At 8:30am, the beautiful Design Museum opened its doors to over 112 delegates of EVCOMference. Leigh Jagger, EVCOM’s new interim CEO, took to the stage to welcome guests to a packed programme of keynotes, panel discussions and workshop sessions.
Kicking it all off was Zoe Kleinman, BBC Journalist and Technology Reporter. She shared her own insights into the Fourth Industrial Revolution, investigating the titular focus of the conference. Sir Martin Sorrell was then welcomed onstage for an interview conducted by Kleinman, regarding the agency life cycle, and leadership. A fascinating discussion and a brilliant start to the day’s programme.
Following that, Richard Holman, Writer on Creativity, then delivered an engaging keynote on how to stay creative no matter what. Along the way he managed to answer the questions, why do dolphins take drugs and what can we learn from Boris Becker’s tongue!
Delegates were then given several session choices. The first option was a panel discussion on The Agile Agency. Andrew Reid, Shelton Fleming, facilitated a considerate and worthwhile discussion between Jennifer Davidson, Founder and MD, Sleek Events, Hannah Luffman, MD, Unicorn Events Ltd and Lee Harris, Chairman, Fresh Group. The second option was a 90-minute workshop with the co-founders of Spotty Dog Strategy Ltd, Richard Matthews and Catherine Matthews, an interactive workshop session helping those involved re-imagine the agency dynamic, and build the agency of the future. The final alternative was an open session lead by the co-founders of Verity London, Debra Sobel and Karen Benveniste, on finding your brand’s social purpose.
Following this, delegates were offered further choices. Our second panel discussion was made up of Abigail Rayner, Vice-President, Barclays UK Events, Nicola Savage, Communications and Marketing Director, The Wates Group, Sasha Dabliz, Marketing Consultant, Schroders and Dawn Christie, Global Head of Events, Freshfields. Charlotte Gentry, EVCOM’s new chair, facilitated the discussion which centred around top tips and considerations for brand-focused businesses. Our second open session of the programme ran alongside this. Kristina Owen, Consultant, Owen+Co, led a session on brand building in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and what to do when you feel like you’re making it all up as you go!
After a break for lunch, delegates were again split across three sessions according to their interests. A final panel discussion brought together Rick Stainton, Founder and Group Executive Director, Smyle, Richard Bridge, CEO, Top Banana and Toby Low, Partner and Managing Director, MerchantCantos. Dale Parmenter, drpG facilitated an insightful discussion on the integrated agency, and the new-form “one-stop-shop”. Alongside that, delegates attended a workshop on procurement and profit, and how to best manage the procurement process, led by expert Tina Fegent, Consultant and Chair of Marketing Procurement Committee, CIPS. The final open session of the day was led by Mark Bentley, Director, BCMS, and focused on dynamic succession planning, and how to step away from your business.
To finish the day, the delegates came together for a final keynote address, delivered by Laura Thomson, Owner, Phenomenal Training Ltd. She spoke about how to promote a compelling workplace culture by prioritising people and passions.
Thank you to all of our speakers, panellists and workshop leaders, who made the EVCOMference programme so special, and to all our delegates for their input and enthusiasm throughout the day.