The Insights Theatre in 2018 featured a compelling range of high-quality speakers offering wisdom and insights that would help a business success.

Take a look at last year’s programme below for details on each speaker and the synopsis of their talk.

Day One Day Two


Insights Theatre – Day One


Time Agenda
11:00 – 11:20 Angela Standish, Employability Consultant, University of Manchester

“How businesses can benefit from linking with a university”
The University of Manchester is joined by two local SMEs who use a free University recruitment service to engage and recruit students and graduates into their companies all year round. Using a HR strategy of growing their own talent and creating a pipeline of new graduates into their teams, both TopDesk and Informed Solutions share some of their successes with university engagement. You will hear from the Employer Engagement team about different ways businesses can connect with universities in the local region and learn what actions are being taken to support employability of graduates.

11:40 – 12:00 Peter Mann, Strategy Director, CDS

“How many lives can we save with inspired digital design?”
He will be covering the work we do with the Cabinet Office’s emergency response system called Resilience Direct, the Metropolitan Police Service and more…

12:00 – 12:20 Darren Williams, Head of Management Information and Data, Clarity Travel Management

“Measuring the true cost of business travel”

12:20 – 12:40 Mikela Eskenazi, CCO, Blippar

“Augmented Reality is no longer a gimmick – How to deliver ROI for AR Campaigns”
Augmented Reality will enhance how we live, work, play, socialise and shop.

While brands started to experiment with AR-based campaigns, the cost and uncertainty of the technology have held them back from viewing it as a fundamental part of their marketing strategy. The tide, however, has begun to turn: a recent Net imperative poll of 100 marketing managers in the UK show that 72 percent plan to use AR in 2018. In parallel, we are seeing major tech giants like Apple and Google investing heavily in AR to make it more efficient and more accessible to billions of smartphone users.

It is important in this context that marketers understand the opportunities AR presents for their business and start preparing for it. The talk will demonstrate how brands are adopting AR to add tangible value showcasing campaign case studies and highlighting key areas to consider when looking to incorporate AR.

12:40 – 13:00 Chris Rowett, Performance Director, Journey Further

“Man vs. Machine”
As man becomes machine and machine becomes man, where do we draw the line? In regards to digital marketing, how much automation do we accept?

14:00 – 14:20 Gordon Glenister, Director General, Fluid Branding

“Why promotional merchandise should be an integral part of your marketing mix – not an afterthought!”
Promotional merchandise is everywhere, but some of the best examples of usage is with well thought out campaigns that are integral to the brand strategy. Gordon Glenister, director general of the British Promotional Merchandise Association shares his insights on how powerful the medium of promotional branding is and why it should be core to marketing strategy. Gordon will talk about some great case studies involving, brand awareness, referrals, revenue-generating merchandise and so much more that will have you thinking in a completely different way about promotional branding. Come and register for this inspiring session, you won’t be disappointed.

14:30 – 14:50 Shaun Allan, Director of Immersive Technologies, hedgehog labs

“Using Virtual Reality to shorten distance and increase footfall”
Hedgehog lab have created a global Virtual Reality showroom where pieces of art can be viewed and purchased from anywhere in the world. Our Director of Immersive Technologies, Shaun Allan will explain what goes into creating an experience like this and where the same concept may benefit others.

15:00 – 15:20 Mark Wynne, Director, M7Virtual

“Paper –360 VR Films “It’s all around you””
360 VR Film has rapidly become part of the digital media landscape. We take a look various flavours of immersive 360 content, discussing the process of these exciting film making techniques. We will demystify the 360 film process, looking at what we have learnt so far and discuss the challenges and opportunities which are ahead for this medium.



Insights Theatre – Day Two


Time Agenda
11:00 – 11:20 Ben Atha, Director, Milk lab

“How to use immersive tech for marketing and advertising campaigns”
We’re all aware of the immense impact that technology has had on the ways in which consumers interact with brands.

Early inventions such as the telephone in 1876 and the television in 1926 gave businesses an easy way to connect with consumers on a more intimate level, from the comfort of their homes. Fast-forward to the launch of the first Apple iPhone in 2007, this new era put a personal computer into people’s pockets and made way for the notion of “always on”.

A decade later, headsets that transport a person to another reality, wearable devices that measure biometrics, machines that learn from large sets of data and chat with customers are all part of the new normal.

This talk will explore how immersive technology is creating new ways of generating attention that resonates with today’s consumers, who increasingly live beyond the reach of classic advertising.

11:40 – 12:00 Cari Kirby, Marketing Manager, Team Cooper

“Creating Connections with Games”
The UK games market alone is worth over £3.1bn with an estimated 32.4 million gamers. The audience profiles of those ‘gamers’ however may surprise you. 48% are women, half are over 40 and a quarter are over 56 years old. Chances are your audiences are already playing games, so it’s no wonder that an increasing amount of brands and marketers are looking to harness the popularity of this pastime, as a way to create positive connections and increase online engagement as part of their digital marketing strategy.
This session will focus on how brands are successfully using online branded games through a series of results driven case studies plus some tips on getting the best out of a game for your marketing campaign.

12:20 – 12:40 David Ingram, Managing Director and Founder, Bring Digital

“How agency and in-house can work better together”
Having worked on ‘both sides of the fence’, David Ingram understands the challenges both brands and agencies face when working together. After creating an agency built on the ethos of in-house accountability, he knows how to create brand/agency partnerships that achieve meaningful results, and the common pitfalls to avoid. In this talk, David will share practical tips and processes on how brands can get the most out of their agency relationships, and how agencies can build solid and lasting relationships with their clients.

12:40 – 13:00 John Mitchison, Director of Policy and Compliance, DMA

“GDPR and the future of marketing”
GDPR will become fully enforceable in May 2018, it is the biggest change to data protection in 20 years. This presentation highlights of the changes as they affect marketers and will and inform people of what they need to do how they can comply with the new regulations and some pitfalls to look out for. This is not a legal presentation it is aimed at people in marketing that manage data.

14:20 – 14:40 Dom Raban, Managing Director, Corporation Pop

“Using AI and AR to put child patients in control”
In this very personal talk Dom will outline how his daughter’s treatment for a rare bone cancer led him and his company, Corporation Pop, to develop an app that uses gamification, augmented reality and artificial intelligence to deliver health information to children undergoing treatment in hospital. In his talk Dom will share the journey that led him to start developing the app. He’ll talk about the hurdles and highlights of raising funding for the project, the importance of involving users in co-design and he’ll demonstrate how he believes the app will help to reduce the stress and anxiety associated with hospitalisation and improve the health literacy of children.

14:40 – 15:00 Georgia Halston, Founder, Halston Marketing

“The Marketing of Things; Tech B2B A talk on marketing in the fast-moving world of IoT and Big Data covering: Marketing mediums Target audiences Edu-marketing”
Marketing a brand new product or service on the bleeding edge of tech can be tricky. When you’re launching your brand it’s often difficult to penetrate the market, especially when there are pre-conceptions of new technology within established sectors.

In this talk we’ll go through marketing mediums, target audiences, account based marketing and how to edu-market to your potential clients through content, activation and the creation of a lean and built for purpose strategy.

15:00 – 15:20 Mark Stokes, Owner, Attollo Intranet

“Create an Engaging Intranet for Internal Communications – That Your Users Actually Want to Visit”
Your staff should be your biggest brand advocates – but are they? In this session we’ll look at how the creative industry can better engage internal staff through digital marketing, to increase the effectiveness of external communications. Not only is an intranet the central location within the business where users can find all the information they need to perform their jobs, it’s also the perfect place to share news and updates to ensure they are engaged, happy and speaking your language to everyone they come into contact with.