As 2022 is coming to a close, we reflect on a year of “getting back to live” and how new people, ideas and opportunities injected our agency with energy and creativity.

Author: Josie Fellows

It’s no secret that 2022 has finally returned some normality to our lives. Here in the UK, we’ve finally been able to travel and shop without masks and socialise in unlimited groups. More importantly, international travel has returned with only limited guidelines and restrictions. The staycations of 2020 and 2021 turned into holidays abroad, (though we had to relearn how to navigate airports!).

Our clients have finally been able to host live, in-person events again, inviting customers to explore new products, opportunities and business growth ideas. Here at AD, we’ve been lucky enough to be part of these events, with team members travelling all across Europe for face-to-face client meetings, customer and media events, and exhibitions.

One of the most significant events in the calendar for our clients, including the event organiser FESPA itself, is FESPA Global Print Expo, the international meeting place of the digital wide-format printing sector. A team of six of us travelled to the exhibition in Berlin this May, supporting multiple clients with product launches and media engagement.

Personally, I hugely valued this opportunity to finally explore some of the technologies I’d been writing and learning about during the past year. Having joined the agency in 2021, when online meetings were still the norm, it’s been rewarding to finally meet clients and media contacts face-to-face. As Shireen documented at the time, the return of live events in 2022 has proved the true value and energy that a show creates and this can’t quite be replicated with digital formats.

Looking ahead to 2023, we’re already looking forward to Hunkeler Innovationdays, Heimtextil, Interpack, FESPA Global Print Expo, Labelexpo and PPMA in 2023, and clients’ campaign plans for these landmark events are well underway.

Across our client base, we’ve made the most of the declining restrictions to capture a variety of visual content, returning to interviewing customers, clients and industry experts in person. Our teams have come away from these conversations with new ideas, revitalised with energy and creativity.

In light of COVID, we successfully pivoted our video offering to allow clients to capture great video content remotely, but, nothing quite compares to filming live. We’ve been shooting at events, in the studio and on-site at clients’ offices again. But we’re also continuing with some virtual capture, for situations where distance and budget are challenging. So, we can now offer clients the best of both worlds, and there is more innovation to come.

2022 also brought a host of growth opportunities for us as an agency. We successfully expanded our remit with many established clients, diversifying our content offering and providing a range of strategic support, from messaging to value proposition development and crisis communications.

We’ve had a lot of exciting and fun changes throughout the year, with colleagues returning from maternity leave and students joining us to gain experience of agency life. Team AD also gained three new colleagues from different backgrounds, who have already established themselves as valuable additions, with many fresh ideas.

As a team, we’re constantly evolving and taking inspiration from new members and the questions and suggestions they bring to the table. We shared a blog on our learnings from when a student joined us for work experience for a couple of weeks this summer, as well as what the switch to full-time work felt like for our youngest team member and navigating this move.

We’re closing 2022 energised by people, opportunities and ideas and looking forward to what 2023 brings. We hope to see you somewhere in the world in the year ahead!

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