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BIG/MRS Company Partner Service Conference

BIG/MRS Company Partner Service Conference

Celebrating 20 years of the leading business-to-business insight event


In a nutshell


This event has taken place.


For 20 years one conference has, more than any other, been at the heart of the insight world’s most dynamic sector. In the world of business-to-business research, the BIG/MRS Company Partner Service Conference is the gathering place for the insight profession.

London plays host to a concentrated day of content that will help you to:

  • Understand the seismic shifts in the market and what it means to those that interpret and track behaviour.
  • Introduce you to the new breed of competitor and offer a road map to countering the threat.
  • Inject a sense of excitement and individuality into your own corporate brand

It will be an event that helps researchers and clients navigate change, avoid pitfalls and implement vivid thinking. It’s an event designed to spark debate, flag new technologies and broker ideas. In 2015 the conference welcomes industry veterans and those entering the profession. It’s an inclusive event that celebrates experience of all levels, and ideas of all origin.

For 20 years, this event has inspired new business relationships and lasting professional friendships. This is the conference that places networking at the heart of all it does. After the day’s conversation, you are invited to join old friends and new at a party to celebrate 20 years of conference. It’ll be a night to remember as you enjoy food, drink, entertainment and the luxurious surrounding of the 5-star Mayfair Hotel.

Who is it for?

  • Agency researchers
  • Clientside researchers
  • Marketing managers
  • Knowledge managers
  • Brand managers
  • Strategic planners
  • Business owners
  • Senior executives
May Fair Hotel London

Stratton Street

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Welcome to the 20th BIG/MRS Company Partner Service Conference

Conference co-chairs: Phyllis MacFarlane and Richard Sheldrake

09.45 – 11.00

The State of the Nation debate

Six leading figures offer a top table view of the major issues, trends and challenges facings the business-to-business sector. They will cast an eye to the future while acknowledging some of the time-honoured legacy issues that are still critical to success. This experienced panel get to grips with the drivers of success and the pitfalls for failure. No one knows the market better than these respected professionals. They’ll provide a road map for anyone with an investment in understanding behaviour and satisfying the demand for meaningful insight.

· Where does the business to business market stand?

· What can we learn from the past?

· How should we prepare for the future?

· What new skills are demanded of insight professionals in this sector?

Chair: Richard Young, journalist and editor


Phyllis Mcfarlane, programme manager, global training, GfK

Trevor Wilkinson, managing director, Purple Market Research

David Smith, founder, DVL Smith

Samantha Bond, research manager, Northstar Research Partners

Alex Johnston, director, Jigsaw Research

Louisa Livingston, consumer insight director, Hachette


Networking break

11.30– 12.45

The heart of customer-centric business

Chair: Sinead Jefferies, director, Chime Insight & Engagement

What does being customer centric really mean? We will look at a whole host of challenges faced by different types of organisations, and the different models that are applied to help businesses succeed in their quest of really delivering to customers’ needs. This will cover a look at drivers of customer satisfaction and how that can be applied within B2B organisations, through to challenger customer champion brands whose entire philosophy is premised on the idea of delivering what consumers want. We will also get an in-depth perspective from a client organisation which truly strives to uphold the ideals of being customer-focused throughout everything they do.


Is it possible to have high levels of engagement with b2b customers?

Matthew Powell, research director, B2B International

Customer-centric strategy at the BBC

Samantha Smith, head of audience services, BBC

Embedding customer knowledge to drive smarter business decisions

James Wycherley, chief executive, Insight Management Academy

12.45- 14.00


14.00 – 15.00

Threats – who’s taking your business?

Chair: Nick Coates, creative consultancy director, C Space

From Netflix to Uber, disruption is the mother of invention, and our industry has to evolve in the face of new threats and new challenges. We have two perspectives from different players in the insight space who will share thoughts on everything from doing away with a market research team to how we need to rethink research as content for curation


Unleashing the power of data to understand our business consumers

Lynne Bailey, head of research, analytics and CRM, PwC

The Big Sofa story: the power of video in an age of content

Simon Lidington, founder and CEO, Big Sofa

15.00 – 15.30

Networking break

15.30 - 16.45

Researcher, Question Thyself

Chair: Ben Hogg, managing director, EMEA, Research Now - Portfolio Companies


It’s not business, it’s personal

Jon Puleston, vice president innovation, Lightspeed GMI

Amy Cashman, TNS – MD Technology and Finance

B2B respondents are often treated as entirely rational beings, unaffected by emotion or personal ambitions in their decision making. TNS, in conjunction with Lightspeed, wanted to challenge that assumption and also work to create a more ‘human’ approach to B2B research that sought to actively engage the respondent in the questioning process and elicit a greater depth of insight from their responses. Using gamification principles and a more engaging surveying platform, we were able to unlock their feelings around a wide range of subjects including their business ambitions, sources of support and level of personal investment in the enterprise. The resulting survey recorded the highest ever respondent satisfaction score Lightspeed have seen for a B2B survey and unlocked some surprising findings about this critical group.

I’m with the brand – Standing out from the research crowd

Lucy Davison, managing director, Keen As Mustard

Paul Buckley, insight director, GSK

Why is it that when the business suits go on, powerful emotional branding goes out of the window? This applies to us market researchers as b2b brands as much as anyone else. With so much choice available to clients looking for a research agency these days, what can business owners do make companies stand out and demand attention? In a world where research is increasingly becoming a commodity, Lucy will urge us to start behaving more like true brands with a clear and confident point of view so as to stand out from the crowd.

16.45 – 17.15

Closing Keynote - Declan Curry

For over 20 years Declan Curry brought a unique and highly popular style of reporting to bear on the world’s biggest business stories. As a lead business reporter at BBC Breakfast, he was at the reporting epicentre of the sub-prime crisis, the credit crunch and the global economic downturn. He has also regularly appeared on Panorama, Working Lunch, On the Money and The One Show.

To close the BIG/MRS Company Partner Conference, Declan will offer trusted, expert and entertaining analysis on the post-election landscape, the economy and, most critically, what it means for UK business. If you want a challenging, cliche-free and insightful take on the world we live in, you won’t want to miss it. In the meantime, follow him at @declancurry


Closing remarks


Networking Party and Conference Awards Presentation

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


The rates for BIG Conference are:

Early bird rate – BOOK BEFORE 7 May 2015
MRS/BIG Member £300 + VAT
Non-Member £375 + VAT

Standard rate – AFTER 7 May 2015
MRS/BIG Member £395 + VAT
Non-Member £475 + VAT

MRS Company Partner* £300 + 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

Party only tickets

MRS/BIG Member £55 + VAT
Non-Member £65 + VAT

Please note. Early Bird fees must be paid in full by 07.05.2015

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.

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