The Golden Circle from Simon Sinek (

Here at Eventbrite, our purpose is to “Bring the world together through live experiences,” and this simple, common purpose helps us define our strategy and sharpen our decision making, from top to bottom on a daily basis.

It should be no surprise then that we’re big fans of purpose-driven businesses in general, and we think that purpose-driven events are a natural extension of this.

If you’ve not yet seen Simon Sinek’s seminal talk on purpose-driven leadership, then do yourself a favour and take a few minutes to watch it!  Don’t worry, we’ll wait…

Caught up? Great!  So, let’s see how we can apply purpose to your events, and the benefits you’ll enjoy when you do.

To help us out, we spoke with Camilla Woodhouse, Programme Director at the Marketing Academy, a non-profit and voluntary organisation who develop leadership capability in talented marketers from the Marketing, Advertising and Communications industries through mentoring coaching and experiential learning.

Can you tell us why you’re running ‘The Art of Curiosity: Why Marketing and Marketers Matter’, and how it stands out from other marketing events?

We decided to create our first ‘Inspire’ event, ‘The Art of Curiosity: Why Marketing and Marketers Matter’ because we recognise and have seen the power of marketing to transform businesses, and we felt that this contribution and value should be acknowledged and celebrated.

We’ve brought together senior business leaders, CMO’s and marketing leaders from some of the UK’s most successful organisations to show the value that marketing makes to a business, and to inspire today’s marketers into leadership roles.

The idea is that today’s marketing successes can support the future of the industry – and this event is an extension of that.

Another way we stand out, is that at least 80% of every ticket sold to ‘The Art of Curiosity: Why Marketing and Marketers Matter’ goes towards our Merlin’s Apprentice Fund, a life-changing initiative that provides 12 months paid work experience for 18-24 year olds who are not currently in employment, education or training.

The Apprenticeship programme provides on-the-job learning, training and qualifications as well as the first step to a career within Marketing and Advertising.

Has having such a clear sense of purpose helped you so far?  Could you provide any examples?

Yes! In particular it has helped us stay very focused and identify our USP’s and the core messaging of the event with clarity and consistency.

Being purpose-driven has also made it much easier to keep our defined audience front-of-mind when we’ve planned topics, decided on the event structure and invited speakers.

It’s definitely meant the event appeals to, and is useful for, the target audience – curious and ambitious marketers, and those who want to give something back to the next generation.

This sense of purpose has also aided in achieving a clarity and consistency of message and language in all external communications, which can often become muddled or confused over time as other opportunities and distractions arise.  Not so in our case!

Does it also create any challenges?

It does… As alluded to above, we have had to avoid the temptation to widen the event to include more speakers than we have time or space for, and we’ve had to be incredibly selective and purposeful in how we position the event, and who we involve in it.

What we care about is the successful outcome for all our participants.  It’s important our attendees learn from, and get inspired by, those marketers at the top of their professions; while we want our contributors to feel they have an individual impact on the audience.  A crowded, unfocussed event doesn’t help us achieve that.

As the event is also fundraising, we’ve been consciously trying to keep event costs as low as possible to ensure we can donate as much money as possible to Merlin’s Apprenticeship Fund.

At the same time, we have not wanted to compromise the event or the experience in any way.

Some of our biggest challenges in this area have been overcome by the support of some brilliant organisations who share our views and purpose-driven approach such as the Rooftop Gardens who have donated the venue, and other companies, speakers and people including Eventbrite who are donating their time and expertise to the event.

We’ve been very lucky…but it’s no doubt a result of being purpose-driven, not profit-driven.

How have you promoted the event?

‘The Art of Curiosity: Why Marketing and Marketers Matter’ has been promoted to The Marketing Academy’s community via email campaigns and social media including Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

The group that has been organising the event is made up of senior marketing professionals from Sainsbury’s, News UK, OgilvyOne, Virgin and Idio, and everyone is using their own extensive professional and personal networks. We’re also asking The Marketing Academy Partners to help us spread the word.

In addition, Eventbrite has been a brilliant platform in helping us promote the event.  It’s the first time we’ve used Eventbrite for ticketing and promotion and it’s been such a great experience that we’ve started using it for The Marketing Academy’s other events too.

What do you hope for on the day?

We hope for a jam-packed day of practical learning, energised speakers and attendees, lots of interaction and everyone going home feeling inspired and empowered to make the next step in their marketing careers.

We also hope to have sold the last of our few remaining tickets, so we can fully fund a deserving young marketer to join the Merlin Apprenticeship Programme.

Who should attend?

Everyone who has even a whisper of curiosity in them about the value marketing brings to business!

Eventbrite is a sponsor of ‘The Art of Curiosity: Why Marketing and Marketers Matter’, which takes place Monday, 19 May 2014 from 09:30 to 16:30 at Kensington Roof Gardens.

What’s your purpose?

We’d love to hear from other purpose-driven event organisers and standalone events!  Are you purpose-driven and what is your purpose?  How has it helped and impacted your events?  What tips do you have for others?  Please leave your advice in the comments section below!

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