Newsletter Issue 28: August 2016


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Conference Golf Cup
22nd September 2016
New Zealand GC, Surrey
Operations Directors Roundtable
27th September 2016
etc.venues, Fenchurch St
Event Directors Dinner
28th September 2016
30 Euston Square
Event Marketing Summit
7th October 2016
Chelsea FC
London Venue Awards
14th October 2016
The Emirates Stadium
The Conference Summit
9th December 2016
99 City Road


This month we met up with Jonathan Read who is one of the co-founders of Tobacco Dock, the venue for the Conference Awards earlier this summer. We are pleased to announce that the event will be returning to the same venue on Friday 30th June 2017. We asked Jonathan to tell us more about Tobacco Dock and his plans for the future.

Can you give us the abbreviated history of how and when Tobacco Dock became an event space?

My business partner, Patrick Donovan, and I first clapped eyes on Tobacco Dock in 2009 when we were invited to pitch for a destination branding project by the freeholder. They didn’t actually mention Tobacco Dock as part of the tender but as soon as we saw it through our event producers’ eyes we knew it had the potential to be a spectacular events venue. We put forward a detailed proposal but only had contact from the freeholder some 3 years later in March 2012. We negotiated a sales and marketing contract initially and launched the building as an events venue during London Film Week in October 2012.

Do you feel the types of events being organised are changing and if so how is Tobacco Dock changing to suit new requirements?

Due to Tobacco Dock’s scale, flexibility and the fusion of industrial grandeur and warehouse chic it attracts a very diverse range of events from hackathons to the Decanter World Wine Awards judging and of course scores of conferences and expos each year from sectors from tech to professional services. Over the last couple of years we have tracked a polarization of conferences; those that embrace the flexibility afforded by the 40+ individual spaces such as Centaur’s Festival of Marketing and events, often less experiential in nature, that demand ‘plug and play’ simple set-ups, typically for smaller delegate numbers. To satisfy both requirements we have invested significantly in installed AV in a variety of spaces, a large variety of furniture, in-house catering and continue to expand our team to provide ever greater levels of customer service. Smaller scale conferences with short set-up times are now equally well served as larger productions attracted by a blank canvas.

How have you marketed yourself and got your name out there, does it suit you to get more involved in some industry events or associations more than others?

We constantly review our marketing plans and investment to build awareness and convert the best types of events for the venue. Due to our diversity this is something of a moving target. As organisers evolve their events and we invest in our facilities, we are finding that events that may not have considered us even two years ago are now very suited to our location and venue. This very much includes association conferences and expos as well as commercial conferences of scale that require significant numbers of break-outs and perhaps also a separate space for an awards dinner.

What's next for TD? How are you looking for things to evolve over the next 3-5 years?

We will continue to invest significant sums in the building, indeed we are launching two new spaces in the next few weeks – a new conference space for up to 500 pax and a commencing works on a previously unused part of the building as a 800 m2 ‘white cube’ gallery suitable for exhibitions – both art and commercial, as well as conferences and receptions all with its own dedicated entrance, AV and welfare facilities. We hope to continue to attract a diverse range of events and to work in partnership with our clients and organisers to deliver a premium end-to-end customer experience.


We also recently caught up with Sarah Gaffney, Senior Marketing Manager at UBM, who will share her insight into storytelling at this year’s Event Marketing Summit on Friday 7th October 2016. We asked her what why event marketers should use storytelling techniques and how this converts into sales.

What is storytelling and how important is it for event marketers?

Storytelling is a way of keeping your audience engaged over time, and event marketers can use it to good effect in a number of ways. You can pick out a key feature, conference session or overall benefit of your event and use this to craft a story over time or if your event has a theme then you’re in a great position. Read More


Informa Share price predicted to rise

Industry welcomes government's new Tourism Action Plan

i2i Event Group rebrands as Ascential Events

London Venue Awards finalists announced

Other GCN announcements

Conference Golf Cup - few places remaining

Event Marketing Summit - future marketing leaders initiative

Training calendar for Autumn 2016


If you’d like to discuss a recruitment campaign – or your next career move - Kevin can be reached on 07958 704261 Katharine on 07803 078236 

For more information about GCN Talent see:

Portfolio Manager – Large Scale Events – up to 50K base plus profit share, London

Head of Data Products – Pharma/Biotech Sector – up to 80K base plus bonus, London

Sponsorship Sales Director – up to 45K base, 70K OTE, London

Conference & Exhibition Marketing Manager – 30-35K base plus bonus, London

Event Sponsorship Sales Manager – Trade Association – up to 42K base plus commission, London

European Account Manager – up to 50K base, 80K OTE, London, with travel

Content Producer – Retail Sector Events – up to 30K base plus profit share, London

Commercial Director, Clean Energy Sector – up to 45K base, 80K OTE, London

Event Marketing Manager – Medical Research – up to 35K, London