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Review of 2017 at Bristol Media

Published on Monday, 18th December 2017

With warm mince pies at the ready and Michael Buble playing in the background, it's time to take a look back at all we have achieved at Bristol Media over the past year.  And what a year it's been.

We started 2017 working with George and Deena at Films @59 to stage the first Camera Tech Day at the Arnolfini.  Over 300 people from across the south west came through the doors to try out the newest in camera technology, from small hand helds, to drones, lenses and the latest professional kit from Sony, Panasonic, Arri, Canon and Red.

At the same time, we launched our annual Barometer survey in which almost 200 of you gave us your views on performance, new business, staff and recruitment, training and collaboration, providing all our members with valuable insight into the creative sector.

With Instagram fast becoming the most influential social media channel, we worked with the lovely Jess Siggers who runs Igers Bristol to deliver six Instagram Workshops ' Unleash your Instagram Potential' helping both individuals and agencies working on behalf of their clients to understand the intricacies of a successful Insta profile. 

In March we ran Portfolio Night - an opportunity for Creative Directors to connect with successful freelancers in a speed networking environment.  Always a popular event, 16 nervous freelancers presented their portfolios to 20 of the city's most influential creative directors and many of them came away with meetings and work as a result.  "It's hard to know who is more excited - the CD or the freelancer".  Big tick!

Our new Chair, Chris Thurling was getting ready to take a second delegation of over 20 Bristol & Bath agencies to SXSW, the world's largest interactive festival in Austin, Texas.  The winner of our Fundsurfer competition from Babassa, Jasmine Thompson was mentored by Chris and film maker Ed Thomas and described the experience as 'life changing'. 

We held three Business Breakfasts in association with Business West covering topics such as HR, PR and Digital Convergence and Client Retention.  These small round table breakfasts offer all attendees a great opportunity to learn from their peers, help others and make really valuable connections.

Most of our training this year was delivered by specialist trainer Shan Preddy and all of her workshops sold out within a short time of advertising them.  During the year we covered 'How to make great presentations - the essential skills', 'How to persuade, influence and sell', 'How to lead and motivate teams', 'How to find clients:marketing strategies and campaign plans', 'How to win clients:credentials and no pitches', 'How to satisfy, keep and actively develop clients'.  In total 200 people from a variety of Bristol and Bath based agencies attended these sessions with overwhelmingly positive feedback from all.

We launched the People Forum at OVO with an event which attracted over 50 people to hear from Brand Director & Head of Employee Experience at Virgin, Amy Sawbridge.  Monthly People Forum events continue to thrive and have covered 'The Future of Work', presented by Gabby Shaw of ADLIB and 'Empowering your People to Authenticate your Brand' delivered by Synergy.  There are two more of these events planned for the new year, 'Engage for Success' and a Vision Keynote talk by former BBC Director of HR Lucy Adams on 'HR in a Disruptive World'.

In September, we held another event at OVO, this time working with Contagious to deliver 'Cannes Deconstructed', an opportunity to hear from Katrina Dodd, Head of Trends at Contagious about the key themes to come from this year's Cannes Lions, the world's biggest festival and awards for the creative marketing sector.

We held our first Member Lunch at the Cosy Club at the end of October and a second at Brace & Browns in early December.  This gives us a good opportunity to talk to our members about our plans for the forthcoming year and for us to hear from members about their business challenges and what they would like to see more of from us.  We will continue to run these throughout 2018.

The highlight of the Bristol Media calendar is of course the Vision Conference which this year took place at Anson Rooms on 14th December.  Over 300 delegates attended on the day to hear thought provoking talks from Tarek Nseir, Tracey Follows, Jim Sutherland, Blair Enns and many more.  Thirteen delegates also had the experience of an intimate round table dinner with Blair Enns at The Ivy Clifton Brasserie the night before.  Everyone found Blair's talk at Vision inspirational and vowed to make changes to the way they do business in the future. 

A number of new Directors joined the Board of Bristol Media this year including Dominic Mills (Zone), George Panayiotou (Films @59), Lisa Killbourn (Independent Eye), Dan Fallon (Search Star) and Kate Gorringe (Mr B & friends).  We're looking forward to working closely with them and the rest of the board on a number of new initiatives in 2018.

We had our best year ever in terms of membership numbers with over 600 freelancers and agencies regularly taking advantage of our new member benefits.  All your staff can now enjoy these benefits by signing up to our personal mobile membership card.  If you haven't done that for your staff yet, you can find out more here.

We've got a lot of ideas in the planning for our events for 2018.  First up on 30th January is a workshop by Leadership Expert Steve Radcliffe entitled 'Great Leadership Plain and Simple'. This event is already close to selling out so if you are interested in attending please book asap.

We hope you will agree it's been a really great year.  Many thanks to you all for your continued support and we look forward to seeing you soon in 2018.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, from Caroline, Alli, Lynda, Chris and all of us at Bristol Media.