Event 100 Club's 30 under 30: Beth Nicholas

Beth Nicholas, account director at agency Sense and one of Event 100 Club's 30 under 30, shares her views on the industry and ambitions for the future.

Event 100 Club's 30 under 30: Beth Nicholas of agency Sense
Event 100 Club's 30 under 30: Beth Nicholas of agency Sense

How did you get into the industry?

I wanted to find a career that required working both creatively and strategically, and felt that the events industry was likely to offer that balance. I decided to study Events Management at Bournemouth University, which is where I first learnt about experiential marketing and made it the focus of my dissertation. After graduating I worked for AMG as a marketing coordinator, before spotting an ad for a junior account handler at Sense, which I thought could open the door for a career in experiential.

What roles have you had so far?

I was lucky enough to land the job and joined Sense in 2012. The role was more challenging than anything I’d done before, which I loved, and as I progressed through account management I worked across bigger projects, a whole range of clients, as well as with the different departments within Sense, gaining lots of experience and learning all the time. There’s still plenty to learn in my current role as account director, especially working across fast-paced, growing accounts like The Economist and Molson Coors.

What’s your favourite part of the job?

I really like the variety of my role. One of my favourite things is discovering a key piece of insight when brainstorming or working through a brief that provides the creative spark for a campaign. I also love working closely with clients to build up a level of trust that means they are willing to take bold, brave steps because they have faith in you and your team. Plus, nothing beats the excitement of live activations.

How has the industry changed since you’ve been in it?

I think the biggest change has been the impact technology is having on consumers. They now have access to a lot more information about brands and products so there is a greater need for companies to be transparent with their customers. The best are responding with authentic communications that put the consumer before the brand. This is a great step-change for experiential and puts it in a strong position as it provides an effective way for brands to be more human and prove their authenticity face-to-face with consumers.

How can you see the industry evolving and why?

I think brands will be increasingly led by the consumer. There is a gradual realisation that it’s time to put people before brands. I think the most effective way brands are going to be able to engage authentically with consumers in the future is to function collaboratively with their audience and this will put experiential increasingly at the centre of campaigns.

What are your career ambitions for 2017?

I’m account director for The Economist in the UK and winning the contract for North America gave us the platform to launch Sense New York. So learning how to work in a more global way is a big goal for me in 2017, along with maintaining The Economist’s experiential success to date and implementing a strategy across the two markets in a way that also respects the differences between them.

Where would you like to be in five years’ time?

I think the international element that’s starting to be incorporated into my role is something I see myself pursuing more and more as Sense grows. I’m looking forward to working more globally and certainly feel that Sense New York is just the start. 

More: Check out the full Event 100 Club 2017: 30 under 30 list here

Also see: Behind the brand: The Economist

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