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When is repetition just what you need?

Our Technology Leaders’ Briefing began four years ago – it was called Meet the Broadcasters back then. It was an evening event at which the UK Broadcaster CTOs shared their strategic priorities. DPP members loved it. So last year the event became a full day, and international in scope – bringing to the stage no fewer than seventeen senior executives from some of the world’s best known content providers.

In preparing for Tech Leaders 2018, I needed to have a briefing conversation with each of those seventeen speakers. I had to explain our very distinctive format, in which each speaker is allotted exactly fifteen minutes, and each is requested – indeed, instructed – to provide three key messages they want the industry to hear. The format is designed to ensure that the audience gain clear, actionable insight from every single speaker.

It’s an unusual, but highly effective format, and the speakers all bought into it superbly. There was nevertheless a moment that occurred in pretty nearly every briefing conversation. It was the moment the speaker asked ‘but surely it’s going to get really boring if we all say the same thing?’

The answer – oddly – was that the more speakers said the same thing, the better. Why? Because that’s how you spot trends.

And so it was at Tech Leaders 2018. In practice, of course, no two people said exactly the same thing, because emphasis varies from company to company. But there was nevertheless just the kind of repetition we hoped for. Was it boring? Was it heck.  

We found, for example, that seven of the speakers specifically talked about the need for technology that supports business agility. The repeated demand for standardisation from these and other speakers, together with the centrality of effective data flows (cited by six speakers), all supported an insistence upon responsiveness.

It was striking that no fewer than eleven of the seventeen speakers directly addressed the need for innovation either in their consumer offering or in their means of production. The talk here was very much of developing active, direct to consumer propositions. Any technology or service that could enable that innovation was of interest.

Six of the leaders spoke specifically about their relationships with their suppliers. They talked of the need to speak a common language, to develop more appropriate commercial models, and to build relationships of trust and partnership. The model of long term, binding relationships between a broadcaster and a limited number of suppliers, is long gone. In its place is the desire for a wider range of more intimate, more creative, more business sensitive relationships.

And finally, although the question of sustainability was only specifically mentioned by two speakers, it had a strong resonance through the day. It combined with several calls for a more diverse, accessible and appropriate approach to recruitment. Together these themes spoke to a compelling argument: that winning companies tend to reflect the people they seek to serve. The case for more ethical and representative business models isn’t simply corporate social responsibility; it’s become a proven strategy for success.

It’s hard to think how else – and where else – one would get such focused and authoritative insight into key business trends other than through the Tech Leaders format.

So just imagine what it’ll be like this year! In 2019 we have senior executives from thirty of the world’s major content providers, speaking over two days. Nowhere else will you find so much actionable business insight condensed into such a short period of time. And it’s exclusive to DPP member companies. 

To go with the larger number of speakers, we also have a bigger venue this year. There is no limit on tickets for DPP members. See it as an opportunity for your company to ensure it is fully up to date with the latest thinking from the media industry’s major customers. It could be an away-day like no other!

 And if you’re not yet a DPP member, contact Rowan to find out more.