It would have been unheard of in the past for teams from different agencies to meet, discuss ideas and collaborate. Renowned for being a fiercely competitive world with long hours and demanding clients, agencies may often have an informal culture in-house, but until relatively recently that was not mirrored in their outward behaviour.
However, this is all changing and pretty quickly! Nimbus are taking note of the many networking events aimed at bringing agencies together to collaborate, share knowledge and mingle. It would seem that the pre-existing culture of agencies being secretive and private is being replaced by an entity that is far more open and welcoming which, we at Nimbus Hosting, think is a ruddy marvellous thing. Having worked with agencies for many years, we appreciate that there are a number of unique challenges specific to this industry, so gathering together a group of engaged professionals can only help raise the standards of work across the country. A quick search on Meetup reveals 6 agency events over the next two weeks alone, and that is only in London!
The North also has a thriving agency Meetup scene, with events like Glug replicating their success down South as well as a number of other thriving digital communities such as “Bolton Digital, Leeds Digital Drinks and Creative Collective,” as well as the Manchester Digital Marketing Conference which will take place in September. This is unsurprising given the impressive amount of investment that has been poured into Manchester to grow Media City and their digital scene. However, Manchester is not the only one…Leeds has their very own Digital Festival in April, as well as a number of seminars and events aimed at the digital community.
At Nimbus, we attend these events because we believe them to be a phenomenal way for our team to learn and grow. Through meeting with agencies we are able to gain an in-depth insight into their pain points and discover how we can help them further. As part of our strategy, we try to attend as many Meetups as our team can get to, of course, the promise of beer and pizza which is included in a number of these events certainly doesn’t act as a disincentive.This month alone, members of our team had their feet on the ground at the fantastic Women in Digital, which was hosted by Verb Branding in the achingly cool Shoreditch, as well Shake – a digital marketing networking event hosted by Bright. Next month we are looking forward to Swindig and in April we will be a sponsor at WordCamp London, an event which is aimed at anyone involved in WordPress and another fantastic opportunity for us to get involved in agency Meetups.
Of course, those are only a few of the many agency Meetups in London. From Digi-Cluster a small but perfectly formed digital Meetup for agency owners in our local area of Watford and Hertfordshire, too far bigger organisations such as The Agency Collective and Glug – these Meetups are seeing an exceptional level of success right across the board. We spoke to a few of our clients to find out why they attended these events and found out the real motivations that agency professionals choose to spend their evenings networking with their peers. One account director commented, “working at an agency can be extremely high pressured which a lot of my friends don’t necessarily understand – they have this view of agency life as a lot of fun. So it’s really refreshing to speak to others who understand what I’m going through and can really empathise.” Another, an app developer commented, “in our world, things move very fast indeed – so it is important I meet up with my peers and learn as much as I can about the latest software and updates so I can best serve my clients.”
Given these comments, it is unsurprising that one of the most popular Meetups is The Agency Collective which was formed as, “the only community for agency founders dedicated to high-growth…with hubs in London, Bristol, Manchester and Edinburgh.” Spanning the entire country, the Agency Collective has as one of its core values, to “be open to partnerships with other agencies.” This demonstrates just how profound the change in attitude is – long gone are the days where ad men smoked cigars, drank whiskey and decided what the consumer wanted. In this competitive, fast-paced and digital age – collaboration is truly the only way to succeed.
This is seen in Glug, another highly successful networking Meetup for agencies that not only spans the UK, but also the world, with outposts in Berlin, New York, Amsterdam and Sydney to name just a few. With humble beginnings, founded in 2007 by a few mates in an East London pub – Glug’s growth has been exceptional. What’s fantastic about these events is that they not only allow for the creation of “creative communities,” but they also add value with fantastic speakers who help to enhance the event and offer invaluable knowledge.
These Meetups and their exceptional growth makes sense against the backdrop of a far more informed consumer (thanks to the internet). We would also argue that one of the main impetuses for these events is simply the fast-paced nature of the internet, which requires unprecedented levels of collaboration and communication, as seen in the massively successful Brighton SEO which sees tickets sell out in seconds and that offers invaluable content on all things digital marketing.
Do you attend a particular Meetup, if so we would love to hear which ones you find the most successful! Please feel free to contact us on 0203 005 9181 or drop us an email on [email protected]