One Minute With... Chris Kemp, Ingenuity

Event spoke to Chris Kemp, CEO of consultancy Ingenuity, about its speed dating sessions for brands and agencies, and its ultimate business goals.

Kemp says 2016 will see Ingenuity's most ambitious programme of events so far
Kemp says 2016 will see Ingenuity's most ambitious programme of events so far

Who are Ingenuity and why do experiential agencies and brands need to know about the company?

We’re a 10-year-old new business consultancy with 45 employees. Along with my business partner Shaun Varga, I set up the company to match agencies with brands in specific disciplines, including experiential, advertising, digital and content. The way we do things has developed significantly over the last 10 years. We now even help brands to find agencies, working as an intermediary. We’ve also established a sister PR agency, Acuity.

You organise 'speed dating' sessions for brands and agencies - can you tell us a bit about how they work?

Alongside the areas of the business listed above we have created an events division that brings agencies and brands together. The format is an afternoon event held at sports venues such as Stamford Bridge, Lord’s and Old Trafford.

This allows up to 15 brands to meet 15 agencies around a specific topic, such as experiential, shopper marketing, CRM, digital and social content. As it happens we are running a live events and conferencing afternoon in April, and experiential events in September and November.

Why do you believe these events are so successful?

The reality in business is that people buy people. The basis for setting up events was to bring people together and allow brands to cover a lot of ground in a short space of time. We’re often told that the afternoon has saved the people involved a lot of work.

Similar formats do exist but we believe our approach is unique, borne out by long-term relationships with brands and our understanding of what they’re looking for. Before the event, brands provide ‘mini-briefs’ to say what their looking for and keep things focussed. They also fill in feedback forms after the day, including the chance to fix up a meeting with agencies they liked. The amount of business being won by agencies within weeks but even years after the events is phenomenal.

Since the events began eight years ago they have grown in terms of attendance and revenue every year. In 2016, we have organised our most ambitious programme to date and will be holding around 20 events. There will be a few sleepless nights, I’m sure!

Do you work with experiential agencies and brands in any other ways?

We’ve been hired by lots of experiential agencies. They don’t just come to us for the speed-dating events. The services we offer range from creating content that helps them get directly in front of the right people, to involving them in live pitches away from the events. Experiential agencies and their offerings have changed in the last couple of years as content and social media become more important in their marketing plans.

What are Ingenuity's ultimate business goals?

We’d like to be the go-to business for agencies requiring any service relating to sales, marketing and PR, and the destination for brands looking to find the right agency. We’re currently growing our inbound marketing department and adding a content and social media function. We’ve come a long way in the last ten years and I expect things will change a great deal in the next decade.

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