Professionals out in force for first Building Brands UK Marketing Conference


In spring 2022, the inaugural Building Brands Marketing Conference was universally acknowledged as the place to be.

The hotly anticipated conference, which was held in the Sherwell Centre at the University of Plymouth, was the brainchild of Dave Briggs, founder of Building Brands, who put together an impressive staple of keynote speakers and workshop hosts, to create a first-class networking event for marketing professionals.

Dave, who is the Marketing Manager of Nash & Co Solicitors, initially conceived the idea of a Plymouth-based marketing conference in early 2020, just before the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic took hold.

Two years on, his plan was happily resurrected and met with such great enthusiasm by the local marketing community, that all 250 tickets for the event sold out two months before the conference took place.

From its inception the Building Brands event was strongly supported by the University of Plymouth and a host of key sponsors and ‘BB’ ambassadors who were passionate about the conference and aided in a myriad of ways.

Building Brands also showcased the hosting talents of the perennially popular and energetic Chris Bentley, who seamlessly kept the event on track and suitably diverting throughout the day.


Expertise for changing times

The Building Brands conference attracted a host of shining marketing talent, including keynote speakers, John Brown CEO of Don’t Cry Wolf (Why Brands Have to Care), Joyann Boyce, Founder of Arima and Co (The Importance of Diversity in Marketing) and John Thornton, Copy and Socials at Innocent Smoothies (How to Tweets and not get fired), all of whom delighted with their insightful, entertaining, and thought-provoking talks.

The feedback from conference attendees was abundantly positive, and the overwhelming takeaways from the keynote speakers were that the speakers had inspired the next generation of marketing leadership by authentically sharing their collective vision.

The conference offered a range of engaging workshops which included: ’How to write blogs that rank on Google’ led by Jon Payne (Noisy Little Monkey), ‘How your brand will improve your strategy’ as advised by Jonathan Alder (Alder and Alder) and Florence Bate Communications presented a guide to ‘What to include in your PR press kit and how to build it’. 

The bumper sessions continued with Ambitious PR delivering an ESG workshop, learning how to navigate the messy middle of ‘Paid Media’ with Launch and Cosmic UK focusing us on the incoming ‘Digital Marketing Trends’.

The well-received workshops highlighted strategies for success and shared solutions for both professional and business growth, which attendees could transfer and develop post conference.


Engaging minds, empowering success

The Building Brands conference generated a huge social media buzz, with positive momentum growing before the event and throughout the day. On LinkedIn alone the event inspired nearly 400 individual posts and an impressive 18k likes, with over 4k comments (and all of them favourable!).

“I don’t think the event could go any better than it did,” said Dave Briggs. “Everything worked, the speakers were superb, and everyone really enjoyed the day. The area has never had anything like this, and the support from the marketing community has been unbelievable.

“I can’t thank the sponsors/partners including the Plymouth Business School, the speakers and the attendees enough. Now, I’m really looking forward to the next one.”

Crucially, the conference offered marketing professionals a timely opportunity to get back together, and a chance to forge new connections and strengthen existing ones. There were golden opportunities for networking and to develop exciting collaborations, as well share a wealth of knowledge and insider sector tips to take away and put into action.

The first Building Brands conference will be remembered for many positive points, including being a hugely enjoyable affair, but also, we might speculate, for gifting its attendees the most impressive goodie bags this side of the Oscars (probably).


The future

As for the future, we are very happy to report that Building Brands isn’t resting on its marketing laurels and will be hosting another conference at The Forum on the University of Exeter campus on 2 November, later this year.

The Exeter conference has the potential to be the biggest ever marketing event in the South West and promises to deliver another inspiring day for the Southwest marketing community it supports.For more information on the events, the speakers and to purchase tickets, please visit

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