Pride of Britain's, head of national events, Michelle Linaker will chair the judging panel of The Drum Experience Awards 2019. Linaker will be joined by experts from Hearst Live, MASH Staffing, Experience 12, INVNT, Loyalkaspar, Live Nation and George P. Johnson to celebrate the best in experiential marketing.
2019 marks the tenth anniversary of these awards and is open to anyone who can demonstrate that they are producing innovative, creative and most importantly, effective events.
It’s an interesting time for this sector, according to Linaker. Clients have become savvier and more demanding. “Audiences are thirsty for something new and interesting,” she explained. “There’s a real opportunity to develop creative strategies that move people and brands and really engage audiences.
“There are so many ways experiential can influence people. Brand perception, brand consideration are obvious areas, but clever positioning and promotion can create talkability and desire like nothing else can.”
All too often is experiential marketing still seen as the add on for brands if they have the budget rather than being integrated into the main media budget.
There’s a huge opportunity to really position events and engagement front and centre of client communications Linaker insisted.
“I hate to mention the dreaded Brexit word, but I think the differences around the country and London gave people a massive wake up call,” she said. “It’s clear that there are huge differences around the country.
“There’s a lack of trust outside of London of big brands. In order for brands to be relevant around the country and not just in London, they have to be out in the real world, engaging with their audiences, in their own back yard.”
When it comes to brands and agencies entering the awards, Linaker is not just looking for big budget, huge productions. They should have a good thought process around the experience of the attendee. “From start to finish it’s about doing the best with the budget you have,” she explained.
“Too often when you manage events you jump from one event to another, completing one then focusing on the next one. For those who don’t put on events, there’s no clue of the levels of detail and planning, that lead to that moment. These awards are not only a way to celebrate success, but it’s also a time to take stock of the fantastic job you’ve done. It makes you realise what a brilliant job you’ve done.”
Linaker began her career in radio as commercial producer at Piccadilly Radio, now Key 103/The Hits Manchester. Following this she became group commercial director looking after Smash Hits Poll Winners Party and Tour, Party in the Park events and Kiss/Mixmag Club Night launches both around the country and in Ibiza.
She left Emap and started work at Clear Channel, which was rebranded as Live Nation in 2000. Linaker moved on to Q, Kerrang, Mojo and Empire magazine as executive producer for almost five years, followed by a stint at WarChild.
Working and creating SohoCreate festival in its inaugural year which led on to her current role as head of national events at The Mirror looking after the Pride of Britain Awards, which celebrates its twentieth anniversary this year.
These awards are now open for submissions. The deadline is September 12, however, if you enter before August 29 you will receive a special discounted rate. Download your entry pack now.