In a few weeks, the best instalment of Marketing Festival to date was supposed to take place. A more mature lineup featuring the crème de la crème of marketers out there supported by a feature-length documentary exploring the most pressing issues we face as a profession. I know that right now, this is just about the last thing on your mind, but we need to decide what's next. Trust me – the last few days were probably the biggest test of career.
After the Czech Department of health announced its Covid-19 containment ban for all events attended by 100+ people, many of you have expressed support for our event. I was really thrilled about that. However, it seemed to me that the prevalent attitude was “This will all blow over soon, don't worry. Just don't cancel anything!”.
For us, this could not be further from reality.
Even prior to the ban, we've had speakers anxious to cancel their appearance. Almost none of our foreign attendees are coming since their employers issued a travel ban – not to mention we have a lot of attendees from Italy. People were returning tickets for a refund since early February. At a time close to the conference when we usually sell dozens of tickets per day, sales were nonexistent.
And at the same time, expenses are mounting. Plane tickets, venue & vendor deposits and other costs – all for an event that's by definition not happening as of right now and one we can't even technically sell tickets for. On top of that, it's obvious that it would be reckless at the very least to think about carrying on with the event given the current state of the pandemic.
To put it bluntly: If we carried on pretending there's no risks involved, this would be our last Festival. That's for sure.
We've carefully gone over the possibility of rescheduling. Unfortunately, it's impossible to build the same event you've already paid for on a different date – the venue and speaker capacities just don't add up. Furthermore, we've already sunk a substantial amount of non-refundable investments into this specific date and the immense costs of rescheduling would basically put us six feet under.
So, what now? Reaching the decision has been incredibly difficult, but upon a very thorough assessment, this is what I've decided to do. Following the example of many other events – we're moving the conference online – but we're doing it properly. Once again we will assemble a professional production team and send them all over the world to record the speakers' lectures in a way that's tailored to our audience and the medium. In other words, we'll absolutely deliver on the content front. If you've seen our acclaimed documentary Making a Marketer, you know that we're more than willing to invest in the production and this will be no exception.
We're even in the process of negotiating with a new speaker so the end product might be even more interesting than what we'd initially offered. We are now frantically negotiating how exactly the whole thing will unfold and we'll definitely keep you posted.
So we'll “replace” the educational part of our event, but there's a lot more to Marketing Festival, as you all know. The emotions, meeting new people, all the parties and fun… Things that are difficult to replace if you move a major chunk of the event online. That's why we want to make it up to you next year.
Every ticket holder for this Festival gets a 50% discount for the next one which will be priced the same. Our 2021 Festival will feature professor Mark Ritson, Richard Shotton, the author of The Choice Factory and other great speakers that we'll be announcing soon.
This is an incredibly sad experience for me. The annual Festival is always a culmination of well over a year's worth of effort by our team but I am certain this is the best (or only) viable solution right now. A massive 'Thank you' is in order, to all speakers, lecturers, partners, our team and of course – you, the Festival attendees. I hope the current crisis doesn't affect you in the slightest.
Thank you and see you on 23rd April 2021.
The director of Marketing Festival
Workshops & Parties are cancelled due to the coronavirus threat
We are moving the conference online. It will be held when the coronavirus threat is over
All lectures will be professionally recorded with our speakers in London, New York and other locations in a way tailored to the format and content of the presentations
There will be a possibility for a Q&A for each session
We'll likely expand upon the list of speakers that were scheduled to appear in Prague
As further compensation, all ticket holders for 2020 get a 50% discount for the next Marketing Festival, which:
Features Mark Ritson, Richard Shotton and other names to be announced soon
Will be priced the same, at 6.990 CZK / 280 EUR (minus VAT)
Starting 10th March 2020, all events for 100+ people are cancelled indefinitely in Czechia. We’re talking to authorities, speakers & vendors in order to resolve this enormously complicated situation so please be patient – we’ll be back with more info this week. For more information, please follow us on Twitter.
A WORLD-CLASS MARKETING CONFERENCE
22nd - 24th April 2020 | PRAGUE
A masterclass in modern marketing.
There's a fair bit of noise in our profession.
So many challenges facing our businesses. So many options. That’s why we invited the very best of the best to
make sense of it all.
A vision for 2020 and beyond
Executive VP | Zenith
A visionary. Tech guru. Words like these are guaranteed to set everyone’s bullshit detector on fire,
but with Tom, they make a whole lot of sense. Tom has an incredible ability to ask provocative,
hard-hitting questions, constantly trying to understand what holds us back and where the future
opportunities lie. In 2020, he’s coming to Prague with a brand new lecture prepared exclusively for
the Festival audience!
& Peter Field
The Godfathers of effectiveness
‘A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity’. That’s how Mark Ritson described the chance to see these two
brilliant ad men share a stage. With over three decades’ worth of experience and research data,
there’s simply no one else in the industry who even comes close. Peter & Les are coming to the
Festival to deliver the ultimate no-bullshit lecture on what works and what doesn’t. Talk about
challenging the status quo.
If you ask the world's top marketers about their favorite books on advertising, Dave's name is sure
to be mentioned. This acclaimed creative director is nothing short of a legend and one of the
industry's most brilliant thinkers. We're excited to welcome him for a morning creative masterclass
as a part of our new two-day workshops!
Director | Passionbrand
Helen is a seasoned brand consultant and author. Her experience includes working with
companies like Johnson & Johnson, Avon, BBC Worldwide and even several VC-backed startups.
She is a true expert on how to build brands that people actually connect with, without all the
Co-founder | Sparrow Digital
A deluge of intrusive formats, high-profile data breaches, ad blockers, and low perception of value
have all made consumers pretty angry towards all sorts of ads. Ana is a NYC-based expert on adtech &
programmatic and her lecture will focus on shaping the way forward for digital advertising that
Owner | Drayton Bird Associates
“Drayton Bird knows more about direct marketing than anyone in the world.” Now that's not our own
quote, that would be the great David Ogilvy talking. Drayton has more successful campaigns under his
boot than anyone else we've ever had over. He even met the real Don Draper! And now he's coming to
Prague to tell us why our ads suck.
Stuart A. Thompson & Charlie Warzel
Opinion Editors | The New York Times
We are excited to welcome Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Stuart A. Thompson and lifelong
technology writer & expert Charlie Warzel to the Festival! They're both currently working in the
Opinion section of the legendary New York Times and are one of the creators of The Privacy Project –
an unprecedented visualised deep-dive into the sketchy ways companies misuse consumer data and its
repercussions for the ad tech industry.
Vikki is a force of nature, always fighting ferociously for clarity in marketing & copywriting. The
of her clients is enormous – the biggest entertainment brands in Europe (Sky, Virgin Media), ITV,
Body Shop, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Paperchase… We could just go on. Her fiery lectures are an
absolute treat and we can’t wait to see her in April!
Director | Dejan
The SEO community is still really strong in the Czech Republic so we like to deliver them something
truly special every year. And this year, we struck gold – Dan Petrovic, one of the most sought-after
experts in the field will present a comprehensive study working with unique data from the Czech
market. Don’t expect digging through a ton of Excel spreadsheets – Dan will present a
business-oriented view of search and his predictions for what the future will bring.