Agency Leaders Sym


This carefully crafted program combines inspiring keynotes with informal activities, deep think tanks and time to build real relationships.



Delegate registration


Welcome drinks



Breakfast & Welcome


International Opening Keynote: The Three Client Trends That Will Change How Agencies Are Selected


Partner Keynote: OOH Audience Measurement Unpacked


Panel: Tackling Procurement Highs and Lows

Do agencies need to take back the power from procurement and help loosen the so-called savage grip that it has on the industry right now and what does taking back control look like? How much power do marketers themselves have and what is breaking point?

We look at the relationships between procurement, marketing teams and agencies and how this is impacting the industry. We question what the best approach to dealing with procurement in RFPs is and what it takes to say no to pitching. From being brave enough to make early judgement calls to negotiating the dark arts of RFPs, all sides vow to open up about the constructs, realities, challenges and the future of grappling with procurement.


Coffee Break & Networking

Sponsored by Verizon Media


Are you protecting your client’s ad dollars?

Oracle Data Cloud

Consumer Privacy, Ad Fraud & Brand Safety issues (and more) continue to hurt our digital ecosystem. Rightly so, brands are increasingly demanding transparency throughout the supply chain. Join Oracle Data Cloud, Initiative, The TradeDesk, and Seven West Media to discuss how protecting brands’ ad dollars has become one of the most important issues in digital.
We ask the hard questions and explore how agencies, platforms, and publishers are ensuring advertiser dollars are not being wasted.


Creative versus media agencies; can they both truly align?

Challenges between creative and media execs have existed for some time, with the two divisions often harbouring resentful and frustrated feelings towards each other. They’re either trying to do each other’s jobs or fighting over the client’s budgets – rarely both working together with the client’s best interests in mind.

From simply thinking your role is more important than theirs or feeling held up or let down by the other side, a united front between those that control the message, and those that control the medium, rarely exists without tension.

Proving that the two can work side by side for the ultimate benefit of a client – without being forced together due to a merger or acquisition – independents Hyland and The Royals have been teaming up to collaborate on better ways of working

In an Agency Leaders Symposium exclusive, the leaders of each business will talk about their new working relationship, will unpack the highs and lows of the journey so far and explain why you don’t have to be acquired to kickass in a competitive agency landscape.

From the seed of the idea and winning their first few joint pitches, to impact on the wider teams, dealing with the client and tapping each other’s resources, both vow to open up to discuss their new endeavour.


Keynote: Building Trust In An Age Of Cynicism

Public cynicism is stronger and more virulent than at any time in history. This plays out most obviously in the world of politics, but is also deeply significant for agencies seeking to drive a position of trust up and down their value chains. That’s the bad news. The good news is that addressing trust in a cynical environment doesn’t need new thinking – just a more rigorous and structured application of good business practices.



Lunch and networking down by the pool at the beautiful Crowne Plaza Resort


International Keynote: From London, to Prague, Russia and Shanghai, How Running Global Media Offices Shapes You As An Agency CEO


Wine Tasting

Sponsored by Datorama





Workshop: Future-Proofing Your Agency: Laying a Rock Solid Foundation for Growth

In addition to the complex and shifting competitive landscape, there are certainly a few signs the economy could be in for an unsettled ride in the near future.

Are you prepared?

Whether or not the economy shifts, laying a solid foundation for consistent growth over time is critical. When you factor in the continued trends that involve the shift to project-based work, fee reductions, in-housing, consultancies, and marketing technology, this becomes even more important.

In this hands-on workshop, you will collaborate with other agencies, as you work through a series of principles, methods and exercises to begin future-proofing your agency – even identifying new revenue opportunities.

You will conduct several audits of your positioning, target clients, talent, and service offering to ensure you are innovating quickly enough. In fact, you will outline next steps to begin implementing as soon as you leave the workshop.


Workshop: Becoming a future-ready Leader: How smart leaders look within to create powerful change

Clarety logo

In today’s complex, fast-paced and rapidly evolving world all eyes are on us as leaders to steady the ship, inspire our people and chart a course through uncertainty and into growth. These external demands and expectations can add up and our tendency is to ‘push-through’, even when we know we might be getting off track. As leaders, if we are not regularly stopping to ask ourselves quality questions to gain clarity on how to drive our organisations forward, then this can often lead to a loss of momentum and performance as well as, fatigue and disenfranchisement.

This workshop has been specifically designed to support you to chart the right course for you. To provide a moment to quieten down all the external pressures and noise and to pause and reflect internally. So, whether you are kicking goals but are not clear on what might come next or, your vision and goals for yourself and the team are a little hazy, then this session will guide you to clarity. When we gain clarity, it creates momentum and sustains us through change. It also provides an anchor point to be ‘future ready’ and have confidence to stay the course, what-ever is thrown in our path.

You will be guided through a series of coaching exercises to enable you to create crystal clarity on what you would like the future to hold for you, your people and your organisation. It will be an invaluable opportunity to explore, celebrate progress and perhaps sow the seeds of some much-needed change.


Relax + Recharge


Pre-Dinner Drinks Reception

Hosted by Ashton Media



Sponsored by REA Group


Dinner Speaker

The Change Agencies Don’t See Coming And Why S4’s Model Is The Answer

Sir Martin Sorrell is Executive Chairman of S4 Capital, which is building a new age, new era, digital advertising and marketing services platform for global, multi-national, regional, local and millennially-driven clients.

Sir Martin was CEO of WPP for 33 years, building it from a £1 million “shell” company in 1985 into the world’s largest advertising and marketing services company with a market capitalisation of over £16 billion, revenues of over £15 billion, profits of approximately £2 billion and over 200,000 people in 113 countries. Prior to that, Sir Martin was Group Financial Director of Saatchi & Saatchi plc for 9 years and worked for James Gulliver, Mark McCormack and Glendinning Associates before that. S4 Capital PLC recently merged with MediaMonks and MightyHive, and is listed at the London Stock Exchange under SFOR.L.

Sir Martin supports a number of leading business schools and universities, including his alma mater, Harvard Business School and Cambridge University and a number of charities, including his family foundation. He is married to Lady Cristiana Falcone-Sorrell and has four children and seven grandchildren.

Sir Martin Sorrell will be appearing via live interactive video link.



Breakfast & Welcome


International Keynote: Challenges this Global CMO has Working with Creative and Media Agencies

The average tenure of a CMO is less than four years. And no wonder. From orchestrating delicate brand stewardship in a fragmented media landscape – trying to persuade increasingly fickle customers, through to navigating delivery of both short and long term, growth and contribution objectives – the top marketer role has its fair share of challenges.

With a US$100 million marketing budget, working with creative and media agencies to satisfy the demands of the organisation’s C-suite can prove a complex and stressful job. From performance, profit and procurement to process, product, bringing back the creative passion and dealing with agency ‘pretenders’, The Economist’s Mark Cripps takes us through the 9Ps that keep CMOs up at night (and, in turn, should be giving you insomnia).


Partner Keynote: It’s All Fun and Games Until You Lose Eyeballs

AdColony logo

We earn consumer screen time, both mobile and television, away from a very broad set of competitors,” Netflix said at its fourth quarter-earning report in 2018. “We compete with (and lose to) ‘Fortnite’ more than HBO.”

Gaming is blowing up. Whether it be on a PC, console or a mobile handset. Whether it’s played, streamed or watched live in an arena, it’s no longer a subculture for snotty teenage boys. It’s commanding more and more consumer attention and brands need a gaming strategy.

The global gaming market is already a $138Bn industry and the fastest-growing consumer entertainment activity. The largest sector of this is mobile gaming accounting for 47% of the overall revenue. Mobile gaming is now overtaking social media in popularity.

With technological advancements like AR, VR, cloud gaming, 5G, and shifting consumer behaviours such as 68% of Americans would rather give up a social media app than delete their favourite game, this industry is projected to grow to $300bn before 2025.

The opportunity for brands to play in this space is huge, but how and what can you do to future proof your gaming strategy?


Think Tank: Pitch Consultant Hot Seat

In this think tank a trio of senior pitch consultants will take on queries, tackle misconceptions and may even give you the best advice you’ve ever had. What are the common things that clients want and common things pitch consultants do to help clients find it?

No question is off limits.

Got burning question but not keen to ask yourself? Send your hot seat question in advance to


Think Tank: Ensuring an Ethnically Diverse Workforce & the Steps Needed to Make it Happen

The Australian government has set some fairly high targets for government procurement to businesses that have indigenous representation. What does this mean and how will it affect the advertising and media industries.

Peter Kirk will discuss how businesses can prepare and work with more indigenous people, how the government tender process is going to change and what can be done to enhance indigenous representation and work

What is a diverse workforce? How do you become more diverse and what steps are needed? What is a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), can you afford not to have one and how do you get involved?


Think Tank: Why Aren’t we Talking About the Industry’s Alcohol Problem?

Alcohol is synonymous with working in advertising and media, sitting right alongside the ”work hard play hard” ethos.

Booze-fuelled client lunches, staff junkets, TV upfronts extravaganzas, awards nights and pitch win parties are all part and parcel of the lively relationship-driven ecosystem.

As the importance of creating a mentally healthy workplace intensifies, so too does the pressure on the factors that may be seen as barriers – workload, flexible hours, client demand and shrinking resources. But why aren’t we talking about the impact alcohol is having on achieving this?

In this session we hear one adland exec-turned entrepreneur’s real-life experience on how he moved beyond the booze, broke the cycle and is now encouraging others to do the same.

We also explore alternatives to alcohol related team activities and hear some home truths from an expert on just why you need to be thinking and talking about this now.

Are you rewarding staff with alternatives to alcohol-based activities? Why now and what steps can you take to improve this? Perhaps you are already across this and can share what you have been doing? Join us for this brutally honest, open and collaborative session.


Think Tank: How to Deliver Growth and Contribution Objectives in Both the Short and Long Term

The growing tension between delivering short and long-term marketing and business objectives is intensifying.

Whilst an immediately-gratifying focus on short-term (mainly online) metrics can have dangerous implications for long-term success, there needn’t be such a gross divide. Here, The Economist’s CMO Mark Cripps will facilitate a discussion on how to balance the complex world of short and long-term tactics—and how agencies can help their clients better embrace both.


Think Tank: Why We Must Continue To Punch Above Our Weight

Australia creates world-class work and is regularly ranked in the Top 5 on virtually any scale. However, we don’t reach those peaks anywhere near enough. There are scores of impediments such as CMOs with short tenures and short- term demands, digital distractions, training and professional standards, separation of media and creative agencies, lack of appropriate remuneration, and more, but what do we do about it?

Believing in your agency brand and staying the course must be at the core – it’s not about compromising. Here we’ll dig deep and engage in an open and robust conversation about how we can continue to be up there with the best in the world, how to balance the complex world of short and long-term tactics—and how agencies can help their clients better embrace both.


Coffee Break & Networking

Sponsored by Verizon Media


The Power of the Troll and How it’s Killing the Industry

Trolling is severely damaging the industry, is killing morale, creativity and careers. Pushed to extremes some staff have needed counselling or have even quit after their work and skills have been torn apart. Here, we discuss the impact this has had, can go on to have and will give advice on how, as agency leaders, you can help improve the issue and ensure you are given staff the right support.


Keynote: The Silent Killer of Creativity. The Business Case for Wellbeing.

The data is clear. In Australia creative people are not thriving. They are depressed, anxious, stressed, overwhelmed, tired and depleted. All killers of creativity and sadly, killers of creatives.

We intuitively understand that healthy employees equal a healthy business. What’s harder to understand is the true commercial cost to your business when your people are not at their best. And perhaps harder is how to create a culture where creativity and creative people thrive. By the end of this hands-on interactive session you’ll leave with an understanding of both.


Breakout: How three ad execs took an idea over a few beers and sold it to the United Nations

When Finch founder Rob Galluzzo, Finch film director Christopher Nelius and former Clemenger BBDO CEO Nick Garrett started working on what would become The Lion’s Share, they had no idea the impact it would have in such a short time. Since launching, it’s been backed by Sir David Attenborough, Game of Thrones star Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and importantly, launched with the United Nations Development Programme and founding partner, MARS Inc.

In this session, Nelius and Garrett will explain how the industry leaders took the idea and sold it in to some of the most influential people in the world, and share the lessons they learned from their journey at the beginning through to launching the program at the United Nations General Assembly.


Closing Keynote: The Changing Face of the Agency Leader

The agency leader role has changed and as important issues like mental health, wellbeing and strength in diversity rise to the fore, the skills required, and examples set from a modern-day leader are changing. Will business acumen and an MBA be enough for an agency leader of the future or will the best person for the job be those who have now made a beeline for the people and culture roles? Here, we question if and how the role has changed, openly talk about leadership wins, fails and predict what the future agency leader will look like.