🚀 Meet other growing agencies
🚀 Learn from agency leaders who’ve scaled to £1m, £5m, £10m and beyond…
🚀 Share your vision, make new friends to join your quest for growth

Thursday 21st March 2024 – 1.15pm to 5pm
The British Library, Kings Cross

Latest running order

Small agencies always seem more frazzled than big ones.

In the early days of your agency you are like a bandaged-up kamikaze pilot with missing teeth. You are tired and dirty, always being dragged in 100 directions – taking off on random missions at a moment’s notice.

But as you grow, things become smoother.

You become a team of handsome BA pilots. Starched uniforms and perfect smiles. You operate on a schedule, taking off and landing exactly on time.

Agency Growth Summit is a conference where you can meet people who have transitioned from scrappy start-up to scaled agency – as well as other folks who are currently somewhere on that journey.

​Getting to £5m requires a different kind of dice-rolling 🎲 than getting to £1m. Kamikaze missions will never get you across the chasm. Join us at Agency Growth Summit to find the inspiration you need to take you where you want to go.

Grow your agency to a scaled success story

The Agency Growth Summit is an afternoon that will help you get inspired, and meet other people that you can learn from. It’s aimed at agency leaders and their leadership teams – but anybody can come. It’s a blend of interactive talks and group discussion.

  • Our venue is the Knowledge Centre at The British Library. We have the entire building, so you will explore the venue interacting with different agency leaders. We mix up the groups so you meet different people.
  • We poll you before the event to see what you want to talk about.
  • We make sure all the talks are original and interesting. We facilitate questions and reflections throughout.

Five Rooms of Learning and Inspiration

Bronte Room
Dickens Room
Elliot Room
Chaucer Room

Who you’ll hear from…

How To Hire A Salesperson

Head of Sales. Marketing Director. Biz Dev Manager. Do you know which one your agency needs?

For Sadie Groom, CEO of Bubble Agency, hiring an old-school salesperson has been a total game-changer.

“In PR agencies, it’s usually all done by the founders and associate directors. Before, new biz was very much dependent on my network and me being out there,” Sadie explains.

But founder-led sales and marketing can only go so far.

Enter Andrew, whose expertise in sales (think selling ads in the newspaper) has transformed new biz for Sadie’s agency.

👉 At Agency Growth Summit, we’ll hear from Sadie about the effect hiring a salesperson into a traditionally marketing-driven industry has had on her agency – and why it might stand you in good stead to do the same. [Read more]

How to Win Without Pitching

“The whole industry is just conditioned to the idea that you have to pitch, and I think people can’t see beyond it.”

It’s no secret that pitching is a headache for most, if not all, agencies. But what if there was a way to circumvent the entire process altogether? 

That’s what Aaron Hutchinson did. 

Last year, Aaron discovered ‘Win Without Pitching’. Originally a book written by Blair Enns, the WWP is now a fully-fledged training course – designed to shift the power dynamic between agencies and their clients.

By adopting the framework, his agency achieved exponential growth: “In the first year we started using WWP, I think we calculated around $750,000 of extra revenue, just from pricing differently.”

👉 At Agency Growth Summit, Aaron will be sharing his journey with ‘Win Without Pitching’. He’ll discuss how it helped his agency grow, lifted team morale, and how it could do the same for you too. [Read more]

How To Build A New Biz ‘Machine’

James Urquhart has an impressive approach to new business.

He’s created a new biz ‘machine’ that runs like clockwork – something most agency leaders can only dream of. 

So how does it work?

  1. It all starts with a podcast – “We’ve got the number one Facebook ads podcast in the world. That feeds into our ‘ads clinic’ because we’ve got adverts going, ‘Hey, do you want to help with your ads?’”
  2. The Ads Clinic – “The ads clinic is for businesses that can’t afford an agency yet. They still want to try meta ads, but they’re just not ready financially. So it’s a way to give people the expertise that’s required to run ads, but at a much cheaper rate.”.
  3. In the funnel they go – “Most clients stay on the ads clinic for about six months, then the ones that actually become bigger become agency clients.”

👉At Agency Growth Summit, James will be explaining the ins and outs of his triumphant new biz machine, and the principles that come with it – so you can look to build one of your own. [Read more]

How ‘Stepping Back’ Can Help You Scale Your Business

“For us, leads are coming in thick and fast – I had five last week and two yesterday,” says Domenica Di Lieto, CEO and co-founder of Emerging Communications

There are all sorts of factors slowing down new business right now – everything from government legislation to longer sales cycles. But the biggest one is: nobody’s got any money. 

So how is Domenica’s agency doing so well?

“What I’ve done as a founder is create roles within a senior leadership team to take off the things I’m bad at, so I can focus on what I’m good at.”

“I did over 50 events last year,” she says. “You could spend your whole life chasing new biz, but I believe this is the only way that businesses are going to survive over the next couple of years.”

👉 At Agency Growth Summit, Dominica will share how her agency is still raking in new biz leads in a turbulent market. If you’ve been struggling to keep your pipeline full, Domenica’s wise words are worth listening to. [Read more]

How A Strong Retainer Strategy Helps Your Agency Grow

Are you making the most of retainers? Generally, agencies that have been able to leverage retainers increase their bottom-line, and develop a calmer, more predictable business.

Nimbus’ Olly Feldman will outline research that Nimbus has conducted into the significant opportunities afforded by embracing a retainer-first approach to client work.

“If you’re looking to build value in a business your business won’t need to be anywhere near as big to get the same value if you’re dealing with retainers.”

Even if you’re already fairly hip to retainers, this session might help you see them through a new lens or spot opportunities you have overlooked.

👉 At Agency Growth Summit, Olly will be taking us through some of the benefits of retainers. Even if you already use them, can you go further?

Get Stuff Done with Design Thinking

Your best ideas hit you when you least expect them. In the shower, walking the dog, on a beach in Ibiza. But by the time you’re back in work mode, the idea has lost all momentum. 

So how can you capture those gold star ideas and put them into action?

For Gareth Dunlop, the answer is ‘Design Thinking’.

Design thinking is, in essence, a solutions-based approach to solving problems, drawing on practical, cognitive, and strategic procedures to get the best out of you and your team.

“Design Thinking asks, ‘Is there something that designers have been doing forever, that business people can use as a means of business people being creative?’” says Gareth.

“It helps busy stressed executives who are used to making decisions based on spreadsheets, and gives them a new way of framing how they solve problems.”

👉 At the Agency Growth Summit, Gareth will explore how agency leaders can use design thinking for translating ideas into actionable solutions, prioritising concepts, and navigating challenges throughout the innovation process. [Read more]

How Community-Based Marketing Can Help with Growth

“In both B2B and B2C, the power of community is undeniable. It creates a sense of belonging and trust that no amount of traditional marketing can achieve,” says Michelle Goodall, former CMO of Guild.

We humans are social creatures who thrive on being around others similar to us. Everybody wants to feel like they belong, and that’s why communities exist; they bring to us a sense of acceptance and inclusion. 

“I believe community is the future of business,” says Michelle, who has had over 25 years of marketing experience in various sectors and industries and has built thriving networks with strategies focused solely on community. 

Brands like GymShark, Starbucks, and Polaroid have all capitalised on their communities over the years, sustaining a strong relationship with their customers and turning them into advocates.

👉 At Agency Growth Summit, Michelle will delve into how community-based marketing can help grow your business organically, and strengthen client relationships. She’ll take us through real-life case studies, and show you where to start one yourself. [Read more]

Growing Accounts with Active Farming

When it comes to client work, Jonathan Leafe is a big advocate of an ‘active farming’ approach.

“I was reading an article by an agency coach who said he wanted agencies to be more hunters, and less farmers. The point he made was valid – but for me, that is absolutely the wrong way to approach it.”

What’s more important, and the key to success according to Jonathan, is making the most of the client relationships you’ve already got.

“If you had to go and find a new client from scratch, do cold calls, you’re going to spend a lot of time and energy before you even get to the start line – if you ever get there,” he says. “Most agencies will have the taps turned on full, with the plughole out. Clients get disillusioned, and suddenly, they’re leaving through the back door…”

“Whereas with an existing client, if you come up with a good idea for them, you can pick up the phone and set up a meeting – it’s that easy.”

👉 At Agency Growth Summit, Jonathan will be taking us through the pros of this active farming approach. He’ll take us through how you can identify clients that are naturally on the up – and how you can join them on their journey too.
[Read more]

Our Journey to £1m EBITDA

“We had no clients, no money, no office… absolutely nothing.”

Fast forward seven years later, and for Martin Richardson, it’s quite the opposite: his agency Ten Thousand Hours is now making waves, including a whopping £4.2m in revenue, and £1m EBITDA.

But where did it all come from?

“Our success, strategically, has come down to us being financially astute, and understanding exactly what projects to work on,” says Martin.

“Sometimes we can be seen as expensive, but we’re all about the added value, and challenging clients to help them be the best. We’re not just doing standard logistics, we’re contributing to their business growth plans.”

👉 At Agency Growth Summit, we’ll hear from two agency leaders who have achieved £1m EBITDA. They’ll be on hand to give candid advice and take questions on exactly how they did it.[Read more]

The Different Stages of Growth

Growth comes in all different shapes, speeds and sizes.

When you’re dealing with something as complex as growing an agency, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. 

That’s exactly why we’re bringing in voices from different points on the growth path. Each leader on our panel brings a unique slice of the agency growth story, offering insights that are as diverse as their backgrounds.

Meet your panellists:

  1. Becky Simms – CEO & founder at Reflect Digital.
  1. Ben Fox – CEO & co-founder of Fox Agency.
  1. Joby Blume – Director at BrightCarbon.

👉 If you’ve found yourself dealing with the immense stress that comes with building and growing a business – this discussion could offer you the answers you’re looking for. [Read more]

Agency Growth Summit – FAQs 🤖

Q: What actually happens on the day?

We start the event at 1.15pm, so try to arrive by 1pm.

The afternoon’s format is pretty simple: you will spend some time hearing from guests with interesting stories that you can learn from, and you will also spend some time in small groups discussing your journey with like-minded agency leaders.

The event is hosted by an Agency Hackers facilitator who makes sure that everybody with something interesting to say gets heard. (We poll attendees before the event, so we know who to ‘pick on’ on the day.)

We will serve tea, coffee and sweet things to keep you going, but please eat a sandwich before you arrive. The schedule doesn’t leave us time to serve lunch, unfortunately.

Q: Who will I hear from? Who are the speakers?

The people you’ll hear from are all agency leaders with interesting stories to tell about how they’ve achieve agency growth.

We also decide who to spotlight based on the information we capture in the weeks before. (Look out for our emails!)

We will publish the line-up a few weeks before, but mostly we hope that you will trust us to select interesting folk from our audience. We find that the people who choose to attend our events are overwhelmingly on fascinating journeys that will resonate with you.

Also, the ‘talks’ aren’t really linear presentations. They’re more like structured case studies, with lots of questions and reflections from the audience.

You could potentially call them ‘fireside chats’, but these are not rambling cosy conversations. They are planned and structured . We put a lot of work into researching our guests, out of respect for your time.

Q: Who can attend?

This event is mainly for agency owners and leaders – but it’s potentially of interest to keen “second in commands” who might be responsible for growth.

Basically, anybody can attend if you think it looks up your street.