News & Views

A day with agency leaders in Manchester

by Jamie Learmont
21st October 2019
A day with agency leaders in Manchester, post image

Our event in collaboration with Don’t Panic Projects in Manchester on 9th October brought together like-minded agency founders and leaders for quality learning, peer-to-peer networking and inspiration from the panellists and keynote speakers.

The day was designed for various authority figures to share their experience of the agency world and insights to challenge and broaden the thinking of attendees. Topics of discussion ranged from the future of the agency model, attracting and retaining talent, expanding into the U.S., driving profitability & sales transformation and an overview of the mergers & acquisition process.

The day was kicked off with a welcome message from Richard Gregory, Digital NXD and Phil Gripton, Partner from Waypoint Partners. The opening presentation was on ‘The future of the agency model’ by Tom Cheesewright, Futurist. Deliberately challenging everyone’s thinking by predicting a movement of agencies from sitting outside the client’s business into a more overlapped and specialised approach, drawing on their network to service clients as opposed to reliance on staff.

Strategy was the next discussion led by Lawrence Walsh from There Be Giants. He shared solid interpretations on Objectives & Key Results (OKRs), common misconceptions of these and how to adopt in order to seamlessly implement them into your business. This was followed by a panel session on ‘Attracting and retaining talent’ which is a hot topic. On the panel was Sandy Lindsay from Tangerine, who iterated the importance of managing correctly and positively the resignation of key people in your organisation – keeping the door open.

For agency leaders with ambition for growth into the U.S. market, Miles Welch, Partner at Waypoint Partners challenged the room to broaden their horizons with his insights on ‘The American Dream: Expanding your agency in the U.S.’ The presentation covered what it takes to achieve a successful entrance into the American market, pitfalls to avoid, along with key things to consider when contemplating expanding globally.

expanding into the US

Phil Gripton then made a second appearance with his presentation on ‘Driving profitability & sales transformation.’ Reiterating that driving profitability is about ensuring there is fuel for future growth and investment. Following Phil was Steve Kuncewicz, BLM, with his rapid-fire talk on all legal aspects to consider as an agency leader. This was a comprehensive presentation covering a wide range of legal areas, design to ignite the conversation around Law & Legislation.

M&A talk

Post lunch we moved onto a talk on mergers & acquisitions from our Partner Jim Houghton. He comprehensively covered aspects of the M&A path from an overview of the process and what can go wrong to ‘life on the other side.’ This was then backed by an ‘Interview with an agency founder who has sold’ with Tony Foggett, CEO at Code Computerlove and Vin Chinnaraja from Connective 3. Tony discussed how the dynamic of his role changed when working with MediaCom to ensure the desired growth of the agency is being achieved.

The final panel session was on ‘Productivity: Leveraging software to power your business.’ Melanie Buckley from Paprika Software detailed how agencies could leverage tools to help streamline processes, increase efficiency and inevitably grow profitability. This then moved onto our last talk of the day from Martin Palethorpe, Founder or the Pragma Group. Martin articulated his views on mindset, the importance and key aspects of ‘quality of mind’.

Agency leaders' summit

It was a topical and thought-provoking day for both seasoned and new agency leaders alike. A special thank you to our collaborative partners, Don’t Panic Projects for their help in making the day a success.

If you would like to talk to us about any of the topics presented on the day we would love to chat. Alternatively we regularly run our own events globally, which you can find out about on our events page.

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