Group photo of the Identity team at a summer party

On the 7th October 2022, Identity hosted its annual staff conference, a day reserved for honouring our achievements so far and a chance to look at where we want to go. It was a truly wonderful day, full of celebration. Paul Fitzpatrick shares below a summary of the conference highlights.

Celebrating our journey

The whole company descended on East Sussex National, bubbling with excitement. The energy in the place was palpable as our people gathered to celebrate the incredible milestones we have achieved so far. The theme for the day was ‘Our Evolution’, something that would not be possible without the dedicated workforce we are so lucky to have.

It felt important to define Identity and our journey, not only where we have been, but crucially where we are going. Vital to this was taking time to admire the view and highlight some of our achievements that have boosted our position in the global live events sector. The successful delivery of COP26, supporting Operation London Bridge, and being featured in the Financial Times Fastest Growing Companies in Europe, are just a handful of our important milestones. Not to mention, winning New Years’ Eve London, working with the Commonwealth Games, and achieving our ISO 9001, 14001, 45001 and 27001 accreditations.

Another key success was the Conference News Sustainability Pioneer award, an achievement close to Identity’s values. We have carefully created a reputation for being a leader in sustainable live events and it felt pertinent to highlight how crucial it is that we continue this path to be a real driving force behind sustainable events and social value. With this in mind, we opted to swap our usual conference merchandise of mugs and t-shirts for planting 1000 square metres of trees instead, helping to plant an estimated twenty million trees in the UK by 2030.

Perhaps the most indicative marker for our success to date is that in August 2021 we passed £100m turnover, and this year we can celebrate a 40% increase on this. Success is measured in so many ways, but these figures don’t lie. We have come a long way thanks to the hard work of our people.

What did the day look like?

The day started with a ‘welcome to the Identity evolution’ talk where we unpacked who we are, pulling out key words and phrases that define the journey we are on. The word that encapsulates our journey the most is: human. We are experts in pioneering human experiences, human storytelling, and like humans, Identity is continuously improving and evolving.

After this we launched our values:

  • We are human centred in our approach to life and work
  • We are collaborative in everything we do
  • We are empowered to make decisions and seize opportunities
  • We are champions for a socially responsible industry
  • We are pioneers of high impact inspirational events

These values align with our mission to continually raise the bar in global events, making sure every moment matters.

We then presented our strategic goals for the new financial year (2022/2023) which included the implementation of an employer brand that reflects who we are and our culture, the intention to grow our client base, and the development of our commercial strategy and client acquisition plans. Key to this is the creation of a marketing function that confidently defines who we are and what we can do for our clients.

Workshops were implemented, designed to help engage our people in Identity’s future and action planning. These workshops were vital in giving all employees the opportunity to contribute to our strategic goals, how they should be delivered, and provided the space to give feedback on what we can do to improve employee experience overall.

After lunch we heard from our CEO, Michael Gietzen, who outlined the longer-term strategy for Identity. This primarily focussed on our international opportunities and long-term development. Key to this is the implementation of a commercial sustainable strategy, the creation of a business that can handle growth, and the diversification of our product offering. Michael ended his presentation by breaking down what our evolution means to him. He highlighted the importance of remembering where we have come from and what that journey looked like to get where we are today.

Following Michael’s speech, we were party to an inspiring, high-energy, presentation from Identity’s hugely successful Digital Department. The presentation focussed on celebrating and highlighting how we are working with our clients across a variety of projects to introduce innovative technologies into their events that connect with people and enable clients to convert their target audiences to interested customers. The digital team wrapped up by presenting their vision for the next generation of digital events which completed an immensely enjoyable session for the team.

After all that excitement, we moved into the second portion of the conference which focussed on the results from our latest employee engagement survey. We were pleased to see that there was plenty to celebrate but recognised that there were also areas to improve on. After the results were shared, we moved into the final series of workshops which focussed on ‘Taking action’. Here, we addressed the results of our staff survey in detail, focusing on many different areas including improving collaboration and communication across teams, recognising, and celebrating our differences, prioritising wellbeing, and how employees can get involved in Identity’s journey.

This was followed by an invaluable ‘ask the leaders’ segment, where key figures in Identity answered anonymous questions about commercial, people and culture, digital innovation, and sustainability.

The day was wrapped up with a celebration of our evolution together with food stations, a bar, and of course… Bandeoke. This was the most important part of the day, a chance to enjoy our progress together as a team and take in the view so far. The journey could not have happened without the brilliant workforce we have created. It was important to recognise us, enjoy our success together and embrace that this is our time.

This observation from People and Culture Director, Mary Carter-Lee, perfectly summarises the experience of the conference:

“Now that we are the right side of the COVID pandemic, and with so many new faces joining Identity since our last conference in March, we felt it was important to get everyone together to share our successes of the last year and set out our strategic goals for the year ahead. However, the most important part of the day for me was simply for everyone to be together – seeing people off zoom really does strengthen relationships although I’m not sure everyone’s ears have recovered from the post conference social Bandeoke!”