Incisive Media events managing director Simone Broadhurst shares her mantra for 2021

Incisive Media’s events managing director Simone Broadhurst has shared her advice for 2021 in an interview with the Professional Publishers Association (PPA).

The interview is part of a wide-ranging initiative by the PPA to quiz thought leaders across the consumer and B2B media sectors. The aim is to find out how businesses have readjusted their radar to prepare for 2021 and to protect and futureproof their businesses.

This is the text of the interview with the PPA’s Jess Browne-Swinburne:


Our radars at the start of every year are normally dictated by the ‘known unknowns’. The trends that are more than likely to unfold in some way, shape or form and can be predicted and planned for, leaving leeway for the ebb and flow of crisis.

But, as the Events MD of Incisive Media Simone Broadhurst explains, 2020 event portfolios played out against a backdrop of ‘unknown unknowns’. We are therefore craving certainty wherever it can be found, which Broadhurst argues should be a key focus for 2021 event planning. Provide your customers and clients with certainty, embrace your flexibility as an events professional and the acceleration that COVID has facilitated.

Broadhurst is characteristically direct: “First, deliver certainty – your clients and customers crave this and they crave it now, so make sure you are solving their problems, not adding to them.

“Of course, this means digital for now and, while a 100% focus in this way for many clients is not their ideal, it will at least mean they can deliver a plan that will, in turn, help them pass on certainty around their own business. If done well, then you’re creating new customer data too. A win-win.

“Second, remain flexible, which to some degree is what comes easily to business media and events professionals. You’ve all launched events in next to no time when needed in the past, so what’s different now? Keep your flexibility and ensure you know your clients and customers can see this too.

“Then, if you have a ‘digital to hybrid to physical’ plan in place, all you need to do is keep an eye on government advice and you can deploy your plan to suit.

“Everyone will have different trigger points for their move from digital to physical, but the real winners are the ones who will get the timing right. This will maximise digital while not missing the surge of pent up demand that we all know will engulf us at some stage.

“Last but not least, this mass creativity against a digital backdrop has fuelled thinking in organic conference growth. Incisive Media has 10 new conference launches planned for this year.

“These are products that can travel further, faster and are more cost effective, so let’s not waste this opportunity provided by the COVID accelerator to refocus and reinvent our businesses.”

To see the full set of interviews go to