Newsletter Issue 4: Events and Engagement Done Differently

Through our newsletter, we hope to share insights, innovations and more, showing how we Think Differently about event experiences and help you create experiences that drive people engagement and keep sustainability and accessibility at their heart.
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Welcome to issue four of our 'Events and Engagement Done Differently' newsletter!

The summer holiday season is upon us and gives the opportunity for everyone to take a breath, and start thinking about what the rest of the year and 2024 has in store…

We’ve noticed that venue bookings for next year have started to come thick and fast – with plenty of clients looking at similar dates! If you have an event in mind for 2024 we would recommend getting a venue on hold early to secure it.
We can help with everything from the initial venue search to contracting and venue management throughout the planning process. If you’d like to know more then get in touch with our Venue Manager Jenny by emailing her at

If you’d like to discuss this in more detail, or anything else for your event planning journey please get in touch and we can start a conversation.

We hope you enjoy this month’s edition!

For years, everyone has been hyper-focused on Return on Investment, determined to show that every role, action or project is pulling its weight. With an ever-increasing pressure on budgets, it’s understandable that stakeholders want to scrutinise every penny spent within an organisation. If you can’t prove a return on investment, it’s easy to cut projects such as internal events because everyone thinks they show no quantifiable worth. This is not, however, true. You can show a quantifiable worth – you just can’t show it fiscally.

What you need to do is change the lens of what you’re measuring, shifting your perspective away from direct revenue and towards better engagement, which is measurable in attrition, performance, customer satisfaction scores and ultimately profit. It’s not as simple a calculation, nor is it a quick measure – it requires time to embed and evaluate against previous measures.

So, how do you prove the value of an event when the objective is not monetary? You bring in ROX (Return on Experience) and ROO (Return on Objectives).

featured articles

Recognition: The power of moments and emotions to drive engagement

In our latest webinar, we delve into the crucial role of Reward and Recognition in the workplace and the evolving trends shaping recognition events. By curating emotions strategically using insights from Psychology and Behavioral Economics, we aim to understand how recognition fosters employee engagement, enhances performance, and contributes to overall profitability. We will examine the fundamental importance of events in effective recognition strategies, where personalized experiences have replaced generic approaches to resonate deeply with employees, reinforcing organisational values.

Furthermore, we will discuss the integration of recognition practices into the customer base, highlighting how it nurtures brand loyalty among both colleagues and customers. By acknowledging the significance of recognition in customer relationships, businesses can establish emotional connections that extend beyond transactions, leading to heightened customer retention and advocacy. In essence, this informative journey aims to shed light on how Reward and Recognition, when harnessed strategically, can positively impact workplace dynamics and customer loyalty, fostering a thriving and resilient business ecosystem.

Visual communication is such an important part of how we remember and connect information. Studies have shown people remember:

👂 10% of what they hear
📖 20% of what they read
👀 80% of what they see

Our talented friend Liam Williams of LeoDo has helped us visualise some of the key messages and moments from our recent webinar ‘Recognition: The Power of Moments and Emotions to Drive Engagement’ into a handy visualisation shown above.

The power of environments

Environments are the key to unlocking emotions. In an event setting, the environment we create becomes the catalyst for change and is something that should never be underestimated.

When it comes to planning any event, we implement all sorts of science, theory and psychology but today, we would like to focus on just one element – that of environmental psychology and the amazing power it has to trigger emotions, good and bad! It isn’t centred around events at all but the learnings are still the same and can be applied in the same way.

featured project

The Science Inside Symposium

Audience, set and stage at Reckitt's "the science inside symposium" hybrid event by simplybetter

Client: Reckitt

Event: The Science Inside Symposium

Format: Hybrid

Attendees: 150 live / 3000 virtual

Reckitt‘s R&D function spans the globe, with 3,000 colleagues across 6 countries working on scientific solutions for the world’s best-loved and trusted hygiene, health and nutrition brands. Reckitt wanted to run an event that connected this global community and give them the opportunity to share knowledge and innovation to encourage collaborative working.

We delivered a fully hybrid event for Reckitt over 2 days that connected 150 live attendees at Reckitt’s Innovation Pathyway in Hull, and a further 3,000 via an interactive virtual event platform.

The event was a huge success with 98% of attendees rating the event 4 or 5 stars and 70% found the content to be extremely beneficial.

“I absolutely loved the entire experience! It felt good to share out the science we are working on with others and witness what other colleagues are working on as well.”

Click the button below to read more about our hybrid event solution and the amazing delegate feedback.

simplybetter spotlight


C&IT Awards – we’ve been shortlisted!

This time for three prestigious C&IT Awards.

The first for “Best Celebratory Event” for Victory Leisure Homes Ltd‘s “Victory Village” celebration. The second for Skipton Building Society‘s Leadership Event for “Best Sustainability Initiative”.

It’s always fantastic for our projects to be recognised by our industry, and the teams that worked on both of these events should be incredibly proud.

Our third C&IT Awards shortlist is the one we’re most proud of… Agency of the Year!

We’re incredibly passionate about making simplybetter a great place to work and to be recognised for the work we’re doing in this space is truly amazing. Fingers crossed for the October ceremony!

team member spotlight by simplybetter

We often talk about the simplybetter family and we thought you might like to get to know them a little better…

First up, one of our wonderful Senior Project Managers Jenni Castro. Jenni has been with us for the last 2 years and has delivered some fantastic live, virtual and hybrid events.

We also have our Senior Lead Creative Ellen Harrison who looks after our wonderful creative team as well as making sure that all of our proposals and on site creative solutions look amazing and nail the brief every time.

Next up is our awesome Production Design Lead Esther Day. Esther is an expert in bringing concepts to life visually with 3D renders as well as being a supermum to her little boy Barnaby.

Last and by no means least say a big welcome to our new Event Project Director Phil Gannon and Copywriter Rob Gilroy.

Macmillan Mighty Hike

The simplybetter team took part in the Macmillan Cancer Mighty Hike to support Abbie and Esther. A truly inspiring day where we walked 15 miles uphill and down dale through some dodgy weather was well worth it, with the team raising over £3,000! An amazing effort for a fantastic cause – well done team!

Sponsorship is still open and most welcome if you’d like to donate. 

Final Thought

September 2023 will see us take on our tenth new member of staff this year – taking us to a head count of 26!

It’s a far cry from when I joined the business twenty years ago, when there were three of us working out of a garage doing every role going – selling it, loading it, driving it there, building it, running it, packing it down, driving it home…

And that got me thinking about generalists versus specialists.

I came into this business in 2003 from a non-event background: I’m a BTEC in Art & Design student, turned sports management graduate, turned Technician, turned Event Manager, turned Account Manager, turned MD… so I very much class myself as a generalist!

But that was only ever going to get us so far. I’ve always known that to build and grow the business, I’d need to surround myself with specialists who can all do the jobs I used to do way better than me. As Andrew Gazdecki puts it,

“Your job as CEO of a startup is to hire generalists to build and then hire specialists to scale. Pretty simple.”

But letting go can be hard. When you’ve invested all of your effort and energy into something for so long, it becomes “your baby”. Not only that, but there can be a real danger of self-doubt and imposter syndrome kicking in and as a generalist, you can sometimes wonder where you’re worth is. The key is to silence that voice.

I heard an interesting quote the other day – “You can learn something from everyone”, with the premise being that everyone you meet is better than you at something.

But flip that statement on its head: everyone you meet, you’re better than them at something; and therefore as a generalist who’s seen it all, there’s a heck of a lot that you can teach people too.

I’d say the key is balance. Generalists can’t live without specialists, and specialists can’t live without generalists. Both bring skills to the table that the other doesn’t!

Generalists are able to bring a much more holistic view, where as specialists get the job done well. When it comes to delivering any project, we use a model called RACI (well, we’ve renamed it ARCI), and ensure we have clearly defined expectations for everyone:

  • Accountable – who is the one person that makes the final decisions and ensures the project gets delivered on time and on scope?
  • Responsible – who are the people responsible for delivering specific tasks within the project?
  • Consult – who are the key stakeholders – or experts in some cases – that need to be engaged to ensure the best possible outcome?
  • Inform – who just needs to be updated on progress on a regular basis?
ARCI: accountable, responsible, consult, inform by simplybetter
The key to being a great generalist or specialist is continuous learning – it just depends on how honed that learning needs to be.
Rob Woodhead profile picture Managing Director of simplybetter

All the best,

Rob Woodhead

Managing Director

Victory Leisure Homes

Engaging 10,000 attendees for Victory at the Great Holiday Home Show

Live Events

Putting Gainsight’s Pulse Europe on the map

Virtual & Hybrid Events
One Small Thing

Taking One Small Thing’s crucial conference online

Live Events
Virtual & Hybrid Events

Bringing Reckitt’s R&D community together

Live Events
Victory Leisure Homes

Bringing customers together for a uniquely Victory event

Live Events
Reward & Recognition
Skipton Building Society

Increasing colleague engagement with a summer festival

Virtual & Hybrid Events

Bringing Carpetright together online for a virtual experience

Brand design & development
Comms, campaigns & activations
Virtual & Hybrid Events
Skipton Building Society

Celebrating Skipton’s culture with a virtual festival

Live Events
Virtual & Hybrid Events
Skipton Building Society

Skipton Building Society’s most sustainable leadership event ever

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