Newsletter Issue 21: December 2015


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Event Directors Dinner
4th February 2016
Merchant Taylors' Hall
Association Excellence Awards
26th February 2016
Hilton London Bankside
Conference Awards
1st July 2016
Tobacco Dock

Interview with Michael Oakes, The Economist’s Head of Programmes, EMEA

How the Economist used social media to launch a new event from scratch

When it comes to marketing an event the Economist has probably a pretty straight forward ride compared to other players in the sector. Such is the pulling power of the brand that a lot of their events are by invite only. However, there still remains the challenge of getting the right people to turn up, and when Michael Oakes, Head of Programmes at the Economist, was tasked with launching a completely new event from scratch this was exactly his main concern.

So how do you reach out to a new community that you have little or no connection with?
The conference in question, “The Global Crisis of Depression”, incidentally became one of the most successful events for the group in 2014. Michael and his team’s aim was to get the right type of people to the event from different areas – such as policy making, pharmaceuticals, advocacy groups and the corporate sector.

So the team went about the usual preparation: advisory group meetings, leveraging sponsor relationships and launching a direct marketing campaign and so on. Where the campaign really stood out was its approach to social media as a way of connecting with people as well as broadcasting the event beyond the conference venue.

“Social media was a very important element of our campaign”, Michael explains. Via #depressionsummit the team created a real stir on Twitter. The team started connecting with speakers via their Twittter handles and on the day the hashtag was actually trending, reaching a massive global audience.

The team also made good use of LinkedIn as a marketing channel. In Michael’s own words: “LinkedIn was very important and the marketing team were very active in joining and targeting relevant groups. For some groups we spoke to the owners, directly asked them to come along and offered discounts to encourage them to promote the event to their members.” Incentivising group owners to amplify the marketing message has been a really effective strategy.

And finally, PR played an instrumental role in creating a buzz around the event. The Economist decided to hire an agency which specialised in the subject area, which meant that less time was spent on building the relationships and more on creating impactful content through speaker interviews, features and press releases that followed the industry as well as the general news agenda. “It meant we were jumping on what was happening in the community”, says Michael.

Yes, the Economist brand has enormous pulling power, but what the events team managed to demonstrate was how social media can be used effectively to reach out to new target audiences.

© Kontenthaus 2015

Revisiting Industry Predictions for 2015

At the start of 2015 we asked a number of senior figures in the industry for their predictions for the year. Take a look at what they said here and see how accurate you think their predictions were in retrospect. We will be repeating this exercise next month so if you would like to contribute, please contact

Conference Summit 2015

Conference Leaders Panel:
George Rockett, CEO, DatacenterDynamics
Greg Hitchen, Group CEO, Terrapinn
Nigel Clear, Commercial Director, Conferences, Science & Technology, Elsevier
Victoria Rennie, Managing Director, Events, Incisive Media

The annual content led event for the conference industry took place on 4th December and attracted an extremely senior audience including 23 CEOs, 15 Managing Directors and over 60 directors. The packed agenda included an interview with Ros Oxley, Managing Director, PDV Division, Informa, a leaders panel and keynote address from Suzanna Kempe, CEO, World Trade Group.

Highlights from the day can be seen on the live blog and a gallery of photographs taken by our photography partner, Capturise are available here.

We would like to thank all of our sponsors and partners for making the event possible.

Association Excellence Awards, 26th February 2016

The Association Excellence Awards 2016 will recognise excellence and exceptional achievements in trade and professional associations. They build on the success of the launch event in 2015, when more than 40 C-level association leaders and 300 association professionals came together.

Being nominated or winning an award at the Association Excellence Awards brings increased credibility, validates your Association and celebrates the achievements and hard work of your team. Most categories are now closed however if you still wish to enter then please complete this form and we will see if we can still accommodate you.

Conference Awards, 1st July 2016

The Conference Awards, are now in their seventh year and have become the recognised and much anticipated fixture in the Conference and Events calendar.

Winning one of the 20 award categories has become a benchmark achievement, bringing pride, peer acknowledgement and marketing advantage to the deserving recipient.

With our rigorous judging panel, comprised of highly respected professionals from across the conference and events sector, the Conference Awards have gained the respect and backing of the industry that they were designed to serve and celebrate.

Every year sees the competition grow more fierce, as businesses, teams and venues pitch their successes against each other, in the endeavour of winning one of the increasingly coveted awards.

The awards are now open for entries - save £50 on entry fees if you enter before 31 December.


Top Right to rebrand Emap as Plexus

2015 Informa Investor Day

Euromoney Institutional Investor plc - 2015 Results Presentation

BRIEF-Euromoney appoints Executive Chairman Rashbass as CEO


For more information about GCN Talent see:

Director of Content Marketing - £60-£65K plus bonus and benefits – London

International Event Project Manager - £30K plus bonus – Manchester
Launch Sales Manager – Technology Exhibition – Up to 30K base, 40K OTE - London

Project Director – German Speaking – up to £35K base – 50K OTE – London

Marketing Director – Conferences - £Highly Competitive plus bonus – London

Business Development Manager – Up to 45K base – 60K OTE – London
Global Client Services Director – Agency - £50-£70K base plus strong OTE – London

Senior Conference Producer – Wealth Management Events - £35K plus profit share – London

Sponsorship Sales Manager – £35K base - £60K OTE – London

If you’re a recruiter looking for help with a particular vacancy or recruitment campaign, please call us on +44 (0)20 8123 5805 or email and we’ll be delighted to discuss your requirements and how we can help.