What we've been up to this week: 23rd September Creativity+ special

It’s been a fantastic week here at H+K, with the successful completion of Creativity + Science, our 12th H+K conference, our biggest annual marketing event. We thought we’d do a behind-the scenes special of the day for anyone who missed out.

The day’s theme was focused on how we can combine creativity and science to reshape communications and deepen the business to human relationship. To do this, we planned a whole day symposium that was broken up by immersive VR demos, brisket of beef, small yet tasty cakes, plus the speakers that provided insight from every angle of the topic. We had WPP CEO Sir Martin Sorrell in conversation with CNBC journalist Steve Sedgwick, magician DMC, the Youtube superstar and backflip extraordinaire team behind Snapchat success Shonduras, and academics such as Dr. Caitriona Jackman, Space Physicist.


And a lot more you didn’t see…


The team made an early start to the venue to set up the practical aspects. We attached name tags to lanyards, set up the roll-up banners, and the less ordinary materials, head-in-hole boards. With prior rehearsal and practice, the banners went up with no embarrassment, you’ll be comforted to hear. However, the first hurdle became apparent. The 500+ bendy branded pencils were un-sharpened. With teamwork, perseverance, true grit, and Rymans just down the road which luckily sold electric sharpeners, we tackled this head on.



The attendees arrived and were escorted to the auditorium for H+K CCO Simon Shaw’s introductory talk. Sir Martin Sorrell settled and prepared for his conversation with Steven Sedgwick on the role of science at WPP, the reaction to which led us to trend four times on Twitter, and gain coverage on PR Week and Holmes Report



Our next speaker Shonduras arrived with two other globally famous influencers (The Stephen and Tanner Fox) who stormed the stage and vlogged the whole process, showing off with a token backflip or two. Despite the slightly unexpected energy, their authentic advice to the audience on how brands can most effectively work with them was one of the most popular sessions of the day, and was picked up by PR WeekBeatie Wolfe explained the new uses for digital within the music industry, Elaine Tam discussed how art and science are interlinked, and H+K's behavioural science expert Matt Battersby experimented on us. 



After an adequate break for highly commended beef and pud, guests immersed themselves in the demos. Jukedeck, an AI music production platform, Google cardboard and mbryonic’s VR experience were other entertaining additions to the day, as well as providing insight into the future of tech and the use for brands/services outside of gaming. Magician DMC continued the fun by confusing the audience with mind games. He managed, unnervingly easily, to highlight the ‘Foibles of the Human Mind’ and how important it is for marketers to understand the science of perception; something that major communication agencies and brands that study it, have a major advantage in.



Our Sherlock+ panel, moderated by H+K's Director of Content and Publishing Vikki Chowney, and Clare Jones’s passionate explanation of revolutionary app what3words preceded our well-deserved cake break. We then travelled in ‘Hyper Reality’ with Keechi Matsuda, and unlocked ‘The secrets of the Solar System’ with Dr. Caitriona Jackman. She gave advice on how to problem solve like a physicist, a space physicist that is…(a crash course you might say). Finally, after a long day of hoping the venue’s mandatory fire alarm testing didn’t go off, during the wrap-up and thank-yous, we couldn’t help having fun with the head-in-hole boards….




Robert Isherwood

Hill & Knowlton Strategies Search