I used a loop of string (doubled over for strength) and had a mate hold the stand up (bike was on blocks, hanging from ceiling). It was far better than attempt 1 (pliers), attempt 2 (screwdriver) and attempt 3 (fishing line - broke too easy).
Hopefully there won't be a next time but I've saved the piece of string...
'08 Vee: Suzy luggage, Crash bars, Rad Guard & front mudguard extension, Zumo 550, Oxford Hot grips, Stebel, PC-8, 12v acc, Scott oiler & lube-tube, Remus Revolution Cans, Bark Busters, Phillips Extreme vision +100 bulbs.
'08 Concours 14: Rad guard, Stebel, Oxford Hot grips, Projekt D Screen, Hugger, GPS mount, helmet locks & front guard extension, Zumo 550, Stebel, Phil's rack & Givi V46, Sheepskin seat cover, Phillips Extreme vision +100 bulbs.