Here are 12 that are memorable for me.

1. Sorrell on GDPR, WPP & ITV

Let’s start with day two headliner Sir Martin Sorrell. In a year where marketers seem to have said the four letters G-D-P-R more than any other, it was fitting to hear Sorrell lament the impact of the new legislation (or rather its lack of impact on the big tech companies).

Sorrell, after his exit from WPP, was more loose-lipped than when he last appeared at the Festival, back in 2015. He even mentioned WPP’s loss of a big client that hadn’t been announced yet (since revealed as United Airlines).

With Carolyn McCall DBE watching on, Sorrell also turned on the medium of television, saying ITV is a legacy business…

4. McCall on millennials and UX

The ITV CEO delivered a swift rebuttal to Sorrell’s ‘legacy business’ barb…

McCall went on to dispel the myth that millennials don’t watch linear TV any more, by mentioning that half of Saturday night’s X Factor viewers are aged 16-24. Even more surprisingly, a third of the Coronation Street audience is in this age bracket, too.

The former Easyjet head did surprise me though with her frank but savvy words about ITV Player…

7. Hegarty on global campaigns

Another legendary adman, Sir John Hegarty continued the frank commentary on the industry, with this take on why marketers create global campaigns.

8. Vodafone’s Jon Davies on chatbots

I particularly enjoyed Head of Digital Jon Davies’ talk about Vodafone’s innovative chatbot TOBi (read the writeup here). TOBi achieves double the conversion rate of web when selling SIM only plans and handsets.

Amusingly, Jon discussed the trickier parts of teaching a bot how to interact, saying that at one point in testing, TOBi rerouted users to the Bereavement Team if they said their phone was “dead”.

9. Louis Theroux on storytelling

Closing day one, Louis Theroux was reflective as ever, discussing everything from Trump to Widdicombe. His ruminations on social media and storytelling were a great end to the day.

11. Mark Ritson being himself

Ritson was as forthright as ever, sitting down for an ‘ask me anything’ session with Marketing Week Editor Russell Parsons. Here’s his advice on how to talk to your CFO.

And let’s end on a childish note, with Ritson using a potentially ribald soubriquet to refer to mass-marketing proponent Byron Sharp (during his debate with Facebook’s Steve Hatch).

There’s plenty more Festival write-ups on the Econsultancy blog. See you at Festival next year!