Looking Back at BIMA Members’ Lunch 2018

2 Feb 2018

Posted by Rachel Johnson

Tickets were completely sold out for this year’s Members’ Lunch at Gordon Ramsay’s Heddon Street Kitchen. If you weren’t one of the lucky attendees, you can catch up here.

BIMA members came, ate, listened, connected and chatted over a busy agenda that set BIMA’s stall out for 2018, and gave a packed restaurant plenty to chew on.

Presidents’ Address

A year ago, BIMA presidents Nat Gross and Tarek Nseir presented their 3-point plan for changing the face of the organisation. One year on, they gave their update on how things have progressed:

i) BIMA Structure – BIMA is an organisation for all the UK’s digital communities, and this year’s expansion of regional and functional councils, together with a restructuring of the former executive board, has helped embed the bilateral relationship between individuals and the BIMA executive; specialist communities and the national agenda.

In Q2 2018, we’ll be announcing the next tranche of councils.

ii) Future facing – This year, we’ve redefined our purpose and focus, which now looks like this:

•  Recognise excellence

•  Build connections

•  Drive change

•  Explore the future

Over the coming months, you’ll see lots of different examples of us becoming an organisation that spends more time looking at where we’re going than where we’ve been. The emphasis of the BIMA Awards, for example, will be placed a little more on innovation and a little less on best practice. And the categories for the BIMA 100 and Hall of Fame have been refined to attract entries beyond agencies.

iii) Commercial growth – Our growth matters; it’s how we increase our ability to drive change. 2017 was the strongest year for new memberships on recent record, and we’ve lots of activities in place to ensure 2018 continues that trend.

In addition to improving our targeting of lapsed and non-members, a new programme of strategic partnerships will give our members more reasons than ever to value their BIMA membership.

The first of those partnerships – with Microsoft - was revealed at the lunch.

This is a hugely exciting development that will see BIMA and Microsoft joining forces at briefing events and roadshows, and give BIMA members new opportunities including:

•  Funding

•  Access to Microsoft experts

•  Access to early releases of software / services

•  New customer introductions

•  Joint publicity

You can find out more about the new Microsoft partnership here .

Hello & goodbye

We said a fond farewell to the brilliant Bridget Beale, our outgoing MD who’s returning to her native New Zealand…

…and we welcomed our brand new MD, Holly Hall.

An interview with, Chris Sheldrick, what3words

Chris Sheldrick worked in the music business and was constantly frustrated by bands’ inability to get from the hotel to stage without getting lost. His novel approach to geocoding, by giving everywhere in the world a unique 3-word address, is transforming the world’s systems that no longer need to rely on postcodes.

Chris’ story showed how innovation, disruption and the purity of a simple but brilliant idea that starts with ‘What if…?’ are things that anyone, anywhere can create – with the right support, know-how and technology.

Given that our new partnership with Microsoft aims to offer innovators on any scale those things, it was a timely and inspiring message.

Afterwards, guests chatted, planned and exchanged contact details over generous quantities of wine.

See you next year.


If you have any photos of the lunch that you would like to share please email Sadly, our lovely photographer, who was taking photos during the lunch had his camera stolen on his way home.  It's such a shame as Francis took some amazing photos that some thief has stolen :(

Rachel Johnson
Posted by Rachel Johnson

Rachel has recently joined BIMA having worked for more than 20 years in the world of Marketing. Rachel has many impressive client, charity and agency-side results to her credit and stories to tell. As both a team player and independent advisor, Rachel loves to see the bigger picture and is a strong strategic thinker. She has led ambitious projects for start-ups, worked alongside growing businesses and has been fortunate to work with some of the UK’s most respected and renowned agencies. A self-motivated original thinker, Rachel is also an extremely able marketer. She brings out the best in people at all levels. Her wealth of transferable skills includes project management – often with direct budgetary control - results-driven commercial awareness, proven networking strengths, digital marketing expertise and broad IT literacy. However, her achievements do not end there! In her spare time, she makes full-use of her Cumbrian home-town environment, walking, biking and running, and spending time as an enthusiastic side-line rugby and football mum for her two boys – Louie and Harley.

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