EVCOMference 2023: The Business of Creativity

EVCOMference is our annual conference, which gathers industry leaders, experts and newcomers together for a programme of keynotes, workshops and discussions.

The 2023 conference focused on the business of creativity, combining both the creative side of our industry with the business angle.

Taking place on the 2nd February 2023 at ExCeL London, the programme was geared towards helping you shape the year ahead and kick off 2023 with a fresh perspective.

We touched on trends for the year ahead, the importance of marketing, creative approaches to winning new business and client relationships, creative approaches to DEI and sustainability, plus discussion around what really makes a brilliant piece of creative work.

Once again we held our Senior Leaders’ Breakfast, which brings together agency heads and industry leaders to discuss key issues facing our sector.

We were really excited to have writer David Bodanis joining us to deliver our opening keynote. Bodanis talked about how to navigate uncertain futures; about creativity; and about how fairness helps businesses succeed. Richard Holman opened the afternoon with our second keynote, in which he talked about building your creative confidence and generating better ideas.

Please note, this event has now passed. You can find our writeup of the event, and a look back in pictures, here.


[8.30am – 9.45am] Boardroom: Senior Leaders’ Breakfast (by pre-registration)

[9.30am – 10am] Lounge: Teas and coffees and breakfasts

[10am – 10.15am] Plenary Room: Welcome

[10.15am – 11am] Plenary Room: Keynote Address: The Art of Fairness

[11am – 11.30am] Plenary Room: Panel – How the Trends of 2023 Might Affect Your Business

[11.30am – 12.00pm] Lounge: Coffee break

[12.00pm – 12.30pm] Plenary Room: Panel – Creative approaches to winning new business and maintaining client relationships

[12.30pm – 1.00pm] Plenary Room: Moving the Dial on Creative Tech

[1.00pm – 2.00pm] Lunch

[2.00pm – 2.45pm] Plenary Room: Keynote Address: Great Ideas (and Where to Find Them) 

[2.50pm – 3.30pm] Breakout: Creative storytelling in Investor Communications

[2.50pm – 3:30pm] Breakout: Creative Approaches to Marketing – How social media is transforming marketing budget spend

[3.30pm – 4.00pm] Lounge: Coffee break

[4.00pm – 4.35pm] Breakout: Diversity & Inclusion – How your brand can be better, immediately

[4.00pm – 4.35pm] Breakout: Making the planet a stakeholder; why and how?

[4.40pm – 5.25pm] Breakout: Corporate Film as a creative solution

[4.40pm – 5.25pm] Breakout: Corporate Events as a creative solution

[5.30pm – 6.30pm] Lounge: Drinks Reception


Keynote Address One: David Bodanis – The Art of Fairness

Speaker, writer and author of ‘The Art of Fairness’ David Bodanis is going to tell you three stories. Each is about a creative organisation, each touches on creativity, business and fairness. Each has a practical takeaway. David will be using examples from the Olympics to the NHS, Danny Boyle to American basketball, to help you think about ego (and putting it aside), teamwork, pace and creative solutions in the face of uncertainty and time pressure.

Keynote Address Two: Richard Holman – Great Ideas (and Where to Find Them)

Great ideas are elusive. Hunt around for them in the obvious places and you’ll end up with obvious ideas. To capture a truly original, remarkable, paradigm shifting concept you have to think differently about the way you think.

In this inspirational – and practical – session creativity expert Richard Holman will take you on a deep dive into your default neural network to explore the source of human creativity; and he’ll traverse the worlds of neuroscience, art, literature and music to uncover a series of counterintuitive strategies to help you in your own pursuit of great ideas.

What would happen if you worked less hard, made more mess, had more accidents, and invited more dissent from your team? Find out in this thought provoking session.


8:30am – 9:45am: Senior Leaders’ Breakfast

The Senior Leaders’ Breakfast will concentrate on how our sector is addressing diversity and inclusion and the impact on your business of not changing and adapting fast enough. Large organisations are now starting to include specific D&I targets and requirements in their RFP’s and failure to meet these could soon start to impact ability to gain new business and attract the right staff.

Felicia Asiedu, Senior Marketing Manager at Cvent and Co-Founder of Diverse Speaker Bureau, will facilitate the meeting to ensure that the conversation moves forward.

We are also delighted to be welcoming a special guest to the meeting whose role will be to join in the conversation where appropriate and answer questions from a client perspective. Madhuri Pai was the Global Diversity & Inclusion Director for Unilever and is the Co-Founder of Turning Pages.

Improving diversity and inclusion in the corporate event and film sector is something that everyone very much wants to make happen. There is a willingness and a commitment to move forward. This meeting is a perfect opportunity to share with colleagues around the table the issues and difficulties, successes and best practises, as well as ideas to look to the future with.

Please note, this session is invite only. Please email claire.fennelow@evcom.org.uk.


Panel – How the Trends of 2023 Might Affect Your Business 

2023 will see us dealing with the impact of Brexit, the cost of living crisis and Covid-19, to name just a few factors. We speak to agency leaders and experts about their forecast for 2023, and how to ensure your business is ready to respond in the best way possible.

Speakers: Felicia Asiedu (Senior Marketing Manager – Europe, Cvent), Michael Gietzen (CEO, Identity) and Oliver Atkinson (Managing Director – EMEA, Casual)

Facilitator: Martin Fullard (Associate Director, Davies Tanner)

Panel – Creative Approaches to Winning New Business and Maintaining Client Relationships

A panel of agency leaders, clients and new business experts discuss how you can reinvigorate your new business strategy to build long-term relationships with clients. How can you stand out? How can you think differently when pitching? How can you approach client relationships with creativity, building trust and delivering your best work? We will be answering these questions and more.

Richard Bridge (Founder, Top Banana and MD of Brands, TBA Group), Rob King (Founder, The Client Key), James Simpkins (Global CGO, 2Heads) and Mark Mullings (UK Brand Leader, PwC)

Facilitator: Neil Hudson-Basing


Moving the Dial on Creative Tech

Specialist experiential agency group, TBA Group, recently partnered with metaverse creation company, Virtual Brand Group, to put brands in the metaverse and help them navigate their virtual strategy. Join Guy Horner (Group Chief Executive Officer, TBA Group) as he discusses how the metaverse can be used in the events industry, what a metaverse project could consist of and how to deliver it.

Guy Horner (CEO, TBA Group)

Breakout: Creative Storytelling in Investor Communications

Critical investor communications are increasingly more polished and compelling. IROs have embraced storytelling in pivotal moments such as results reporting, senior management changes, IPO, and Investor Days because it better connects investors and stakeholders with business strategy.

Brunswick Creative pioneered creative communications for Investor Relations and will be presenting the creative journey alongside best practice case studies.

Sonal R. Patel (Partner and Executive Producer, Brunswick Creative), Toby Low (Partner, Brunswick Creative) and Jarrad Comley (Executive Creative Director, Brunswick Creative)

Breakout: Creative Approaches to Marketing – How Social Media is Transforming Marketing Budget Spend

Chris McKay (Hunter Douglas) will be talking about 2023 social media trends focusing on platform usage, video trends and user behaviours. He will share examples of social media that is doing it right, and discuss how to make the most of zeitgeist opportunities from Spotify Wrapped to seasonality.

Chris McKay (Head of Brand Engagement, Hunter Douglas)

Facilitator: Ellie Papaconstantinou (Digital Marketing Executive, Plastic Pictures and EVCOM Shadow Board Member)

Breakout: Diversity & Inclusion – How your brand can be better, immediately

Diversity & inclusion is at the top of every business agenda. But how does that translate into taking action, now? How do you make sure your business is authentically carrying through with its commitments? Are there short-term things you can do alongside the long-term changes you have planned? Mae has worked with hundreds of clients, all trying to reach young, diverse Gen Z talent and is sharing her best insights and tips into the most effective things businesses can do to work towards their diversity & inclusion goals. Here’s how to make your brand better, immediately.

Mae Yip (Co-Founder, ERIC) 

Breakout: Making the planet a stakeholder; why and how?

The climate and ecological emergencies mean that every company needs to become a planet focused one. Every project we work on must drastically reduce the harm done to the planet. But why do organisations need to make changes? What changes need to be made? How do you go about making those changes? Who is leading the way?

There is huge interest in the area of “sustainability” but that word is starting to lose its meaning especially given the jargon that surrounds it; carbon negative, carbon neutral, carbon positive, net zero, offsets, removals etc etc.

This talk will: challenge you to define why the planet matters to you, your organisation and your industry; demystify the jargon; and show tangible, impactful actions organisations from all industries are taking.

Neil Clark (Service Design Lead, Manifesto and Planet Officer, TPXimpact)

Breakout: Corporate Film as a Creative Solution

A selection of agencies each present a creative project they have worked on, and shed light on how they used film as a creative and innovative solution to client briefs. Following the presentations, the panel will then discuss film as a creative solution: its possibilities now and into the future.

Speakers: Paul Mallaghan (Director of Creative Strategy and Content, We Are Tilt), Daniel P. Harris (Director & Editor, DRPG), Jake Healey (Sound Designer, DRPG), Phil Whitehead (Director, DRPG) and Jiki Lim Ford (Creative Services Producer, HeeHaw)

Facilitator: Gabriela Ferenc (Video Producer, A-Vision and Shadow Board Member)

Breakout: Corporate Events as a Creative Solution

A selection of agencies each present a creative project they have worked on, and shed light on how they used events and experiences as a creative and innovative solution to client briefs. Following the presentations, the panel will then discuss events and experiences as a creative solution: their possibilities now and into the future.

Speakers: Kevin Palmer (Creative Director, Jack Morton), Catherine Turner (Founder & CEO, CTL Communications), and Phil McMichael (Group Commercial Director, JL Group)

Facilitator: Neil Hudson-Basing


The main conference programme will run from 9:30am – 5:30pm, and will be followed by a drinks reception.

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