Incisive Media CEO Jonathon Whiteley named among UK’s top 50 innovative business leaders

Now in its third year, the programme, which is supported by The Daily Telegraph, celebrates the inspiring leaders behind some of the UK’s most successful and fast-growing medium-sized firms.

There were more than 350 nominations from every corner of the country, across a multitude of industries employing more than 5250 people and collectively contributing more than £1bn to the UK economy.

Jonathon commented “I am delighted to be recognised in this prestigious scheme and particularly among such a successful peer group. The success of Incisive Media is the result of the incredible people that we have working in the business, their ingenuity, talent and sheer determination to provide the very best products for our audiences, customers and partners.”

John Garner of LDC added: “The UK has a long-standing reputation for its entrepreneurial endeavour, but there has never been a more important time to recognise or back ambition in British business. The LDC Top 50 Most Ambitious Business Leaders aims to do just that.

“All of the inspiring leaders featured in our Top 50 this year have driven their business forward during a period of adversity, whether by expanding internationally, delivering innovation, showcasing resilience or making a difference in their communities. They all deserve their place and I look forward to seeing their continued success.”

You can find out more information on this year’s Top 50 Most Ambitious Business Leaders programme here: https://bit.ly/2HE8SL7

Investment Week takes to the streets to support the 2020 Standard Chartered Great City Race

Investment Week, the leading media brand for the UK investment industry, is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. The milestone year for the brand has seen a programme of face-to-face and virtual events, a commemorative edition of the magazine, as well as a series of special features, interviews, social media content and videos.

The brand’s team will continue the celebrations with a squad of 25 runners taking part in the 2020 City Race on July 21, including CEO Jonathon Whiteley, managing director Kevin Sinclair and marketing director Sophie Eke, who are all keen runners.

The 5K race traditionally takes place around the City of London in July, but this year’s event will take in a different format: entrants can run from home, work or wherever they are, taking on the 5K at whatever time they choose, on July 21.

The official race beneficiary for the Standard Chartered Great City Race is Futuremakers, a global initiative to tackle inequality and promote greater economic inclusion for young people in our communities.

 “We are delighted that the City Race is still going ahead albeit in a different format to usual. As a business we have had to rework many of our own event models in light of Covid19 so we are pleased to be able to continue to support this major industry event, along with a great cause like Futuremakers,” said Sophie Eke, marketing director at Incisive Media.

The Investment Week team will be joined by runners from Teamspirit, the award-winning full-service agency, as our official communications partner for the anniversary. Teamspirit also celebrate 25 years of working with the financial services industry in 2020.

For more information see:

www.investmentweek.co.uk

Teamspirit.uk.com

Futuremakers

A triumphant week for Incisive Media with three more shortlist nominations for the Campaign Publishing Awards

The nominations follow hot on the heels of Incisive’s four shortlist nominations for the 2020 PPA Awards, which were announced on May 18.

CRN again led the charge for the Campaign Publishing Awards, with two shortlist nominations, best commercial team and business media brand of the year, capping an impressive week for the high-performing tech reseller brand.

Incisive followed this up with a nomination for the media business of the year award, a category where it has impressive form: Incisive Media was the AOP’s B2B publisher of the year in 2010, 2013, 2016 and 2017, and the PPA’s digital publisher of the year in 2018.

“I am delighted to see us shortlisted in these categories for the Campaign Publishing Awards, because now really is the time to celebrate our dedicated employees and our market-leading products,” said Incisive Media CEO Jonathon Whiteley. “The nominations are testament to the impressive all-round performance of CRN in 2018, 2019 and this year, and I’m thrilled that we have been nominated for the B2B media business of the year category.” 

The Campaign Publishing Awards take place online on June 16-18. For more information go to https://www.campaignpublishingawards.com.

For more information about CRN go to www.channelweb.co.uk

Incisive has also been shortlisted in the following categories at the 2020 PPA Awards: CRN, business information product of the year; Business Green editor-in-chief James Murray, editor of the year; Computing Delta, innovation of the year; and the business has made the shortlist for sustainability initiative of the year.

Incisive Media shortlisted for four gongs at the PPA Awards 2020

CRN, the leading news source for the UK IT Channel, has secured a nomination in the business information product of the year category. Business Green’s acclaimed editor-in-chief James Murray joins a sterling line-up for the editor of the year category, and Computing Delta – the new market intelligence service for CIOs and IT leaders – has scooped a much-deserved place on the innovation of the year shortlist.

Finally, after making waves throughout the event and media industry with their mission to become a truly sustainable business, Incisive Media has made the shortlist for sustainability initiative.

The four shortlist nominations highlight the enviable product portfolio, talent and strategic direction of the business and all entries firmly deserve their place as finalists.

“I am delighted to see us shortlisted in these categories at the PPA Awards 2020, because now really is the time to celebrate our dedicated employees and our market-leading products,” said Incisive Media CEO Jonathon Whiteley. “The nominations are testament to the hard work and innovation that takes place across our business to deliver outstanding services and journalism. To be nominated for sustainability initiative means so much as we are truly on a mission to become a fully sustainable business.”

The PPA Awards 2020 will take place as a virtual ceremony at 4:30 BST on June 30 instead of the usual gala dinner at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel. To see the full shortlist go to https://ppaawards.co.uk/2020/en/page/shortlist

Click on the following links for more information about Incisive Media’s shortlisted brands:

CRN

Business Green

Computing Delta

Incisive Media sustainability initiative

Count them all out, count them all back

Three years ago, when the founder and senior management team of B2B publisher Incisive Media acquired the business in a management buyout, they decided to introduce more agile working to the company, which provides news and information to the technology and financial sectors. “It feels like foresight now,” says CEO Jonathon Whiteley.

Most staff were already working from home one or two days a week, so when lockdown was announced in the middle of March, the transition was relatively smooth. Of the company’s 180 staff, around 40 have been furloughed on the events side of the business, but Whiteley is quite clear: “The absolute priority is that we get through this with all the jobs intact, so that when we can get back into the office, hopefully in the next couple of months, there are as many people at Incisive as there were prior to this whole thing.”

However, he adds: “There’s no question it has been impactful on the sector and therefore on us.”

Impact on events

Around fifty per cent of Incisive’s business is events driven and this is the part that has been most affected. The company’s last event was held in early March and the next event is not likely to be until October. As a result, they have taken advantage of the government scheme to furlough some of those working on the event teams or in functions supporting events. On the plus side, quarter three which is most affected, is the quietest period when it comes to events.

Whiteley explains: “We’ve gone through a process of working out whether we do one of three things: we postpone an event until later in the year, but that comes at the risk that we’re stacking that last quarter; or we cancel some of those events and accept that we run them next year and have a year out – perhaps the large consumer events like festivals; then the third option is that we’ve virtualised some events.”

Impact on editorial

On the editorial side, the picture is much more positive. Incisive has been quick to introduce new editorial products, including Coronavirus news hubs, a collection of content around the implications for the industries it covers, analysis and interviews with senior executives and thought leaders.

One of its main audiences, the technology sector, has come into its own as a result of homeworking. Whiteley says: “We publish in three sectors: technology, financial services and sustainability. The tech companies are in heaven at the moment. All the SaaS technologies and the platforms they’ve built are really coming to the fore. In the tech world, our audience tend to be senior IT professionals, CEOs, CTOs, IT managers, that sort of thing, so they’re incredibly information hungry. As an audience group, they’ve come into their own. Of course, technology has always been important, but now it’s even more important to CEOs and CFOs. That part of our audience is very active at the moment, they are very engaged with our sites, they’re very engaged with the webinars.”

For its financial audiences, the move to working remotely has been a little more fraught in terms of issues around security and regulation, coupled with the negative impact on the capital markets.

“What we’re doing editorially around that is making sure we’re putting out as much thought leadership as we can. In our financial portfolio, we’re doing a lot more senior opinion format style interviews. Our financial portfolio is quite technical because we are often dealing so much with regulatory issues, so we’re doing a lot more longer form explainer pieces around the implications. They are great survivors the financial community, they’ve come through many crises, it will have an impact and their revenues will be impacted by the swings in the capital markets, but they tend to come back relatively quickly.”

Editors have been hosting “hang-outs” with key audience members. Whiteley reveals: “Like most B2B publishers over the last three years, we’ve been trying to take our reach much higher up the value chain within the audience. We have VVIP segments within our audience, so a lot of the editors and editorial directors are running hang-outs for those groups. There’s one running that’s a kind of ‘wine o’clock’ where they’re meeting at five and having a drink, but it’s for C-level and above in the audience group.”

Impact on advertising

On the commercial side, advertising was up in the first quarter of the year thanks to the certainty around the general election – “which seems so long ago now” says Whiteley – and most of the second quarter was pre-booked before lockdown began.

“To be really candid with you, the 64 million-dollar question is, how does that look in the second half? Inevitably advertising is correlated to GDP, we’ve got good brands, we’ve got strong market positions, but we can’t fight the tide. What we have seen is a big pivot towards digital.”

Incisive only has two remaining print magazines, Investment Week and Professional Pensions, which coincidentally went monthly in March. Its marketing teams have worked hard to ensure these will still be seen by readers, contacting subscribers to offer delivery to their home rather than office address, to ensure that clients can still reach their audience.

In addition, Incisive has introduced Deskflix, a new virtual event platform which allows clients to interact with and influence their audiences. “We think we were quite quick to market with that and you might recognise the format, having episodes and seasons around particular editorial topics that are badged up where clients can sponsor them, but the content is editorialised. For our asset management community for instance, ESG (environmental and social governance) is a big theme in investment at the moment, so we’re running a Deskflix season on ESG with specific episodes which have contributions from certain client groups. We are trying to virtualise events, but not have a very flat webinar style,” says Whiteley.

Looking ahead

Does he have any idea yet what the future holds for Incisive?

“It is too early to say. What we’ve been doing is modelling lots of different scenarios, thinking about how this could look. From a digital perspective, what this has done is really accelerated people’s acceptance of these sorts of communications. Video was always the largest growing category of digital media anyway and that will have accelerated further. We need to make sure that we’re in good shape to be able to provide that solution for audiences, and for our client base as well.”

“As regards events, if you ask ten different people you get ten different views on how events are going to look. As a nation, we’ve become incredibly good and competent at social distancing and I guess that will continue for a time. Our model has been that we are not now running another event until October and even then, we’re expecting that those events will have to be run with some form of social distancing and other provisions: hand sanitiser, low-level PPE if that’s required.”

Incisive’s events portfolio is 50/50 conferences and awards ceremonies. While some of its awards events are small intimate affairs, Whiteley cannot see a return to the grand Park Lane ballroom style award ceremonies any time soon.

“Our view is that nobody is going to want to go to a black tie do which is lots of carousing and backslapping; it’s very difficult to social distance at those, until much later in the year at the earliest,” he admits.

When it comes to conferences, it is the smaller events which he expects to come back first. “We do run some at the larger end where we may have 300 to 400 delegates, but actually the rump of our conferences are far more intimate. In the last five years, we’ve focused very much on quality over quantity in terms of audience participation. Investment Week has a very healthy events portfolio, but most of the events are sub-20 delegates, because those 20 delegates individually control many billions of assets under management. We’re more confident those sorts of events will continue into Q4 and into next year. Naturally, they lend themselves to more social distancing, they’re not hugga-mugga, you’re not queuing up to get your food, it’s a very different affair.”

He finds it “heart-warming” that after a difficult period in the post-truth era, one consequence of Covid-19 has been to restore people’s trust in independent journalism.

“We’re a really robust, vital sector. We were in danger up until the end of last year, with the post truth era, of journalism becoming less valuable. I think people have realised that trusted news and analysis from reputable sources at times like this is absolutely imperative.”

He adds: “We’re in a sector where the last fifteen years have seen a massive amount of disruption from digitalisation, and we’ve proved to ourselves that we can adapt at speed, that we are resilient, and that we will continue to focus on doing the things we need to do. Whilst at the moment it does feel like it’s a very difficult time for the sector I think it will bounce back very quickly and I think it is a sector that is really important in the eco-system of the markets that we serve.”

Jonathon Whiteley was speaking with InPublishing.

Trusted Reviews joins the Incisive Media stable

Incisive Media’s directors, through a new subsidiary company, are backing Chris Dicker, the managing director of Trusted Reviews, and his senior team, to develop and grow the business.

Trusted Reviews was founded in 2004 and provides its readers with thorough, unbiased and independent advice on which consumer products to buy, from domestic appliances to mobile phones.

Incisive Media’s CEO Jonathon Whiteley commented: “We see the acquisition of Trusted Reviews as a strategic diversification into a new but complimentary business model and market, given our existing presence in the B2B technology space in particular.  We are excited by the opportunity to support Chris Dicker and the existing management team and help them grow the business.”

Trusted Reviews compliments Incisive Media’s existing technology brands Computing and Computer Reseller News (CRN). For more information go to www.trustedreviews.com.

Incisive’s events MD reveals her very personal mission to make industry awards more diverse

I remember it vividly. A sea of black and white and low humming voices, almost all were Caucasian… and male. This was the first awards industry event I attended 25 years ago and as it spread out in front of me, I felt how imposing, authoritative and unavailable it was to me. I did not belong, I was an imposter.

In many respects, business and society more generally have come a long way in the 25 years since then. The media industry, for example, has long had a reasonable gender balance in its workforce, albeit not always at the top. Incisive Media, where I’ve worked for the past twenty years, is as good as anyone in this regard. Our world is far from perfect, but it’s a veritable Heinz 57 compared to the industries we serve as a leading business to business media company.

In so many sectors, gender imbalance was just normal. Everyone accepted that men would hog all the senior roles and throughout their operation, there would be more men than women, not to mention more white faces than ethnic minorities.

It was no surprise, then, that business to business ‘Award Programmes’ brought out the worst in those organisations. They were meant to be a celebration of an industry’s crème de la crème, anointing stars and creating new heroes. Companies saw them as a key way of measuring standards in an industry or profession and well sought after recognition for companies, teams or individuals. They generally culminated in a glamorous gala dinner at a top venue, usually a big city, premium hotel. And, of course, they were – and still are – celebratory, boozy and great fun. However, they fundamentally ignored a large portion of unseen talent due to normalised business structures.

Shocking as this may sound, our predominantly female team would hold internal briefings about how to say ‘no’ to men who thought we were part of the entertainment. We would politely tell them to keep their hands to themselves, offer each other support and advice on how to be courteous but forceful, all the time being conscious that we also had to ensure we did not upset a client. One deliberate tactic was to be together in groups when dealing with drunk men, while helping them to get taxis home to their – no doubt – ignorant partners.

Even as I write this, I am staggered, and a little embarrassed, to say that we all accepted this as normal. Each and every female events professional from this time carries their own scars. It was unsaid, but all staff knew that clients had special dispensation and if they or their guests didn’t get too out of control or too lairy, we would let low level harassment slide. This was our standard.

Looking back over my career, I once had a boss that used to make me feel extremely uncomfortable, regularly breaking into personal space, constantly sharing obscene and derogatory jokes and comments, with his sport being to see how you reacted. Again, it was an accepted part of a young woman’s working life. Now being an awards judge across many programmes and having read thousands of awards entries, I can see that this experience was commonplace.

And then it changed. Like many, I did not know the name Harvey Weinstein, but when the story broke in 2017 and the #MeToo campaign gathered momentum, something clicked inside many working women, myself included.

I wasn’t alone and I noticed a sea change in attitude from female colleagues and industry contacts. Enough was enough, time to make a stand. I figured the only way this was going to genuinely change was to make sure the future was as representative for our daughters as it is for our sons. In many ways, I was lucky. Working in media provides a platform to influence and it became apparent very quickly that the standout method to deliver some semblance of equality was to showcase women’s talent, create female superstars, provide mentorship and build leaders that inspire.

Incisive Media has a large event portfolio and a ruthlessly efficient event production machine, the perfect engine to create the product to showcase the best that women have to offer. The ‘Women In’ award series was born.

One question needed to be answered, though: why make special awards for women? The counter-argument to a dedicated awards programme is that surely women should be compared equally to men? Aren’t these shows actually derogatory to women? These arguments were made by a few men and even some women. To be fair, this is why these award programmes were not prevalent a few years prior, but in my view, #MeToo changed everything.

Beyond the recognition an award win offers, my vision was to create a network for women within these industries and by launching the awards, highlight the lack of visibility these women have previously experienced. It was also important to provide a focus for changing attitudes in the workplace so that if your boss made crude jokes or advances, you did not have to get on-board or jump ship. Concept to launch in less than six months, the ‘Women in IT Excellence Awards’ and ‘Women in Investment Awards’ were born.

I’ve shared the history, the need, the positioning and the catalyst, but what about the recipe?

Many of you will know the delivery methods of running an award programme, so I won’t bore you with the detail. You know the drill. Launch 6-10 months out, gathering data, creating captivating content, mesmerising marketing and swift systems. Gain momentum and backing from industry bodies, gathering senior, independent judges and advocates, securing sponsors and having the confidence to commit to expensive contracts with multi-billion-pound hotel groups for a series of events which may not even get off the drawing board. Fly by the seat of your pants.

So, what did we learn? Timing was key. Gender diversity was a burgeoning topic in boardrooms across the country, so we had the need. We launched quickly and went for a major sponsor. HSBC Global Asset Management were approached for Women in Investment and it was immediately apparent that our targeting was accurate. Their desire and focus to make a difference matched our own, quickly coming to agreement on a deal, but not for a single year; this was a three year sponsorship deal, on a launch product. Unheard of.

Andy Clark, CEO of HSBC Global Asset Management, said: “HSBC GAM are delighted to partner with Investment Week and Women in Investment Awards. It really shows our partnership in terms of raising the debate in gender and diversity.”

Needless to say, the inaugural ‘Women in Investment Awards’ were an absolute, sure-fire hit. A complete sell out, a crackling atmosphere (of men and women), a visual rainbow across the audience, support for everyone, those on shortlists who didn’t win congratulating those who did. The precise opposite of my first industry event 25 years before.

We launched Women in IT Excellence and Women in Investment in 2017, then over the next two years: Women in Pensions, Women in Channel, Women in Financial Advice, Women in Protection, Women in Investment Italy and Women in Insurance. This year, we are launching Women in Law, Women in Accountancy & Finance and Women in Investment Spain.

Oh, then we decided to launch, Women in Tech Festival, Women in Investment Festival and Women in Insurance Live. It won’t surprise you that there are more to come.

These are the cumulative metrics for the award programmes since launch: 8,250 attendees, 375 judges, 10,879 nominations, 5,344 award entries, 106 sponsors and 94 industry partners. For recent awards ceremonies, we have measured our social drive, resulting in 115,000 impressions and 2,500 engagements through Twitter and LinkedIn for individual events.

And, most importantly, 360 winners and 145 highly commended winners. That’s 505 super talented standout women in our industries, empowered, acting as ‘taliswomen’ for their colleagues, clients, friends and family. Incisive Media is a better place for it too and as a business, is thrilled to have made such a difference to the industries and markets we serve. This tidal wave of female talent has such momentum now and while still a way to go, it’s unstoppable and business, as well as society, is better for it. More colourful, multi-dimensional, accepting and tolerant and far more agile and creative while equally determined and balanced.

And personally, I no longer feel an imposter. It’s only taken 25 years.

This is ‘the Women In’ awards recipe

Pre-launch (32 weeks):

  • Work on categories and mission statement
  • Work on creative
  • Put together list of judges, sponsor targets and non-commercial partners
  • Put together sponsor and partner proposition
  • Book venue

Launch (26 weeks):

  • Nomination campaign (Editorial and marketing campaigns to call for nominations; then ask nominees to answer a questionnaire.)
  • Non-commercial partnerships (As event is about inclusivity, we are keen to work with as many partners as possible. Our target is to have at least five partners and include women’s networks and industry associations.)
  • Commercial partnerships (Variety of sponsorship options; our aim is to be inclusive, so we don’t want price to exclude people.)
  • Confirm awards host (ideally an inspirational speaker rather than a comedian), AV, format, menus

1st round of judging (16 weeks):

  • Engage a large diverse senior judging panel (Target 25+. Each individual judge has up to three categories and we create the shortlists from the judges’ scores.)
  • Publish shortlist
  • Begin table sales

Judging day (12 weeks): This is followed up with a face to face judging meeting to decide the winners / highly commended.

The Awards (0 weeks): Delivery!

For more information about Incisive Media’s Women In events see the links following:

Women in Investment Festival

Women in Tech Excellence

Women in Pensions

Women in Channel

Women in Financial Advice

Women in Protection

Women in Insurance

Women in Law

Women in Accountancy & Finance

Women in Tech Festival

Women in Investment Festival

Women in Insurance Live

Cover and Incisive Media celebrate World Health Day and pay tribute to nurses and midwives

World Health Day 2020 day honours the work of nurses and midwives, who are at the forefront of the battle against the ravages of Covid-19.

Incisive Media’s brands are lending their support to World Health Day through a specially-themed ribbon on all of their brand sites and an updated masthead on their corporate website and social media coverage.

Cover, owned by Incisive Media, is the UK’s leading title for independent financial advisers who specialise in selling protection and healthcare. The brand will be raising awareness with a site takeover and themed email broadcasts.  Cover will be focusing on the unique agreement between the private sector and the NHS, who are combining forces to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic.

Cover’s editor Adam Saville said: “The protection and health insurance industry is having to adapt and rise to the challenge of this unprecedented crisis so we wanted to highlight some of support being offered to people in the fight against the virus.”

Apart from Cover, Incisive’s leading titles include Investment Week, Professional Pensions, Professional Adviser, International Investment, BusinessGreen, Computing, CRN and Channel Partner Insight.

World Health Day is celebrated each year on 7 April, on the anniversary of the formation of the World Health Organisation in 1948.

Since World Health Day was first conceived in 1950, it has been marked by a different theme each year.

The 2020 day honours the work of nurses and midwives, who are at the forefront of the battle against the ravages of Covid-19.

For more information on World Heath Day go to World Health Day.

Incisive Media joins the #lightitblue campaign to support the heroes of the NHS

Over the next week, Incisive is adding a #lightitblue ribbon to the mastheads of its market-leading sites and its corporate site.

Incisive’s top sites are: Investment Week, Professional Pensions, Professional Adviser, International Investment, Cover, BusinessGreen, Computing, CRN and Channel Partner Insight.

The #lightitblue campaign was launched this week by senior figures in the event and entertainment industry as a way of saying thank you to NHS workers.

On March 26, 38 landmarks around the UK – including the O2 Arena, National Theatre and Lincoln Cathedral – were illuminated in blue as the 8pm ‘clapping for the carers’ rang out across the UK.

Incisive Media CEO Jonathon Whiteley said: “We are delighted to show our support and solidarity for the extraordinary work that NHS teams are doing to save lives. This is a small gesture of solidarity to let them know that we, our readers and our commercial partners thank them and we all stand with them.”

Incisive Media – business as usual

Our business remains open and fully functioning whilst we work hard to deliver insightful business journalism, we throw our creative energy into delivering our clients’ digital marketing briefs and planning our market leading live and virtual conferences and awards for later in the year.

Of course, protecting our staff, clients and partners is our number one priority, but it is very much business as usual and our regular, superior service levels should be expected.

All of our staff are available on their usual phone lines and they have access to our systems via our cloud-based infrastructure, allowing them to continue working as though they are in the office.

Talk to us: For any questions you can reach a member of the management team on business.enquirie[email protected].

We send heartfelt best wishes from our company to yours.