Mike Seaman, CEO at Raccoon Events and chair of the AEO UK Organiser Group, wrote a passionate response to the Prime Minister extending restrictions through to July 19.

Published on www.raccoonevents.com – under the News tab – Seaman asks ‘Why are exhibitions being discriminated against?’

In this episode, referencing his post, Mike Seamon talks about the value of the sector, coping with moving shows, getting freelancers and the rest of the supply chain back to work, the built in ‘track and trace’ at live events, why big businesses/big personalities have stayed quiet and whole lot more.

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Christopher Bo Shields, co-founder of Totem, started out in theatre, as a lighting and sound technician, before going on to launch Lock On Productions at the turn of the century.

Lock On slowly became more of a media comms agency, ultimately developing tech solutions and Bo Shields co-founded Totem Hybrid in June 2020.

In this episode, Christopher Bo Shields talks about the past, his thoughts on the event industry model through the pandemic, changing strategy as the goalposts moved, the new values of virtual, data, capacity to test events online and accessibility over broadcast ‘quality’ before focusing on Totem’s own hybrid platform.

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Mike Wroe, the new non exec chairman at JL Lighting (JLL), was CFO at Just Eat from 2008 to 2016, a period which saw the business move from “a couple of million” in turnover to nearly half a billion.

Mike steered Just Eat into the FTSE 250 where it was the fastest growing company for a good while, leaving the business to seek new adventure in 2016 after that huge growth phase.

In this episode, Mike Wroe talks about meeting JLL founder/MD Jack Linaker and making the move into the events industry, opportunities in a changing world, the benefits of being ‘fiercely competitive’, digital acceptance and how hybrid might be the hardest step.

Mike also mentions the Brexit word…

Working out of Denver, Colorado, Tim Woodring is chief solutions officer at event management, production and creative agency, Unbridled.

Launched at the turn of the century, initially focused on event logistics, Unbridled acquired a travel agency in 2002, going on to add registration to the mix in 2004, creative services in 2007 and production 2008, since when the company has enjoyed a “wild ride” in growth.

Currently, Unbridled produces about 400 events a year, with a mix of services and industries, from 50 capacity to 10,000.

In this episode, Tim Woodring highlights the value in connecting employees with their employer and how working from home has changed the map in terms of what job people feel they can apply for.

Woodring also discusses Unbridled staff’s sprint to adopt/adapt to the virtual world in spring 2020, the metamorphosis from ‘webinar’ to virtual event, how professional sport has the ultimate hybrid show for years, Thomas Kuhn’s book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions and more besides.

Launched in March, the Experiential Marketing Measurement Coalition (EMMC) is out to standardise core metrics and assessment methodologies and promote them, alongside aggregating and sharing anonymous benchmarks.

In this episode, EMMC founders Dax Callner, strategy director at Smyle, Katie Streten, head of experiential strategy for VMLY&R Commerce and Matt Sincaglia, VP of strategy & analytics at RedPeg Marketing, talk about the inspiration they drew from the lack of certified approaches to measurement in “our space” and the subsequent thinking and planning behind the coalition.

They discuss measuring what matters, bypassing the competitive instinct to deliver telling detail for the whole membership, which includes the likes of Astound, DRP, Explori, George P Johnson, Impact and Velocity, presenting understandable core metrics and the ‘So What’ test.

David Ball is founder & CEO of Brandfuel, a creative agency specialising in the sustainable design, planning and delivery of virtual events.

In this episode, David Ball discusses the race and pace of change over the last 12 months and the resulting new efficiency. How to balance the live and virtual equation, the impact of talent leaving the live events world and helping freelancers to get ‘match fit’ again through the company’s Plus One programme.

Host James Dickson also asks about sustainability and David details dealing with the ISO process and setting a target to make Brandfuel a net zero emissions business by June 2022.

Conceived as an event management and production agency nearly 40 years ago, around the automotive sector, TRO joined Omnicom in 2008 focused on designing and delivering live experiences for clients including Adidas, Volvo, Nike, Molson Coors and Under Armour.   

In this episode, Michael Wyrley-Birch, the company’s chief executive, and client partner Lucy Knill discuss TRO’s ‘How to thrive in a post-pandemic experience economy’ white paper.

Adding individual perspectives to the document, Michael and Lucy look at the value of direct interaction, then and now, how everything from holidays to a walk with friends has a new worth, being/staying aligned with an audience, the demand for new content, defining culture in 2021, how to stay relevant and the new experiential universe.

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Guy Horner is CEO at brand experience specialist TBA Group, which operates three divisions: Sports, Brands, Entertainment, and provides for a stellar set of clients including Red Bull Racing, Diageo, Dr Martens, Carlsberg, World Rugby, The FA, F1 and Formula 1.

In this episode, Guy Horner discusses the changing landscape for brand experiences, virtual launches, unpacking the power of the pivot, platforms and tech, extending the footprint for exhibitions, storytelling in 2021 and TBA’s recent acquisition of marketing agency Top Banana.

Damian Clarke founded brand experience agency Undercurrent in 1991, providing for an illustrious set of clients including Google, Samsung, Live Nation, TK Maxx across 30 years and counting.  

Set for a bumper time 12 months ago, with huge B2B and B2C plans in place, 90 per cent of them live, Clarke’s commitment to a digital edge on everything meant Undercurrent was able to pivot quickly and effectively in the first lockdown, keeping all staff gainfully employed.

In this episode, Damian Clarke discussed how the brand experience hasn’t changed it’s just moved online, how Undercurrent gets into the minds of customers beyond the bots, how integration is the buzz word and how ‘experiential’ has changed over the last 20 years – with everyone being able to access everything all of the time.

Clarke also does the detail on The Current Collective, which he launched three years ago. An umbrella over staff, stunts and a video content agencies, and how each feeds the other.

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Ally Wolf is manager, producer and programmer at “variety club” the Clapham Grand. He’s also co-founder/festival director of Mighty Hoopla.


In this episode, Ally Wolf looks back at the Grand’s origins and history, going on to talk about, hosting successful test events post-lockdown 1, working with the Music Venues Trust and with DCMS, representing the venue model and the greater industry, reduced capacity events, costing Covid test protocols and where we go next - before and after June 2021.


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