The Agency AI Conference

Thursday 11th July 2024 – 9.30am to 5pm
The Royal Institution, London

• Get inspired to deploy AI in your agency
• Learn how other agencies are using AI to improve their work and help their clients
• Discover new ideas to improve your copy and creative workflows

It’s only been a few months since our last event, and already we’ve seen AI make unprecedented leaps and bounds:

  • After four iterations, ChatGPT has very nearly been replaced.
  • HeyGen has managed to replicate our faces and voices.
  • Some agencies are crafting their own SaaS products.
  • Others are creating dedicated teams to stay ahead of the AI curve.

While most are viewing these developments through a positive lens, others are, quite rightly, scared. 

IP law doesn’t cover AI-generated content, and clients are pausing projects to see if they can create the same work in-house with AI tools (and some come crawling back). AI tech may well shake up the traditional agency structure as we know it – and remove it completely. 

Despite these worries there are still opportunities for agencies to grow and make their lives easier through automation and a diverse range of AI models.

Our aim for this event is to understand both sides and, hopefully, you’ll walk away with a little more confidence in your agency’s future.

Five Rooms of AI Learning and Inspiration

Demonstration Room
Georgian Room
Lecture Theatre
Writing Room
The Library

Who you’ll hear from…

How Agencies Can Leverage AI to Its True Potential

AI isn’t coming, it’s already here – and it’s here to stay.

The question is, then: are you taking advantage of it in the best way possible? 

A lot of people talk a good talk, but when it comes to it, they’re not actually using the AI tools properly,” says Peter Heneghan, founder of The Future Communicator.

Peter is on a mission to get more businesses using AI through his ‘AI Halo’ framework.

👉 At The Robots Are Coming, Peter will walk us through how your agencies can make the most out of AI, the steps you need to take to integrate it into your team and why it’s absolutely vital that you do. [Read more]

This is for: agency leaders who want to learn how they can integrate AI more effectively into their business using a clear, well-thought-out framework.)

Build Your Own AI Co-Pilot in 30mins

For some, the AI landscape is becoming overwhelming. New tools and AI-powered platforms seem to pop up by the second – and so many of them do the same thing. 

What you need is to be able to tell someone, or something, your problem – and get them to build you a tool to help you solve it.

Thankfully, that’s exactly what Cien Solon has done.

“We’ve created a platform called LaunchLemonade that allows anyone to go in, define what they need help with, and it will create an AI assistant to help you with that problem,” says Cien.

“AI is more than just ChatGPT and chatbots. You can make the most out of it – and 10x your productivity – by building your own assistants, copilots and agents to maximise AI, monetise it, and futureproof your career, livelihood and enterprises.”

👉 In this workshop session, Cien will show you how to create your own AI copilot – in tune with your specific needs – to help tackle your problems, speed up your processes, and make your job easier. [Read more]

This is for: non-techies and AI rookies who would like to utilise the new tech but don’t have the capacity to develop their technical knowledge of AI – or agencies looking to build a tool to help with a specific problem.

How To Protect Your IP From AI Thieves

It’s every creative’s worst nightmare: ‘We’re going to pause this project with you and do it in-house with AI’.

The only thing that’s worse, is if they use YOUR IP as a prompt.  

“We had one project that was essentially greenlit – funds had been agreed, and we’d also sent the first contract for the project,” one founder told us. 

Then, out of nowhere, they got an email from the client’s creative director: “She said, ‘At the moment, we’ve decided to develop the 2D concepts in house using our specialist AI service. But you’ll be pleased to know we used your work as a prompt.’”

Legally, there was nothing they could do about it: “There’s absolutely no way to copyright the work. Because, essentially, there isn’t anything to copyright.”

But is there a way to prevent this from happening?

👉 At The Robots Are Coming, Sacha Wilson, partner at Harbottle & Lewis, will be joining us to discuss the options agencies have when it comes to protecting their IP from AI thieves. [Read more]

This is for: creative agencies who are worried about safeguarding their intellectual property – or those who have found themselves in this position and don’t know what to do next.

Using AI to Amplify Intelligence and Growth

As AI tools become more and more accessible, content differentiation is critical to helping your online growth.  

Crystal Carter is Head of SEO Communications at Wix. She is an SEO & Digital Marketing professional with over 15 years experience working with SEO and Marketing clients around the world like Disney, McDonalds, Tomy and more.

Rather than using artificial intelligence to “fake it until you make it”, Crystal will be at The Robots Are Coming to share examples of how teams are telling human stories better with the help of AI.

AI is not just a buzzword but a powerful tool that, when used correctly, can transform various aspects of content creation and marketing. From content creation to internal agency tools, this talk will cover tactics and techniques that add unique marketing value to accelerate impact online.

👉 At The Robots Are Coming, Crystal will help you get your head around how you can be one of the few people using AI to generate compelling content – not AI ‘slop’ that adds to the noise.

This is for: Anybody who creates content in an agency, and wants to use AI without losing what makes your content special.

How to AI Literacy Can Help You Become More Creative

So enthused about AI’s potential, Antony Mayfield and his team at Brilliant Noise made the decision to pivot their agency last year to a digital innovation agency specialising in AI.

Now, they’re delving into how they can create AI products for clients and upskill them on how to use them. But this is only possible due to Antony’s level of AI fluency – or ‘literacy’ as he calls it. 

“It’s like learning a new language. I can speak Spanish to an A-Level standard, but put me in front of an actual Spanish speaker, I’m lost. However, I could find my way around – I’ve still got an advantage. So I have a degree of literacy.”

Project that onto AI and it looks like this: “I know enough about how this works and about how my brain works, that when I approach this task, I can do it better with the AI as part of my thinking system.”

👉 At The Robots Are Coming, Antony will show us how developing your ‘AI literacy’ can unlock a new world of creativity – which you can use to take your AI usage even further. [Read more]

Agencies interested in taking their AI usage to the next level and developing their own AI networks in-house, or anyone still sceptical about the potential of AI. (It’s safe to say, Antony will blow your mind with his knowledge.)

How We Built Our Own AI Forecasting Platform

“I thought we could do it in a year for a million quid – but it’s taken us £2.5 million and two and a half years,” says John Readman, CEO and founder of Modo25.

John is a tech man. Despite growing and exiting several agencies, his background has always been in building software. So creating his own AI platform in-house seemed like a no-brainer. 

But it wasn’t quite as smooth sailing as he expected…

👉 In this session, John will take us through how he and his team developed his own AI-powered forecasting and reporting platform – more specifically, where he went wrong, and what he did right. [Read more]

He’ll be joined by his director of product, Emily Hakner, who will be on hand to give a demo of the platform, and take questions about its development.

This is for: agencies interested in AI-powered forecasting and client reporting – and leaders who would like to build and monetise their own AI SaaS products. (It’s not as easy as it looks!)

AI FOR BEGINNERS: AI Tools, Prompts & Use Cases

“AI for Agencies” has become one of those phrases with a whole lot of buzz and not a lot of substance. 

But it’s not just about using ChatGPT to kick off a blog post, or asking Dall-E to create an image for you to appease the LinkedIn algorithm.

We’ve barely lifted the lid on how AI can help with sales and marketing – for your agency, AND your clients. 

👉 In this session, we’ll be talking to some of the best in the (new) biz about the savvy ways they’re leveraging AI tools in their sales and marketing processes, increasing productivity, and making their business run more efficiently. [Read more]

This is for: AI beginners and agencies who want to integrate AI into their sales and marketing function without venturing on an arduous testing process. If you’re at the start of your AI journey – this discussion was designed with you in mind.

How to Develop an AI Strategy for Your Business

Many agencies get stuck at the ideas stage when looking at how to use AI in their business.

So how do you get your AI vision out of your head and into the real world?

Fatima Ait Moulid says: if you want to do it properly and successfully, you have to come up with a strategy.

“A lot of businesses have an idea what they’d like to do with AI – but they don’t know what should come next, or they perhaps don’t have the team to help power the roll-out. And most don’t know the risks that can come with rolling out AI.”

AI integration can get expensive very quickly – not just in terms of money, but also time and resources. 

“Those looking for a quick fix for this kind of digital transformation will be disappointed,” says Fatima. “My clients often want to see immediate results. But they forget that it’s an iterative process – it’s not one project.”

👉 In this workshop session, Fatima will help participants create their own agency AI strategy tailored to their business – that you can implement the very next day. If you’re looking to go ‘all in’ on AI in your agency – this is not one to miss.

This is for: agencies who want to integrate AI into their business operations smoothly and effectively – to improve efficiency and productivity within the business, and help them scale.

How We Used AI to 12x Our Profits”

“I look at AI to do one of two things for us,” says Elliott Botterill, founder of BOTTERS. “It should either increase our efficiency and enable us to do more without sacrificing quality – or add additional value.”

“Every week, we block out an afternoon and our whole team just goes and plays with AI, because how can we come up with ideas if we’re not sure what we’re capable of?”

Because of the team’s eagerness to learn, Botters’ clients are even more satisfied, experiencing a higher output at an even better quality than before and boosting profits x12.

“All of a sudden, instead of servicing just 15 clients with 10 people, we can service 25-35,” says Elliott.

“Our margins have gone through the flippin’ roof, whilst the actual quality of the service has improved. Before AI this was just unfathomable.” 

👉 At The Robots Are Coming, Elliott will be delving into how he and his team have used AI to work more efficiently – and increase the agency’s bottom line.

This is for: agencies who are interested in using AI integration to propel growth – or anyone still sceptical of the positive impact AI can have on agencies.

What Should Your Agency’s AI Policy Look Like?

When it comes to AI, many agencies believe honesty is the best policy. And with growing concern from clients about data breaches, they may just be right. 

“More and more clients are asking us about this,” says Emma Mackley, marketing manager at Bespoke HR. “The problem is, staff could be using it – but do the employers know that they’re using it? Even if they’re just using AI to speed up work, there are so many implications.”

Bespoke HR created an AI policy template to help businesses communicate their usage – both internally and externally. 

According to Emma, the policy was born out of two main concerns:

  1. The data you put in, could output somewhere else. “You would not want to be responsible for a data breach!”
  2. ChatGPT can be biassed. “How do you know that’s not going to damage your reputation?”

👉 In this session, we’ll be joined by BespokeHR’s Katy Wade, PB Creative’s Lloyd Moffat and Ian Miller, founder of Crafted, to discuss what your agency’s AI policy should look like, what it should include, and how you can get started on developing your own. [Read more]

This is for: those who are concerned about the impact of introducing AI into their workflows, leaders who are concerned about their team’s usage of AI tools, and agencies who are being asked about how they are using AI by their clients.

How We Built Our AI Research & Development Team

AI is evolving fast; it’s not enough anymore just to use it every now and then, and hope for the best. 

You’ve got to put in the time – and do your research!

In fact, some agencies have even started to build their own AI research and development teams in order to stay ahead of the curve.

“We have an AI taskforce in place that is reviewing, testing and reviewing various different AI tools and platforms.” explains Rob Jones at WPR Agency

“We have people from different facets of our business exploring how AI can be applied in their areas, and we’ve got some test exercises planned where we’re going to use AI for tasks like writing press releases, doing research, and coming up with social content.”

👉 In this session, we’ll be exploring why you should have a dedicated AI research and development team, as well as looking at how it’s worked out for other agencies. If you’re interested in adding some more eggs to your AI basket – this is not one to miss. [Read more]

This is for: agency leaders who are interested in building their own AI ‘task-force’ – or leaders who are interested in going ‘all in’ on AI, but are still apprehensive or don’t know where to begin.

How We’re Leveraging AI  Tools On a Budget

Gone are the days where AI adoption is a choice for agencies. If you’re not using it, you’re losing.

But what if you don’t have the budget for each new AI tool that pops up? Or the capacity to create an AI research and development team?

Turns out you don’t need buckets of cash to leverage AI in your agency – you just need a bit of time to set it all up. 

“People say you can’t use AI for content creation, but LLMs are great for content creation jumping off points,” says Matt Collins, MD of Platypus

“It’s all about quality and quantity. I can do more proposals, I can do more minutes, I can do more emails. But this is quality stuff as well – this makes the quality of what we do our offering just that much higher, because of the knowledge that each of the models can tap into.”

“We need to roll out AI, skills wise and interest wise, within our organisation as much as anyone else needs to. So this is a start for that.”

👉 At The Robots Are Coming, Matt will take us through how he’s using public LLMs to supercharge his agency’s marketing – from blog content and LinkedIn posts, to client proposals and competitor analysis – without breaking the bank. [Read more]

This is for: smaller agencies, or agencies who specialise in non-profit clients, who are looking to harness AI tools – without spending loads of cash. (Matt has some really savvy ways of using LLMs for marketing content and sales – so this one is for everyone really!)

How To Harness AI in Digital Marketing

“I’ve been in digital marketing long enough to realise that there are just many turning points – and for every single one of them, everybody said, ‘Digital marketing is finished. SEO is dead’,” says Matt Janaway, CEO of Marketing Labs. “But it’s not, you just have to adapt.”

Matt Janaway has been in the SEO business since he was 16 years old. He’s seen trends come and go, yet the industry, and his business, is still standing. 

So while others are concerned AI will see the death of digital marketing, how is Matt’s agency – and its clients – still growing?

“Of all of the changes within digital marketing, there’s probably been about ten in the past 20+ years that are really big – where people were panicking about the future of digital marketing,” says Matt. “I would say there was probably some validity in some of those worries. But with AI, I actually completely disagree.”

“It’s about adapting and using those opportunities. If you can find ways of capitalising on that and making yourself more efficient, but also using it in a way that can benefit clients – that can only be a good thing, surely?”

👉 At The Robots Are Coming, Matt will take us through how his agency has been integrating AI into its services for the last five years – from speeding up processes to addressing client pain points – and how you can do this too. [Read more]

This is for: digital marketing, SEO and PPC agencies who are looking to leverage AI and automation within their processes – as well as any agencies concerned about the impact this tech may have on their business.

TOOL SHOW & TELL: “How We Built AI Tools In-House”

ChatGPT – as well as the myriad other AI tools out there – is great,  there’s no denying it. But if you’re an agency, you can’t rely on it forever. 

Public AI tools can either be:

  1. Too broad.
  2. Too inaccurate.
  3. Too uncontrollable.

So, if you want a thing done right, do it yourself.

One person who has done this already is Measurelab’s Matthew Hooson – who has created his own AI chatbot named BRIAN.

“I didn’t want this to be considered a bot – I wanted something more intelligent than a bot,” says Matthew.

“I was worried we were in danger of not acting, because I don’t think AI is going anywhere. I don’t think it’s a flash in the pan. I think it’s permanent.”

👉 At The Robots Are Coming, we’ll be showcasing custom-made AI tools developed in-house by different agencies. If you’re thinking of creating your own in-house AI tool but not sure where to start, come along to this workshop to get your questions answered. [Read more]

This is for: agency leaders and tech-heads who want to create their own in-house AI platforms or tools, but aren’t sure how to go about it. Come along to get an idea of what’s possible.

🤖 Line-up subject to change – more to come…

Meet agencies who are using AI to evolve and succeed

The Robots Are Coming 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.

  • We dot you around the venue so you can interact – and 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.

The Robots Are Coming – FAQs 🤖

Q: What actually happens on the day?

We start the event at 9.30am, so try to arrive by 9.15am.

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 using AI in their processes workflows.

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 for anybody in your agency who cares about AI and processes.

The event is mostly pitched at agency founders and their operations teams, but anybody can attend if you think it looks up your street.