Visitors to International Confex, 1 March, received advice at the Day 1 keynote sessions from key brands working in events: PlayStation, Innocent and Macmillan.
Jamie Sterry, brand planning and strategy at Innocent drinks, UK; Isabelle Adams, European events manager, Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe; and Elizabeth Quill, challenge events programme manager, Macmillan Cancer Support, offered the audience insight into their worlds, covering topics such as current challenges, how their roles have changed and what makes an agency stand out.
Encouragingly, all agreed that events have become an integral part of their PR and marketing mix. Playstation’s Adams said: “There is nowhere that experience economy is more true than in technology at the moment. Our events are key.”
For Innocent it’s a similar story. According to Sterry: “The days of a brand just telling people what they are about are over. At Innocent we now ‘do’ rather than ‘tell’.” His advice to agencies was to take time to truly understand the needs of a brand and provide them with something new. “Tell me something that I don’t know but really should – whether it be a new innovation or technology, a gap in the market, competitor activity or an ROI model. If you’ve thought about the challenges in my business you could offer me real value,” he said.
The session, part of the ILEA ‘fuelled by’ series, helped to set the tone of the conference by embracing the knowledge of companies that finance major events of every kind, from charity fund raisers, to brand activations, from exhibitions to major conferences.
The session was chaired by Melissa Noakes, experiential marketing expert and founder of Elevate, the industry’s mentoring programme.