Monday’s Brand Ambassador’s Reception saw 11 brand ambassadors and 3 staff teams our BE Connected event sponsor, Wave, meeting and greeting a panel of 52 industry VIP judges.
With a total attendance of 115 invitation-only guests, the Brand Ambassador’s Reception was hailed as brave, innovative and successful by attendees, and the core message of the event – employ best practice brand ambassadors and agencies for the best results, and make this a budget priority – resonated well with brand and agency teams and the brands themselves.
The event, hosted at the marvellous and iconic South Bank venue Oxo2, was supported by lead sponsor Wave, staff from Sense Marketing’s Real People agency, guest co-ordination by Mobile Promotions, photography by Splento and soft drinks by Red Bull.
The event format saw industry VIPs meeting brand ambassadors in 3 rounds of speed dating conversation interspersed by staff teams presenting on the stage. Votes were collected at the end of the evening with results due to be announced at the FMBE Awards on Thursday.
Wave, the new experience agency from Field Marketing champion agency McCurrach, sponsored the event because its core message of brand ambassador quality and support fits well with their agency ethos.
Wave director Linda Gallagher spoke to attendees at the end of an engaging evening. After the reception she noted “We met some truly amazing Brand Ambassadors and feel proud to have sponsored such an amazing event that celebrates these awesome people. We’re looking forward to next year already!”
FMBE and BE Connected Director Frank Wainwright commented: “We could not have managed this event without Wave, whose quality message is very credible and timely. We hold Wave’s parent agency McCurrach to be exceptional in terms of best practice and Wave is underpinned by the same ethos and values.”
“We were also blessed to be able to tap into the Real People team from Sense to help us to host the evening. Again, this a team of such a high reputation – and that showed with their excellent hosting on the night.”
“I would also like to thank Torie at Mobile Promotions whose personal support was unflagging, and the Mobile Promotion’s guest handling system that did everything we asked of it.”
“Guests also commented on the great space at Oxo2. We are delighted to be returning there with our BE Connected Symposium on 16th January”
“Finally, thanks to Splento. Their photographer Monica really captured the spirit and bon homie of an evening that was filled with happiness and interesting conversations.”
The opening speech for the event – made by FMBE and BE Connected director Frank Wainwright – was warmly received and is reproduced below.
Why Brand Ambassadors? – speech delivered 16.10.17, 6.30pm at Oxo2, The Brand Ambassador’s Reception by Frank Wainwright
Making this event happen, wasn’t easy, but in its own way this modest occasion is a crowning moment for everything we have tried to do over the years. I cannot thank Wave, the new experiential staffing agency from McCurrach enough. You shared my vision and made sure that I stand before you now surrounded by a sea of the people in the industry who truly care about the impact we are making as an industry.
Thank you Wave, and thank you also to our event support partners, Oxo2 this wonderful venue, Real People who have helped us with our hosting, photography from Splento, catering from Create and soft drinks from our very good friends at Evian, Badoit and Red Bull.
At FMBE Awards, Brand Ambassador has always been my favourite competition. We have seen brand ambassador winners go on to run agencies, to stellar sales and marketing careers and to successful lives with wonderful families. In one year we saw Justin King, when boss of Sainsbury’s personally endorse his favourite sampler for their application. Another year, the winning recipient was unable to collect his award on the night as unknown to us, he was dying of cancer. His family presented him with his award in the hospice and said that the recognition that had come, through his colleagues and team, and that whole thought gave him immense happiness.
I stand before you today, a small person in this world. I created some very popular awards that have a great buzz about them, but they are meaningless unless they are progressive and encourage progression through recognition.
In the room today, we have judges, many of whom know and understand that FMBE – now BE Connected too – have improved results and innovation at heart.
But beyond that is our most continual push – for best practice.
But why do I keep pushing for best practice and why focus first on brand ambassadors? Perhaps it is because I personally feel the pressure put on me as an individual to meet the soaring expectations of the world’s best brands and businesses.
Let’s take a look around this room, where I see people who look like me, in that they have taken on your most exhausting expectations.
The 11 Individual Finalists
Elsa Dodds, Mondelez
Jordan Halsman, Molson Coors
Emma Hanley, Ferrero
Paul Scattergood, Weetabix
Andrew Donald, Multiple Brands
Jean Lowe, The Food Warehouse
Stefano Magaritelli, Samsung
Maddie Pearce, SSE
Laura Landamore, Multiple Brands
Bruno Murari, Nikon
Matthew Paul, Microsoft
Here are the people who take your clever ideas and do them justice. Here are the people who take your outlandish ideas and somehow interpret and deliver them. And here are the people who make your toe curlingly awful lame and tired promotions into precisely cut diamonds, communicated with clarity and ROI.
And let’s not forget the teams, the agencies. 14 years ago, any live staffing agency competition would have been – frankly – a bit embarrassing. Now we have an award where we can confidently parade the words Resourceful AND Creative. We will see our finalist’s utter brilliance later.
We know, I know, that more people will spend more on better staff with each passing year. Brands – please – only book agencies that can give you the right people. There are many here tonight that know about this and tonight you are free to talk to them about their USPs
Let me tell you – the good in the room tonight is very very good. But there are still some very grubby businesses out there, especially in promotional marketing. I want to tell you who they are, but sadly that’s not my job. But it is easy to find out by just asking the workforce, your workforce.
Here’s my tip – brands – go out as see your ambassadors in action, pay the agency on time, and then sack any agency that doesn’t pay your staff on your behalf just as rapidly.
And somebody, somewhere please tell me why – apart from the commissions on offer to field sales teams, the industry standard rate of pay in promotional work hasn’t changed for a decade?
Ladies and gentlemen, brands, agencies and suppliers, I am proud, deeply proud of the people you are about to be received by, your brand ambassador’s.
Judges should know who is who around the room and who you are going to see – a reminder is in your envelope. You have six voting chips to spend at the end of the night. Voting will be after the last presentation. Please split these between your favourite brand ambassadors and your favourite agencies. How you do it, is down to you.
Timewise, if I stop talking in a moment, we won’t go too far off schedule, but what we will do is make sure everyone here tonight gets a fair crack.
The elephant in the room? Out of 14 contestants tonight there are only going to be 2 winners. But what everyone should take away from tonight is that you are amongst the elite and you will know the strength of your rivals. That – I may say – is pretty cool.
So, let’s get on and enjoy the evening and the hospitality that FMBE and Wave have jointly provided.
But before I do, if you have a glass please raise it to our wonderful Brand Ambassador’s
To the BAs
Ladies and gentlemen
Welcome to The Brand Ambassador’s Reception