November saw the fourth and biggest ever ‘DRPGBIGtalk’, staged at DRPG’s 212 studios in Worcestershire. The thought leadership event transported 150 delegates to New Frontiers incorporating insight and innovation including keynote presentations, workshops and interactive sessions, hosted by experts from the industry and the DRPG team. The aim of the event was to provide clients with insights on key topics, helping the industry to grow and ensuring their clients advance in their various fields of expertise.
The event kicked off with a welcome from Group CEO Dale Parmenter and with keynote speaker and hostage negotiator Richard Mullender. Following this, delegates could choose four sessions from a selection of six, that were on a rotating schedule during the afternoon. Sessions were in keeping with the space theme and included such topics as:
- New frontiers of audience engagement
- AI new frontier or the end of the world?
- Crossing frontiers to measure behaviour change
- The new frontier of speaking global
The drinks reception was held on the construction site, which will become the new DRPG comms and design centre, delegates used AR and VR to bring the new centre alive. The evening meal was prepared by Chef Tom Court, using only Worcestershire sourced food and drink, creating a fully sustainable experience. After-dinner Will Whitehorn, former president of Virgin Galactic, gave a fascinating insight into the challenges of space tourism.
Dale Parmenter commented:
“For brands, businesses and even individuals, we are living in an age of extremely rapid change and transformation. Audience needs and behaviours are constantly evolving and if we’re going to stay relevant to the next generation of employees and consumers, we need to act fast and stay ahead of the curve when it comes to implementing new communication strategies and campaigns.”
In 2016, DRPG launched the first DRPGBIGtalk, which saw over 150 people come together for the biggest shared conversation to date, and each year the event grows. Through the DRPGtalk online blogs on key industry topics and their ‘DRPGtalk’ live events – a series of insightful discussions focusing on thought leadership.
Over the years DRPG has grown to become one of the communications agencies in the UK. It’s all a far cry from when Dale Parmenter set up as a video ‘man with a van’ some 30 years ago. They still have the van – but these days it is dwarfed in one of the huge scenery docks where DRPG make and store sets for clients such as Lloyds Banking Group, Bosch and Land Rover. The size and scale of the company is surprising – revenues of £31m and over 250 staff in its Midlands based offices.
Here they produce events, videos, online media and print on a truly industrial scale. It’s a family business, still privately-owned, with Dale’s son and daughter both active in production.
DRPG have recently appointed Lord Digby Jones to their board as a Non-Exec Director. Lord Digby Jones is well-known for his outspoken and unwavering support of UK businesses. Digby was Director General of the CBI and Overseas Trade and Investment Minister, he is often seen on TV commentating on business issues and is a sitting Lord, non-aligned, cross-bench Peer in the House of Lords.
“Digby brings a wealth of knowledge and contacts from around the globe” says Dale Parmenter, “We have known Digby for many years and it just felt the right time for him to become our first Non-Exec Director. We are currently in a huge growth pattern – in the last 2 years we doubled the size of the business and opened offices in Germany, America and Ireland. We need that big picture view that Digby can bring as we head for £100M turnover by 2023.”