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Not all conferences are created equal

Not all conferences are created equal.

I won a bottle of champagne at the last one I went to from the lovely chaps at Signal Networks, although I’ve yet to work out how I can get back to Bristol to claim it.


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Bubbly aside, the setup at Vision Bristol in November will take some beating and their formula for success is pretty simple.

First, set a theme for the event well in advance.

This year’s undercurrent was all about how to go about selling ideas, showing their tangible value and how critical they are in the business process.

Second, ensure value for money with industry recognised speakers on multiple tracks giving plenty of choice.

Highlights for me this year were Ogilvy‘s Rory Sutherland, Pentagram‘s Harry Pearce, Creative Matter‘s Patrick Collister and Melissa from Coaching Creatives.

Thirdly, make time for questions in each session and breaks in between, so everyone has a chance to contribute and to network.

The calibre of the speakers and the ticket price ensure that the people who attend are serious about what they do.

Finally, top and tail the whole show with keynote speakers you’d kill to see so everyone stays right to the end.

Dave Trott

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This year the conference ended with a fantastic presentation from Dave Trott about how he simplifies the whole process down in order to aid selling creativity and ideas into a client.

Dave did an hour long presentation using no slides or prompts, just a few markers and a couple of flip charts which left a lasting impression on me.

He couldn’t have done it any other way.

And it was the most engaging of all the talks I saw at Vision both this year and last year.

Which goes to show, that it isn’t always the quality of the deck that’s key to getting your message across to a large audience.

I am currently reading Dave’s book, and those familiar with his writing style will recognise the homage in this post too.

So I have been left with plenty to think about for next year and how I can bring some of the new thinking and ideas that were discussed into the studio in 2012.

But more importantly for now, I need to get my hands on that champers!


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