Leaders

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Dreams of Diversity with Emma Robson

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Ingenuity head of events Emma Robson loves travel, food and football. While she dreams of a way in which she can blend all of these passions together, Emma also dreams of a more diverse advertising industry, one in which brands are not afraid to test boundaries.

Operating in an international market, Emma has had the chance to meet people, discover cultures, widen her horizons. She's also had Ewan McGregor attending one of her conferences, which is no small feat.

This week we are Getting to Know an established leader in the events marketing scene, as she discusses her past accomplishments and future hopes for brand voices all around the world.

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Tell us a bit about your current role.

Currently my role is a little less face to face than I'd like it to be! As Head of Events at Ingenuity I'm responsible for our new business events programme, facilitating brand and agency chemistry meetings that are usually held at the home of Chelsea FC, Stamford Bridge Stadium. During lockdown we've been running these sessions virtually which has worked really well. We've also just launched three sector-specific virtual marketing forums that will take place this autumn and will follow the larger scale format of our Connect events with expert speakers and content. The line-up for the series includes Health & Wellbeing, Youth Marketing and B2B Marketing

How did you get to your current position? What was the biggest challenge?

I launched a digital marketing events programme for a publishing company called Figaro Digital. Once the programme was established, I made the move to Ingenuity to support the growth of their events team and have been leading the team for five years now. Biggest challenge? Launching Ingenuity’s chemistry events in a new market – Amsterdam! It was tough to crack a different market, but it was super rewarding – and we can't wait to get back.

If you weren’t in your current industry, what would you be doing?

Something that combines my three true passions (other than marketing & events); football, food and travel. A travelling sports or food blogger maybe? Or an international footballer… I did play football professionally once upon a time!

What is one top marketing tip you learned in your job?

Don't be afraid to test boundaries and drive emotional connections through your marketing campaigns. The representation of diversity is finally becoming more acknowledged within advertising – have you seen the latest Bodyform ad by AMV BBDO? It really tugged at my heartstrings.

Tell us something about your professional life we don’t already know

Ewan McGregor once attended one of my marketing seminars (or he just took a wrong turn in The Hospital Club)!

What’s the work achievement you’re most proud of?

Overseeing the impressive growth of the events team within my first 24 months at the company – we reached 25+ events in a year and saw some serious new business wins for agencies who had started the relationship with their new clients at our events. Krispy Kreme’s partnership with Socialstuff, AccorHotels partnership with Manifest and Ogilvy’s work with Sony Playstation are just a couple of notable examples

How do you recharge away from the office?

It’s very clichéd, but I like to run in the mornings and spend any free time in the evenings exploring new restaurants or watching football. I love to travel and next I'm off (fingers crossed) to Sri Lanka & The Maldives.

What’s your one big dream for the future of marketing?

A true representation of diversity within advertising. We have really started to see this improve in recent times, but we definitely still have a way to go. I particularly liked the recent campaign Lloyds Bank unveiled alongside charity partner Mental Health UK. The campaign supports customers who have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic, and it was great to see another brand normalising mental health issues

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