I’m very excited about this year’s lineup and have scoured the agenda to pick out some of the less obvious attractions at #FOM17. Consider this the hipster’s choice of things to see at London’s Tobacco Dock on October 4th and 5th (please note, I am really a slovenly old dad, definitely not a hipster).

Alongside my picks, we’ve already announced great headline sessions from Jo Malone, plus a head-to-head pitting Mark Ritson against Byron Sharp. A third, very exciting headliner will be revealed later in the year, plus there are speakers from the world’s biggest brands, including Virgin, Unilever, Bentley and JustEat. 

I should also mention that Econsultancy subscribers can get a hefty discount on tickets, just contact your account manager to find out more.

Now, here are my top five picks for #FOM17.

1. Emma Scott, CEO of the Beano (Oct 4th, 12.20pm on the Multichannel Stage)

As a child I was an avid Beano reader (The Bash Street Kids were my favourite), so this talk is unmissable as far as I’m concerned. CEO Emma Scott will tell us how to make an 80-year-old brand relevant in the digital age.

I’m sure some kids still read comics, but presumably the focus is now more on bitesize video content and mobile apps.

This video interview with Mike Stirling from The Beano Studios gives a taster.

2. Hull, City of Culture 2017 (Oct 4th, 2.45pm on the Digital Transformation Stage)

Hull is the UK City of Culture in 2017, a title awarded every four years to promote arts and culture as a means of celebration and regeneration.

As part of Hull’s year-long reign it is implementing a digital transformation initiative. But how exactly do you digitally transform a city? And how do you achieve long-term outcomes that continue once Hull’s year in the spotlight comes to an end?

This promises to be a fascinating look at digital transformation in the public sector.

3. Deliciously Ella (Oct 4th, 4pm on the Realising Your Potential Stage)

Health food icon Ella Mills was caught in a spot of controversy at the beginning of 2017 when the press decided to turn its ire on the trend for clean eating.

But Ella’s business has continued to grow in spite of all the fuss. She recently rebranded her three Central London delis to bring them under her own Deliciously Ella name, while her new breakfast products sold out in just 24 hours.

The blogger, foodie, best-selling author and all-round entrepreneur will be sharing the secrets of her success at #FOM17, including a look at why customer-centricity is so important.

4. Edward Relf, CEO of Laundrapp (Oct 5th, 11.30am on the Data & Analytics Stage)

Laundrapp is a fascinating startup that aims to become the Uber of laundry. The company’s on-demand dry cleaning service is available every day of the week in over 100 UK cities, so you may well have seen a Laundrapp van zipping about.

CEO Edward Relf will reveal how Laundrapp uses data to better serve its customers, specifically looking at which metrics are most important for business growth and how to improve channel attribution.


5. Neuroscience at the National Trust (Oct 5th, 12.20pm on the Insight Stage)

We are big fans of the National Trust here at Econsultancy – deputy editor Ben Davis once wrote a glowing review of the organisation’s rather lovely new website.

At #FOM17 the Trust’s director of insight and supporter data, Christina Finlay, will tell us how the organisation uses neuroscience to inform its marketing strategies and deepen emotional engagement. She will also discuss which neuroscience tools can be used to enhance traditional research techniques.

It should be fascinating, a must-see in my humble opinion.

Check out the full agenda for the Festival of Marketing 2017, then buy yourself a ticket.