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The Persuasion Lab

The Persuasion Lab

5 November 2014 • London

In a nutshell


This event has taken place.

Time: 12.00-5.30pm

Explore the power of persuasion

The insight world’s hottest event is back. You will not want to miss this daring exploration into the power of image and language. It is an event for anyone who is involved in creating or feeding into persuasive communications that influence consumers.

As ever with the Creativity Lab, come prepared to work, discuss and learn. We’ve a truly inspiring line-up of speakers. Join them for an afternoon of deep-dive delight.

You will meet:

the advertising creative behind campaigns for Mercedes, Citroen, Co-Op and others on the persuasive power of language and image.

Meet Will Awdry, creative partner at Ogilvy

the former head of covert operations, hostage negotiator and national lead for crime and intelligence at the London 2012 Olympics will showcase high stakes persuasion techniques

Meet Kevin O’Leary, co-founder at High Stakes Persuasion

the magician and PhD student who will help you understand how conjuring relies on persuasion and psychology

Meet Robert Teszka, PhD student at Goldsmiths, University of London

the psychologist who will pull back the curtain on the art of the con

Meet Dr David Holmes, Leading UK Psychologist, Author of 'Abnormal Clinical & Forensic Psychology'

What is The Creativity Lab?

It’s time to leave your safety zone and join MRS as we unleash the power of The Creativity Lab. This is the latest in a series of events that gives you rare access to leading creative professionals. Their techniques, advice and experience will help to power your own work and expand your horizons.

It’s an event that will enrich your business, enhance your staff’s skills and expand your business offering to clients.

It’s an event like no other.

Who is it for?

It doesn’t matter if you’re qual or quant, agency or client, junior or senior – the future demands adaptable, creative research professionals. This event will help that demand.

It’s an event designed for forward thinking business owners and their staff. It’s an event for anyone who wants to rejuvenate their offering to clients.

What can I expect?

You’ll participate in a series of provocative workshops, conversations and experiments and you’ll emerge a more enlightened and creative individual. If you’re the sort of person who likes to sit on the sidelines and play things passively – this might not be the event for you.

What do I get out of it?

You’ll understand how to apply daringly creative techniques to your own work. You’ll meet some of the most inspiring and fêted creatives working today. You’ll network with like-minded, forward-thinking professionals.

You and your staff will emerge better equipped to meet client’s creative and commercial demands.


“Nothing is ever real till it is experienced”

John Keat

Where is the event taking place?

The Crypt on the Green, St James Clerkenwell

Clerkenwell Close

With thanks to:


Tim Phillips, Author & Journalist

Tim Phillips has been a freelance journalist since 1990. Writing about business, technology, economics and innovation. He has written for the Wall Street Journal Europe, The International Herald Tribune, The Times and Sunday Times, the Observer, The Telegraph, The Independent and The Daily Express among others. For two years he was a technology and internet columnist for the Guardian. The business magazine he has written regularly for include Director, Management Today and Business 2.0. He is a frequent guest on BBC television and radio and Sky News and a regular keynote speaker. Tim also blogs at Talk Normal ( His books include Scoring Points: How Tesco is Winning Customer Loyalty (2004) and Knockoff: the Deadly Trade in Counterfeit Goods (2006). He has also written books on gambling, Bertrand Russell and Machiavelli.

Will Awdry, creative partner, Ogilvy

Will was an account man at Publicis in 1983. He left advertising in 1985, rejoining it a week later as a copywriter at Bartle Bogle Hegarty. Years of learning, pitches, discipline and some gongs followed. He ran away to Leagas Delaney as Head of Copy, 1994. 15 months and more gongs on, he ran back to a creative directorship, helping start the integrated BBH Unlimited. From there, he trotted off to a volatile two years at Partners BDDH, helping it top the new business league in 2001. A happy hop to DDB for three years of international stuff followed. At Ogilvy since 2006, he’s looked after Dove, been agency co-creative director and acted as managing director. Throughout, he’s worked with over 50 clients and grown the awards haul (creative, effectiveness, media for self and teams). He teaches the D&AD Writing For Advertising course and lectures occasionally. Some work colleagues might say continually. 

Kevin O’Leary, co-founder, High Stakes Persuasion

In a distinguished police career spanning 30 years he held senior positions, which included strategic and high-risk operational roles. ?For several years he was the head of the covert operations unit at Scotland Yard, which included operational leadership and national responsibility for training and development. He was also the elected chair of a strategic international group represented by 40 countries working to share resources, techniques and collaborating in operations across international borders. As a nationally accredited hostage negotiator he has significant experience in kidnap cases involving organized criminal networks. He also wrote articles examining the concepts of risk communication and perception in hostage taking events in Iraq & Afghanistan after the coalition forces deployed in 2004. He was the national lead for crime and intelligence for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, a role for which he was commended by the UKs most senior police officer, Scotland Yard Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe.

Robert Teszka, PhD student, Goldsmiths, University of London

Robert is in the second year of his PhD, under the supervision of Dr.Gustav Kuhn and Dr.Jan de Fockert. Rob is a member of the APRU, as well as the Magic Circle.His thesis is entitled "Towards An Understanding Awareness Through Misdirection". The work is focused on studying the varying techniques of misdirection magicians use to accomplish their tricks. The misdirection framework is used to create experiments that explore aspects of awareness, such as how our attention is shifted during social interactions, or how justified versus unjustified actions are attended to. Rob is active on Twitter @RobTeszka, and promotes academic psychology in the public sphere through public lectures, events, magic performances, and private consulting.

Dr David Holmes, Leading UK Psychologist

Dr David Holmes gained his doctorate in 1994 and has taught Clinical-Forensic Psychology, Criminology and Abnormal Psychology for nearly 30 years. He has authored textbooks on Abnormal Psychology and recently published a larger text ‘Abnormal, Clinical & Forensic Psychology’ (Pearson). He established the Forensic Research Group in 1998 under which umbrella he has produced many successful forensic conferences and has published widely in the area. David has spoken and judged at Industry, Brands and Entrepreneurial awards ceremonies. Throughout this time, David has also been a ‘media psychologist’ on over 1000 TV and Radio broadcasts including National & International News, Crime Documentaries such as ‘IF’ (BBC), ‘Stalkers’ (Sky), ‘Myra Hindley: The Untold Story’ (CH5), ‘Born to Kill?’ (Sky) and on chat-shows such as Richard & Judy. He has also brought a broad understanding of psychology into unusual areas of expertise such as using forensic profiling to interpret doodles on BBC’s Blue Peter and advising programmes such as ‘Casualty’ (BBC1) on psychological aspects. David’s name has also appeared explaining issues in virtually every newspaper and magazine in the world. 

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Please click on the photographs to view each speaker's biography.


The rates for The Persuasion Lab are:

Standard rate
MRS Member 250 + VAT
Non-Member £295 + VAT

MRS Company Partner* £250 + VAT or one x Company Partner ticket
If you would like to use your Company Partner tickets, please email or call +(0)20 7566 1853

Submit your details via 'click here to book now', above. Our team will return to you within 24 hours of receipt of your details (Mon-Fri) with confirmation of your reservation and an invoice for the fee applicable.

*By proceeding with a booking you are agreeing with our terms and conditions.

The research world's most interactive, enlightening and daring conference format is back.

How to design effective and forceful communications for your clients.

  • Storytelling techniques that engage and persuade
  • Design that brings information to life
  • Language that changes minds and strikes harmony
  • Creatives from advertising, culture, design and bring their expertise to bear

  • CPD 3

    “Nothing is ever real till it is experienced”

    John Keat

    Show Panel Articles