Breakfast at The Century Club l The Communication Directors’ Forum

We are hosting a breakfast at The Century Club on Thursday 18th June so we can tell comms agencies how The Communication Directors’ Forum can help with new business.

Why come along to the briefing? We will explain how comms agencies can have up to 42 one-to-one meetings and introductions with UK senior inhouse comms directors.

Simon Marshall, Head of Brand & Communications, Osborn Clarke will give a client’s perspective on why The Communication Directors’ Forum works when meetings and sourcing new agencies


Date: Thursday 18th June
Time: Arrival 9.00, presentation 09.15-10.00
Venue: The Century Club, 61-63 Shaftesbury Avenue, London W1D 6LQ

I wish to register to attend breakfast at The Century, Thursday 18th June 

Here is just a sample of inhouse comms clients confirmed to attend The Communication Directors’ Forum, 7-10 October on board Arcadia cruiseship:

Aviva – Head of Internal Communications
Barclays Bank – Head of Internal Communications
British Airways – Director of Communications
Capita Group – Head of Communications
Carlsberg – Head of Internal Communications
Centrica – Director of Internal Communications
Cisco Systems – Head of PR and Communications
EDF Energy – Head of Communications
EE – Head of Communications
Ernst & Young – Head of External Communications
GlaxoSmithKline – VP Communications
ITV – Internal Communications Director
John Lewis – Group Head of Public Affairs
Lloyds Banking Group – Head of Internal Communications
Premier Farnell – Global Head of Corporate Communications
PricewaterhouseCoopers – Head of Internal Communications
Prudential – Director of Communications & PR
PZ Cussons – Director of Communications
Rolls-Royce – Director of Internal Communications
Sodexo – Communications Director
South West Water – Head of Communications
Sony Music Entertainment – Director of Communications
Shell – Head of Communications
Telefonica – Global Internal Communications Director
Tesco Bank – Head of Communications
The Body Shop – Communications Director
Veolia Water – Director of Communications
Virgin Media – Internal Communications Business Partner
Zurich Insurance Group – Head of External Communications

To register your place click the link below:

• I wish to register to attend breakfast at The Century, Thursday 18th June  
• I cannot attend the breakfast briefing but please contact me to discuss further

Richmond Events Business Panel Report - Economic Outlook

Key Findings Include:

  •  Only 4% of the panel expect the economy to grow significantly over the next 12 months. However, almost 2/3 expects it to have shown some signs of growth.
  •  The figures for 3 years’ time are much more optimistic. 19% of the panel expect the economy to have grown significantly whilst a further 71% expect it to have grown marginally. Only 3% expect it to shrink a little.
  •  The highest proportion of the panel has increased headcount and may do so again, with a further 8% having increased it but not expecting to do so again. Areas showing particularly strong growth include IT, sales and marketing. 
  •  69% of the panel feel their revenues will increase over the next 12 months with 59% feel their profits will do likewise. This further reinforces some of the renewed optimism within this year’s results.
  •  37% expect to see their budget increase compared to 19% who expect it to see it go the other way. The rest, 44%, don’t see it changing.
  •  20% of organizations expect to move some part of their business outside the US over the next 2 years. The most popular destinations are South / Central America and India.

Download the full report.

The Communication Directors’ Forum – coming to a city near you

The Communication Directors’ Forum team are taking to the road and hosting a number of regional briefings to talk about this year’s event. Would you like to join us?

LEEDS, Malmaison – 16 April, 12.30pm – book me in

MANCHESTER, The Landing – 17 April, 4pm –
book me in

BRISTOL, Hotel du Vin – 23 April, 9am –
book me in

LONDON, The Groucho Club – 24 April, 12.30pm –
book me in

These briefings will tell you more about how The Communication Directors’ Forum (7-10 October on board the Arcadia cruise ship) can support your new business strategy through direct introductions and meetings with key in-house buyers from corporates, brands and public sector organisations.

View client list from 2014 forum

We promise to take no more than half an hour of your time and if you would like to bring a colleague, the more the merrier.

We hope to see you soon.

Anna and Zoe

Referrals come top for winning new business

In our February update we share with you some insight between in-house communications practitioners and agency partners. So let’s start by asking how often agencies are contacting in-house comms heads on a weekly basis?


We uncovered this from a recent survey with comms practitioners from leading corporates, brands and public sector.

That means clients and potential clients are being contacted between as little as 5 or over 40 times monthly by comms agencies.

With statistics like this and in this new age of business authenticity and reputation, it’s no surprise that when sourcing an agency, clients are more influenced by a referral or a direct introduction as opposed to the more traditional methods of advertising...


We then asked clients what helps them choose a comms agency partner. Not rocket science but the four winning attributes an agency needs are:

  • personal chemistry – they feel that they can work with the person they meet
  • innovation – the agency is offering something different or new
  • price – is competitive (no surprise there)
  • product quality – the agency has a great team and work that delivers

The Communication Directors’ Forum runs from 7th to 10th October. At the event, clients will share their challenges and agencies can see whether their proposition can help to solve them, all in the pleasant surroundings of the Arcadia cruise ship. This is a place for strategic conversations and learning away from the distractions of the office.

To come along to this year’s Communication Directors’ Forum please get in touch.

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For retail this was a Christmas with many changes

The first change was positive one in that, for the first time since 2008, consumers entered the festive period with a slight growth in their disposable incomes and with a more confident outlook on the economy. This, coupled with lower fuel prices and deflation in the grocery sector, meant that many people had a little more to spend and were willing to spend it. While consumers did not go crazy, they spent more on gifts and showed a greater willingness to buy more premium items in food and in fashion. This trend saw retailers like Fortnum & Mason (like-for-like festive sales up 18.3%), Ted Baker (+22.8%) and House of Fraser (+8%) do well over Christmas.

The other big change, of course, was in when spending was made. The impact of Black Friday – which fell at the end of November – was massive. Although many retailers saw big sales spikes on Black Friday it is now clear that some of this came from sales brought forward from December and the weeks closer o Christmas. As a result, although December trade was positive it was not quite as strong as initially anticipated. This shift was evident in the BRC retail sales figures, which saw total sales in December rise by just 1% after a stronger increase of 2.2% in November. It was also borne out in the fact that John Lewis, like many other retailers, had its biggest grossing week around Black Friday when £179.1m was taken, eclipsing even the week before Christmas, which is, traditionally, the highest sales week of the year.

One of the consequences is that many retailers have weakened their margins and profitability by selling high volumes of stock at a discount.

While some retailers were celebrating sales spikes, the grocery sector went into Christmas on a flat note and didn’t change its tune. Growth in grocery was virtually non-existent and, as a result, it looks like the main players have suffered a further weakening of sales. On a like-for-like basis, Morrisons’ sales fell 3.1%, Sainsbury’s fell by 1.7% and Tesco’s by a slightly better than anticipated -0.3%. The good news from the sector is that outside of the middle part of the market, the discounters and higher end retailers like Waitrose, where like-for-like sales increased by 2.8% over Christmas, did well.

So, this Christmas delivered a mixed bag of fortunes for retail with winners and some big losers. We expect this pattern of polarised performance to be something that continues well into 2015.

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