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Video: The event agency of the future: tech, yoga and dogs

Richard and Catherine Matthews of Spotty Dog Strategy Limited have a saying in their workshops on the event agency of the future. “The way it’s always been done” isn’t always the best way.

Disruption in the events industry is the current buzzword, as are unconferences and experiential experiences.

Richard Matthews has over 20 years’ experience working in strategy and marketing for both blue chip companies and consultancies and also has board level experience as MD innovation at GfK UK. He has been running interactive training courses and workshops for nearly 15 years in over 10 countries.

His partner (both business and personal) Catherine Matthews is the creative director of Spotty Dog and specialises in developing and delivering bespoke training programmes.

For them, the holy grail of becoming the event agency of the future is discovering new opportunities to stay ahead of the competition and re-energising organisations. They use engaging techniques for strategic planning which includes future trend immersion, vision creation, competitive and change analysis.

From creating and embedding new vision and culture, to finding market gaps for new product/service development, these techniques help companies come up with a clear action plan for the future.

Discussions include topics on new technology such as AI as well as when to divest the digital and turn to other areas such as yoga in the workplace and bringing your dog to work. Having your canine companion with you in the office is said to lower blood pressure and lessen anxiety. It also helps attract and retain employees, especially among millennials.

Of the latter, much attention is paid to these leaders of the event agency of the future. Anecdotal evidence from the events industry points to millennials being less inclined to work long hours. It seems to suggest more of a drive towards a healthy work/life balance.

According to the 2016 Millennial Survey by Deloitte, 16.8 per cent of millennials evaluate career opportunities by good work-life balance, with 11 per cent who seek flexibility, such as remote working.

Success for millennials is having control over how and when they work and accumulating various life experiences, including bleisure.