Our new Chair James Woollam looks forward to the next 12 months in the life of the IPG
Some time ago I was briefly involved in work as part of the Carlsberg lager 'Probably' advertising campaign. As we concluded another fantastic Annual Spring Conference last week, it came to mind that perhaps it was time to resurrect this for the IPG: 'The IPG don't do ______, but if they did, they'd probably be the best ______ in the world.'
Those who attended the AGM on Friday will know that our organisation is in good health. Membership numbers are growing, we are in a financial position to move forward confidently with new projects, and the feedback from members on our activities is overwhelmingly positive. The tireless work of Bridget Shine and her team has been supported over the past 12 months by the board leadership of Caroline de la Bedoyere as Chair. I'd like to take this opportunity to thank Caroline for her efforts on behalf of all members.
With The London Book Fair fast approaching, there is little time to rest. Events will always be a core part of the IPG offer, but alongside these a key project in the forthcoming 12 months will be the launch and first steps of the new IPG Skills Hub
. This is set to be a breakthrough learning resource for members and something that I am certain will form a significant part of our future.
The Skills Hub is one of a few projects that I hope to champion over the next year, and another is how the IPG might best support or engage with more regional events across the UK. I look forward to furthering that conversation alongside many other exciting opportunities. Above all, I believe that we will improve the organisation by listening and responding to our members. Through our many feedback opportunities, not least the Harbottle & Lewis Independent Publishing Report
, we are in a better place to listen than ever before.
Looking through my Conference notes is a reminder of the generosity of our members. Thank you to all who spoke and were so open about their businesses and prepared to share with others. There are too many highlights from the event to mention all, but I was delighted to be able to introduce two of the first day’s speakers, Joe McEwan from Innocent and Glynn Davies from Pi Datametrics. Two fascinating and insightful presentations from outside our industry yet of great relevance, and quite contrasting in content!
On a diary note, we are delighted to welcome all members to the IPG stand party at The London Book Fair, at 5.30pm on Wednesday 15 March. Our stand is 6E70 and I hope many of you will be able to make it along.
Finally, I will borrow a little from Joe McEwan’s presentation at the Conference. We learnt that as the Innocent business has grown in scale it has attempted to keep true to a mantra of 'keeping the main thing the main thing'. For the IPG, that 'main thing' is to help our members do better business. I very much look forward to supporting that in the coming year as Chair.
James Woollam is managing director of F+W Media International and Chair of the IPG.