Cutting class

The Green Room at the Century Club, London
In my role as the digital lead for the central marketing function I receive a lot of invitations to networking events. Many of these look particularly inviting in that they are hosted at stunning venues. These breakfast briefings boast views from locations such as the Shard, London Bridge or a fancy hotel. Inevitably though the format is always much the same. The benefactors are a series of agencies who use these forums to hawk their services and pick up new clients.

For some, this is a great opportunity to meet potential creative agencies and interview them before starting out on a project. Whereas I find this a rather false environment in which to do business. As outlined in my previous post there are lots of better ways to find a good agency. The only benefit of attending these briefings for me would be to have boasting rights with my children that I'd visited another cool building!

Let the presentation begin!
At the end of last year I was invited to deliver the keynote at the first UK B2B Marketing Masterclass event. I'd never attended one of these before and the agenda looked great given few specific B2B marketing events exist. After planning my presentation (keeping it to 15mins was the biggest challenge) we arrived at the Century Club, Shaftsbury Avenue for a 1.30pm start. I'm sure there was some clever behind the scenes work done on the seating plans as I was next to both competitors and clients!

The initial presentations were by a series of agencies but they must have been briefed on not delivering sales pitches. There was some interesting insight delivered and how you analyse your data was a big theme. The key message was that smart data collection and analysis is not happening universally. By being clear on your sources and when to stop collecting data you can have actionable outcomes to constantly improve your offer.

A series of roundtable discussions then took place which were by far the most useful bit for me. Having the opportunity to meet and discuss various challenges and ideas with peers is vital to anyone's professional development.

I was pleased to see that everyone stuck around to listen to my keynote. I framed my final points around my lessons learned for my ancestor John Fryer to make them more interesting and memorable:
I always enjoy presenting and there were some great questions at the end. The organisers even congratulated me on this as apparently no-one ever asks questions! I guess the post-5pm finish time means people usually run for their train. My favourite question was around why I was beaming out a link to our corporate film to Android phones. This was because I'd forgotten I had a working test beacon in my bag for our upcoming campaign! At least I know it works...

As a result of this afternoon out I've taken away lots of great insight and have made some useful contacts in the B2B sector. My LinkedIn connections are going from strength to strength!

My next speaking event will be in September in Manchester at the Digital Engagement Conference. I'm particularly looking forward to this one as by then our top secret new campaign will be in full flow. More of that to come very soon...!
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