and Literature/Director of Teaching and Learning, Thames Christian College, London