The Drum Experience Awards, formerly The Drum UK Event Awards, are on a mission to remind the world of the power of this growing sector, as well as recognising the very best in the business.
To do this, we need a top of the line judging panel to debate and determine who will win.
Following are five of our stellar list of 2018 judges:
Damian Clarke, chief executive officer, The Current Collective
Clarke has worked in brand experience and live communications for over 20 years now. Making use of his considerable links to the market research business (running qualitative group discussions for many years) and his experience working with both Advertising/PR agencies and big brands directly, he founded Undercurrent in 2001.
In early 2018 he founded The Current Collective which brings together agencies to create a single entity, full service, brand experience shop. Having worked with such diverse clients as Pandora Jewellery, Samsung, Live Nation and O2, he fully understands what brands need to do in order to present a tangible message to a live audience.
Talking about this year's entries, he said: "As our industry matures and beds down as a main stay of the wider marketing mix, this year I’ll be looking for LOTS of innovation in the entries. I want to see fresh creative and razor sharp strategies that push boundaries and demonstrate where our industry is going. Don’t just think tech! Think about the next evolution in brand led, live communications."
Victoria Archbold, director of events and sponsorship, Hearst Live, Hearst Magazines UK
Archbold was appointed director of events and sponsorship at Hearst Live in June 2015. She oversees the events division of Hearst Magazines UK and is responsible for creating 360 multi-platform campaigns for trade and consumer events and developing commercial partnerships and sponsorship activity that drives revenue and customer retention.
Archbold has managed an array of diverse events for brands including Harper’s Bazaar, ELLE, Cosmopolitan, Good Housekeeping, Country Living and Esquire.
On the awards, she said: "From this year’s entrants I’d like to see a clear strategic approach that links clearly back to overall strategy. Attention paid not only to the event but also its subsequent amplification and thereby maximising its results. These results should be set against clear KPIs with independent and/or genuine measurement."
Michael Gietzen, group managing director, Identity
Gietzen is the managing director of Identity, a live events agency with more than 20 years of experience in the full-service delivery of projects within the exhibition and trade show, conference, activation and experiential sectors.
He oversees Identity’s strategic vision while also maintaining involvement in all major projects undertaken by the company and has led the delivery of high profile event campaigns like iTunes Music Festival for Apple, Angry Birds for Rovio, Eurotunnel Le Shuttle, Porsche, Sportradar, New Balance and Guinness World records, plus the G20 and G8 Summits, to name just a few.
“As a leading supplier of live event solutions across the UK and worldwide, Identity fully appreciates the importance of The Drum Experience Awards in recognising industry talent and what it means for brands, big or small, when they win one of these highly coveted accolades. I’m very excited to be on the judging panel in 2018 and will be looking for the most creative, bold and innovative teams and project activations, that exceeded best practices and delivered a high return on investment, in all winning entries."
Kyra White, head of brand activation, Benefit Cosmetics
White has been working in marketing and events for over 16 years and is currently head of brand activation for Benefit Cosmetics following nine years with Topshop and Topman at Arcadia.
Specialising in increasing brand awareness through execution of 360 degree Marketing and Comms plans, White has worked in London and New York on huge campaigns from celebrity endorsements, store launches, product launches, press and influencer events and global philanthropy projects gaining awards and accolades along the way.
She is excited to judge the awards as each year the standards get higher and the competition tougher. White explained: "I love understanding more about the entries from the submission forms and understanding the KPI’s and how successful each entry has been. I am looking forward to reviewing a plethora of entries from a range of industires. I’ll be looking for those that have broken the mould, reacted to the ever changing landscape and disrupted the status quo.”
Ben Turner, founder and managing director, Wonder London
Turner is an expert in delivering world-class events for some of the biggest brands on the planet. With 19 years of experience in the business, Turner has worked with brands including Google, PlayStation, YouTube, the BBC and Vodafone, delivering events across Europe, North America and Asia.
He launched his own agency, Wonder London, in 2012 to deliver exceptional experiences for brands. Most recently, Turner and his team scooped Best Conference Series at Conference Awards 2017 and were named UK Agency of the Year at C&IT Awards 2017.
These awards are sponsored by Identity, UGCA and Sodexo.