Last week Waypoint sponsored ‘Agency Hackers Agency Summit’ for the third time.
We always look forward to this event. The relaxed atmosphere encourages openness to talk, share opinions and brainstorm ideas described by Agency Hackers as “a day for agencies to work on their business instead of in it” that made for a really energised set-up.
Alex Duffy, Associate Director and fundraising expert at Waypoint Partners, took the main stage to offer advice to agencies looking to grow their businesses through investment. Alex gave a frank account of the funding process and delved into the different types of investment businesses could consider, whilst not shying away from the cons as well as the pros of each. Alex’s 20-minute presentation certainly captured guests’ imaginations, with talk of fundraising by the guests throughout the day.
Agency Hackers founder, Ian Harris, planned the day with precision. The event ran from 9.30am – 5pm at a new venue, London’s prestigious Ned, taking over the building allocating a theme to each room for guests to take part in campfire sessions with experts to help with their business concerns.
Andy Brown, Lisa Mandell and Matt Lacey spent the afternoon with a range of agencies in their ‘Driving business growth’ surgery, discussing various issues including shareholder alignment and openness, talent challenges and the need for strong Senior Management teams.
Andy Brown described the day as very positive and felt that guests had a real appetite to grow their businesses and were actively looking for help.
We spoke with Ian to get his thoughts on the day and what inspires him to do what he does.
1) What is your main objective with the Agency Hackers ‘Agency Summit’?
I run it to bring agency leaders together. It’s a lonely life having everything resting on your shoulders – and often the only people who understand what it’s like are other agency leaders. So it’s part learning, part group therapy.
2) What inspires you to do what you do?
As agency folk, we have a lot of common problems – and it’s great when people say: “Thank God – it’s not just me!”
3) What were your highlights?
My highlight was hearing from Nikki Gatenby on making your agency a great place to work. It was also great to walk around and hear people on their phones calling ideas they’d just learned back into their agency.
4) What feedback did you receive from the day from attendees/presenters?
So far I’ve had 20 responses to the feedback form. One person said it was “interesting, challenging, and real”. The average rating is 4.5 out of 5. People like the relaxed feel and the content. I still need to improve the campfire breakout sessions – people love them, but I need to figure out how to make them flow better next time.
5) We had an amazing day and are very pleased to have been part of it for a third time. What are the plans for Agency Summit going forward?
I’m going to hold Agency Summit once a year – the date is already penciled in for August 2nd 2019. There will be other events across the rest of the year – with a sharper angle on growth, sales and, ‘head trash’ – watch this space!
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