Where the advertising business meets show business

The Lighthouse Company is the co-producer of Advertising Week Europe – the annual celebration of our sector – returning to London in 2020

A meeting of minds

Whether it is to hear the perspectives of international leaders, learn about the latest technology or search for New World Talent, The Lighthouse Company has always taken a keen interest in thought leadership events such as New York’s Advertising Week.

Having attended and then spoken at the New York event for a number of years, the Lighthouse were struck by the lack of something similar in scale and ambition on European shores and lobbied its producer, Matt Scheckner (President & CEO, Stillwell Partners), for a European edition.

Following a meeting of minds and a joint venture between the Lighthouse Company and Stillwell Partners, the wheels were put in motion. In March 2013 Advertising Week Europe was born. A week of thought leadership by day and celebration by night; designed for everyone, at every level, within the advertising, media and client community.

Seven years of thought leadership

Advertising Week Europe opened its doors to the industry for the seventh time during March 2019, well and truly settled in its new home in Picturehouse Central. Over 35,000 delegates attended 203 seminars and workshops, not to mention a huge, varied programme of over 20 other celebratory events. In what has been an incredible seven year period of growth the number of attendees and events at the week-long festival has more than doubled.

Fully embraced by the wider communications fraternity, in 2019 we were joined by 48 Corporate Partners, 13 Media Partners and 19 Association Partners. A stellar speaker line up featuring industry leaders such as Mark Read, Michael Roth, Sir Martin Sorrell, Sir John Hegarty, Farrah Storr, Wayne Deakin, Claire Valoti, Daniel Bonner, Matt Brittin, Dan Efergan, Nicola Mendelsohn CBE, and Bruce Daisley complimented renowned figures and celebrity guests such as Richard E Grant, Jimmy Carr, Lydia Bright and Jamie Laing.

Continuing with the theme of previous years, Advertising Week Europe took in events at iconic London venues including Ronnie Scott’s and Fortnum & Mason.

The Lighthouse on stage

As co-founders of Advertising Week Europe, the Lighthouse has curated some fantastic talent-based thought leadership seminars over the past 7 years.

In 2013, psychologist Oliver James and Professor Kevin Dutton joined Kathleen on stage to discuss ‘The Psychology of a Leader’. Oliver made a return visit in 2014, alongside fashion guru Gok Wan and  body language expert Judi James, in our panel about ‘The Unspoken Truth’. A selection of celebrity PAs also joined the Lighthouse team on stage to discuss ‘The Power Behind the Throne’.

In 2015, we brought our unique, yet friendly, style of leadership probing to the stage in ‘The Interview’ series with Havas Group’s Chairman & CEO, Yannick Bolloré and top celebrity chef Tom Kerridge.

2016 saw the Lighthouse focus on the phenomena of ‘The Comeback’ and what it takes both physically and mentally to once again reach the pinnacle of success. Kathleen interviewed both former world heavyweight boxing champion, David Haye, and TV personality and life coach, Jeff Brazier.

2017’s line up included ‘Risky Business? The Art of Reinvention’ with a panel made up of those who had made hugely significant career changes; Kate Thornton, Anna Jones and the Rev. Richard Coles. We were also delighted to present ‘The Commercial Conscience’ – a panel comprising three socially-minded entrepreneurs who spoke of the importance of purpose and values in the workplace. 2017 also saw the first presentation of a seminar during Advertising Week Europe from our sister business Psyched, with three ‘Mental Manifestos’ delivered from the world of academia, the boardroom and the street.

In 2018, we hosted ‘Leading Under Fire’ an in-depth interview with Ant Middleton, formerly of the Special Forces and lead instructor on Channel 4’s ‘SAS: Who Dares Wins’. We also hosted ‘The Consultants Cometh’, a panel session with management consultants from Accenture Digital, IBM iX, PwC and Karmarama, discussing how the moves made by their organisations into the marcoms arena has impacted our sector. Finally, our sister business Psyched brought ‘A Trip Too Far?’ to the stage – a mini-lecture from Dr Robin Carhart-Harris on the use of psychedelic drugs to treat mental health and performance challenges.

Our most recent sessions in 2019 included a fireside chat with Mark Read, CEO of WPP, discussing his personal journey, his vision for the future and how he will ensure success for WPP, their enviable list of clients and the 130,000 people he leads.  Kathleen also welcomed Sir Martin Sorrell to the Impact Stage to discuss his next chapter, his views on the industry’s future and the digital revolution.  The Lighthouse Company also welcomed The British Fashion Council to the Impact Stage to discuss Positive Fashion and the Value of Fashion Report alongside designer Roland Mouret and model and blogger Leomie Anderson.

The Lighthouse team also regularly participates in other panels at Advertising Week sessions in both London and New York. A full playlist and more can be found on our YouTube channel.

Dates for your diary

Advertising Week Europe will return to London in autumn 2020.

If you would like more information on the week-long celebration and how to get involved as an event partner, a speaker, or as a curator of a thought leadership session please contact Matt Scheckner or Kathleen Saxton. Alternatively, you can visit the website for the very latest news on Advertising Week Europe.