Why You Should Attend Advertising Week Europe (From People With Experience)

Haven’t signed up for Advertising Week Europe yet? Ad Week's Doug Zanger chats to those in the know (including ITV's Chris Goldson) about why you should.

Obviously, we’re quite excited about Advertising Week Europe.

And the planning continues at a fever pitch with new news and A-list speakers being confirmed just about every day.

We’ve been doing this for a long time (we’re celebrating our 10th Advertising Week in New York this autumn). We also realised that this is year one in Europe.

With that in mind, we asked some industry leaders from Europe, who have attended Advertising Week in New York, to weigh in on their experiences and why you should be part of the excitement and fun of Advertising Week Europe in London, 18-21 March.

Q: HOW MANY TIMES HAVE YOU BEEN TO ADVERTISING WEEK IN NEW YORK?

Tom George (Chairman UK and Northern Europe, MEC): Twice. 2010 and 2011.

Stuart Armon (Partner, Work): Twice.

Chris Goldson (Creative Sales Director, ITV): Just once, October 2012.

Rowan Link (Head Of Digital and Commercial Search, The Lighthouse Company): Twice.

Joshua Graff (Director, Marketing Solutions EMEA at LinkedIn): Three.

Andy Hart (General Manager, Advertising and Online UK at Microsoft UK): Once.

Justin Gibbons (Creative Director, Arena Media): Twice.

Q: WHAT STOOD OUT FOR YOU IN THE TIMES THAT YOU’VE BEEN TO ADVERTISING WEEK? WHAT IMPRESSED YOU MOST?

Chris Goldson: For me – it’s unique. It’s not a conference, or an event, or a summit. It’s a festival. A week where the entire advertising industry behaves completely differently for a week, and downs tools to learn, share, lead, inspire and laugh together. It’s a hugely positive and unapologetic indulgent celebration of a wonderful industry.

Joshua Graff: That it’s not just focused on marketing or advertising. It’s about technology, politics, pop-culture and CSR amongst others. What impressed me the most was the calibre of speakers and the interesting pairings of speakers/panellists. At NYC Advertising Week, you learn to expect the unexpected. Who would have thought one would hear Frank Abagnale talking about privacy?

Tom George: The range of issues and challenges discussed and the fact that you can tailor your attendance to what is pertinent and of interest to you and your organisation at the time. The calibre of the speakers and participants was very impressive.

Stuart Armon: The quality of the presentations and the seniority of the delegates/speakers.

Rowan Link: The cost of the ticket and the value for money it offers. The speakers you see are exceptional. Attending Advertising Week feels like being part of a new world media group.

Justin Gibbons: It’s run with real passion, and that means amazing things happen.

"It’s a chance for the advertising ‘family’ – from the freshest recruits to the most experienced CEOs – to meet, learn, celebrate, and burn the candle at both ends!" - Chris Goldson, ITV's Creative Sales director



Q: WHAT DID YOU FIND MOST VALUABLE ABOUT THE SESSIONS/CONTENT THAT YOU WERE EXPOSED TO?

Tom George: Unlike a lot of conferences and industry gatherings, Advertising Week takes a much wider overview and doesn’t limit itself to a narrow range of topics. This is increasingly relevant to all our business where the boundaries between channels, disciplines and distribution are becoming increasingly blurred.

Chris Goldson: There was a huge amount of disclosure. A lot of secrets and tricks of the trade, with boatloads of case studies and honest tales of success, failure and everything in between.

Joshua Graff: There was a great session on the need to continue developing world-class talent as well as Beth Comstock talking about the value of social media to GE. Also, how could I forget Oliver Stone talking about the making of Wall Street.

Stuart Armon: The you could walk away with something that drives action when you got back to work.

Rowan Link: It’s the only conference I go to and truly get excited by the content and speakers. I would pay 10x the ticket price but don’t tell (Executive Director) Matt (Scheckner) that.

Andy Hart: Practical, real-life examples of innovation.

Jason Gibbons: Different perspective. American sizzle.

Q: WHAT DO YOU HOPE PEOPLE WILL GAIN OUT OF THE EXPERIENCE OF ATTENDING ADVERTISING WEEK EUROPE?

Chris Goldson: I hope there’ll be the rekindling of the fires in our bellies – a positive and excited outlook for the coming year, mixed with some great learnings from our customers, competitors, and other high profile speakers. It’s a chance for the advertising ‘family’ – from the freshest recruits to the most experienced CEOs – to meet, learn, celebrate, and burn the candle at both ends!

Tom George: A much broader overview of the challenges in communications and the potential answers to the problems. I also think people will be entertained and that’s important.

Joshua Graff: As long as everyone who attends learns something new every day of the event, it will be a success.

Rowan Link: I hope it will inspire our industry to pull together and to see that conferences can deliver that sparkle.

Jason Gibbons: A reminder that we work in show business, not some f***ing data factory run by widget counters.

Andy Hart: A sense of community and the size and quality of our industry.

Stuart Armon: Inspiration. A bigger picture. New thinking.

Join us for the first-ever Advertising Week Europe. 18-21 March in London. A-List speakers including Sir Martin Sorrell, David Jones, Lord David Puttnam, Felix Dennis, Trevor Beattie and more — all at iconic London venues like BAFTA, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Kensington Palace and more. Registration, for an entire week of education, inspiration and celebration, starts for as little as £249. 

Read the full article and Register now!
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