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Events Agencies4Growth Agencies

Agencies4Growth returns with solutions and inspiration for growth, culture and talent

By Eleanor Lim, Event Producer

August 27, 2021 | 6 min read

As agency staff return to offices, embrace hybrid working models and reconnect with clients around the world, agencies are pushing themselves to be better. Agencies4Growth is a five-day event designed to support decision makers as the industry looks to tomorrow, with free online sessions on topics ranging from building a unique and positive office culture to driving accelerated growth.

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The Drum’s biggest event for agency leaders and decision makers returns in September 2021

Now in its second year, Agencies4Growth is set to bring together speakers from around the world – agency leaders that make important strategic, marketing and human resource decisions at both major international networks and award-winning independents.

Register via the website to be a part of the festival, which runs from September 20-24. Visit the full agenda to sign up for individual sessions, or read on for a preview of the five main content streams.


‘Good agency culture’ might once have been code for beers on a Friday afternoon, but most have come to expect more from their employers – a fact that has been thrown into sharp relief by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Recently The Drum has covered agencies offering bereavement leave for pregnancy loss, increasing their focus on mental health and safeguarding menopausal wellbeing. Are companies doing enough to support staff as they go through major life events?

The sessions on this topic include microaggressions in the workplace, how to handle them and ways to build a working environment that precludes them; the future of ‘working from anywhere’, exploring the unique opportunities it presents and balancing the practical demands of creative collaboration; and advice for setting new policies regarding menopause, an increasingly important subject given that 900,000 women a year in the UK leave jobs because of menopausal symptoms.


Recruiting and (just as importantly) retaining talent has probably never been more pressing. More than 40% of 30,000 people responded to Microsoft’s Work Trend Index saying they plan to leave their employer by the end of 2021, and Prudential Financial’s Pulse of the American Worker survey found one in four workers will look for opportunities with a new employer post-pandemic.

With talent no longer locked into the bigger network agencies, smaller independents can seize the opportunity to secure the best talent, especially with the benefits of remote work. These sessions cover ways to attract new talent when every other agency on the planet is also trying to staff up; questions that both hirers and potential employees can ask themselves to help find talent in unusual places; and deliver creative insight into the future of the gig economy, including ways to maximize exposure to jobs, while protecting prices and IP.


To accelerate growth, agency leaders must consider all aspects of their business – after all, it’s the multi-faceted components of the agency that translate into strong client relationships and increased market share. Winning new business is key, but as important is building the agency’s reputation, or scaling up to draw acquisition and merger potential.

And while growth is essential to keeping the company afloat and thriving, the way is not always clear, and rapid expansion is not without its pitfalls. This topic includes sessions on how to successfully scale fast, ways to navigate the changing pitch process, and an essential but difficult lesson on how to say no and push back against unreasonable demands in an unstable market.

Clients and consumers

As the consumer’s needs change, so do the client’s. The continued rapid rise of e-commerce and DTC, the evolution of the subscription economy and the re-emerging demand for local high streets have led to major shifts in priorities.

Whether it’s learning to understand your client through the lens of the consumer, capitalizing on the new data landscape to unlock value in a privacy-first world, or navigating the innumerable challenges of procurement, these sessions will equip decision makers with tools to meet new demands.

Reimagining agency models

As we live and work in a time of flux, we prepare to ask, what’s next? While it may be a big ask to predict the future, these sessions bring together decades of experience to visualize upcoming evolutions of the agency model.

Today’s landscape includes in-housing, specialists, full-service, consultancies, networks and independents, each with its own benefits and challenges. We’ll tackle some big questions and seek to inspire as we imagine the agency of the future; analyze the employee ownership model as a means to agency success; and, as a good work-life balance becomes more and more valued, attempt to divine the perfect working work.

Visit the festival website to find out more or register for free. The Drum is proud to present Agencies4Growth with the support of Adobe Workfront, Criteo, NewsWorks and Similarweb.

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