Conference fatigue? 2018 is the year AdNews will reignite events, and because we’re small and nimble, we can.
Last year AdNews came out of the traps with four events, as opposed to just the one Media and Marketing Summit that we have successfully run in Sydney for the past six years.
Like all B2B titles, we have diversified our core editorial business into different spheres – predominantly events and custom content – to ensure we can still reliably deliver the best quality independent journalism. We continue to pride ourselves on delivering the best editorial in this business.
Obviously, we’re not the only ones playing in the events space. There is a vast number of conferences in Australia, not to mention the deluge of peak body get-togethers you’re all invited to every week; it’s a packed and busy calendar. Big global conferences are heading Down Under in 2018 and publishers are becoming events businesses like there's no tomorrow, sometimes at the cost of the journalism.
Demands on your diary are also met with a constant stream of information you’re expected to keep up with. Many of us will have made New Year’s resolutions to try and step back, shut off the noise and spend time disconnected from devices to find the time to think and create.
With this in mind, and to set us apart from the pack, we are shaping our events to eschew ‘noise’ and gluts of irrelevant argument in favour of creating a space to think, to be entertained and inspired. It's underpinned by our guiding principle: Thinking. Insights. Ideas.
Our first will be the Sydney Media + Marketing Summit, which will take place on 4 May at Darlinghurst Theatre (Eternity Playhouse).
On the day you will most certainly hear from the brightest minds about the topics set to shape the coming two or three years, but also, we are purposefully fostering a playful environment that will inspire your ideas and creative outlook. To achieve this, we have set about establishing new principles.
Number one on our list is to banish redundant panels. We all see through the trick of juxtaposing particular speakers to pre-empt ‘debate’. Instead we will deliver conversations, presentations and keynotes, and bring together pairings of industry and non-industry people to expand our scope of discussion.
Number two is to shine a light on learnings via entertainment and more interaction, and using you - the audience - to deliver that. Your knowledge is as powerful and essential as the person’s on the stage. We think we have created a forum to make this work. We will reveal more in due course.
Number three is to reach out beyond our industry to find people we can learn from, and use their own experiences to shape our business. This will most certainly form part of our day. Again, stay tuned for more.
Although we rely on sponsors and partnerships to make our events happen, and they offer a fantastic route to connect with our audience, the content themes and the broader industry, AdNews events are curated independently.
Our speakers are not chosen according to whether they or not they can sponsor our event. Sometimes a sponsor may well speak on one of our editorial sessions, but this is a happy coincidence. Our motivation is to always present the best in class, rather than the outcome of an exchange of cash.
Next week we will unveil our Sydney Media + Marketing Summit program, with some spaces for surprises to be unveiled nearer the time. We welcome your feedback – nothing is ever set in stone, and we like to think we are flexible enough to bend and shape the day as required.
We are now in planning stages for our Melbourne Media and Marketing Summit (July 25th), as well as two AdNews Live events.
We've run two hugely successful AdNews Live events so far: Tackling Transparency and Reframing Australia. The thinking behind out Live events is that they are a forum to bring a highly relevant, hot topic to market.
We haven't built an events calendar around a static portfolio of category verticals to be revisited each year. Instead we're moving with the market to bring events that are based on the editorial topics and trends that are rising to the top. There were hardly bigger topics in 2017 than media transparency and multiculturalism and diversity.
AdNews Live are deliberately half day events because we know our audience is starved for time. You want a focussed, punchy sessions that delivers thinking, insights and ideas, but doesn’t take a full day out of your diary. With AdNews Live, you can be back at your desk by lunchtime feeling as though you have learned a thing or two.
We don’t want to become another listing in an industry’s event calendar. It's important that our events deliver what the audience wants. We know we can build something that comes to be cherished, but to fine tune it and improve what we offer in 2018 we need your feedback.
Please drop me a line if you’d like to recommend something, or if you’d just like to chat: firstname.lastname@example.org
Nicola Riches is AdNews Event Curator and Custom Content Editor