Authenticity is a big buzz word in the world of business. But how can you ensure authenticity in business? What does authenticity mean? And are you truly being authentic, or do you just think you are?

Authenticity can be easily defined as being genuine, real, and not false or copied. At face value it would seem easy to apply this to business: don’t lie, don’t copy ideas and remain true to yourself. But applying authenticity in business isn’t as easy as it sounds.

This year’s conference will focus on helping businesses understand the vital elements required for authentic communication. No matter the size or scale of a business, ‘authenticity’ is an aspect that’s important to consider in order to stay competitive in today’s modern market.

For one week only you can purchase reduced tickets for just £60 +vat per ticket. To take advantage of this offer, simply enter “BeeAuthentic15” at the checkout.

Please click here to see last year’s event as a taster of what to expect!

12:00

Registration + Sit down 2 course lunch

13:00

Opening remarks

Dan Nolan, theEword and chair of creative pro-manchester

13:10

Panel: Transparency and the Rise of Collaboration

Chaired by: Dan Nolan (TheEword and creative pro chair)
Panel: Mark Stringer (Ahoy), Guy Levine (Return), Julia Mitchell (Toast PR) James Ashford (Go Proposal)

Transparency is key in today’s modern market. However, nobody can be truly transparent if they don’t collaborate with their partners, suppliers and customers.

Within this panel session, we’ll be asking; How far should businesses collaborate with clients? To what extent do you involve them and to what extent should you guide them through the process? and does it actually cause more harm than good?

13:35

Corporate Accountability and The Mutability of Reputation

Heather Blundell, Weber Shandwick Manchester 

Accountability and reputation are fundamental elements of authenticity. Businesses now have to espouse values and behaviours that aren’t just about the money. With a collective consciousness heightened by successive financial calamities, legislators have created new frameworks for corporate governance, financial reporting, tax transparency and anti-corruption standards. Trade has to be fair and ethical. Consumers have become activists. The transparency and scrutiny bred by the internet and social media has meant companies must look at the big picture of how their business is done.

Heather will take you our delegates through seven areas of accountability that can impact the reputation of an organisation, detailing the approach companies should be taking to each in the ‘post-truth era’. Transparency from businesses across these areas can be the catalyst to positive and authentic relationships with all key stakeholders and audiences.

14:00

Transparent Pricing

Paul Barnes, My Accountancy Place

In this session Paul will be speaking about the importance of transparent pricing and how to create a sales process that increases conversions, reduces the sales cycle and creates a better experience for your clients.

14:25

“The Curated Self” – the dilemma of personal authenticity online.

Mel Powell, Manchester Metropolitan University

In the era of ‘fake news’, authenticity has become the key ingredient in building trust in online communication, whether it’s by brands or individual influencers. But how does this apply to building an authentic online identity for yourself as a young professional? Can you be completely authentic in your personal communication online – and should you be? And how can you tackle this if you haven’t fully worked out what your own real identity is yet?

In this short session, PR professional and academic Mel Powell uses social psychology and communications theory to analyse what the self is, what we’re really doing when we self-publish and what authenticity means online, as well as suggesting some practical solutions that you can use.

Human Centred Design

Laura Harper, Shoosmiths and John Keiller, Common Good

HCD (Human Centered and Design) is a design and management framework which puts the end user at its heart and involves them at every stage of the problem solving process. Join us to discover how this creative approach to problem solving is being employed to the great benefit of those end users and the businesses adopting HCD. From healthcare to communications to civic innovation, HCD can be used to solve very complex problems swiftly by engaging all stakeholders but most importantly, by engaging the ultimate beneficiaries of the project or process.

Laura and John will discuss their experiences and share just some of the ground-breaking HCD projects in which they have been involved including, projects which have transformed blood donation; IoT projects for smart cities; and customer centric experiences for global brands.

14:50

Break

15:10

The Business Impact of Authentic Leadership

Shelly Rubinstein, Impact. Psychology for Business

As recent events have shown, in the world today, where so much emphasis is placed on the superficial, people crave authenticity. People are hungry for real what-you-see-is-what-you-get leadership. The most inspiring and influential leaders therefore don’t lead just because of what they do, but also because of who they are. Take notice of this because when you connect authentically with those you seek to lead, you become more influential.

So, how does authenticity support a business? When people feel free to be who and what they are — both privately and publicly — they have more energy to create and innovate. Authentic workers are more likely to bring their whole selves to the job, engage with the company’s goals and participate fully. Why is this important to you?

No matter who you are or what you’re leading, authenticity is important. To lead authentically, you need to know who you are and be open with others. When you lead authentically, people trust you to deliver a message worth listening to.

15:35

Personal Branding…. Have you got the bottle?

Sam Ward, Tunafish Media

In this session, Sam will be speaking about how personal branding now needs to be factored into marketing plans. It is no longer enough to spend £1000’s on marketing your product through traditional and social media and expect people to buy into it.

Clients want to know what sort of skill set there is in the team. Why they should buy your product over another companies product. What experience do you have within the industry and how are you a credible source of information.

People buy from people and this grassroots form of marketing seems to have been forgotten about in this fast moving age of social media.

16:00

Live brand experiences – the power of bringing brands to life

Laura Wolfe- Wolfe

2017 is the year when experiential marketing rules – exposing consumers to a brand is no longer enough – they need to experience it.  Consumers have more options than ever before – it’s tough for brands to stand out in the over-crowded market place and keep up with their competitors.  How better to do this than immersing and engaging consumers in campaigns – campaigns that are live, interactive brand experiences.
Storytelling is at the heart of all marketing, but where experiential events can better other marketing methods is their powerful ability to immerse, engage and involve real people in their brand stories.
The session will explore this and share some examples of brands creating incredible live brand experiences.

Do you need a website to be credible?

Darren Radcliffe, Digitl

There are lots of ‘credible’ people in the Manchester business community. Networking opportunities are in abundance and events like Twit-faced have bridged the gap between networking and Social Media.

With so many ways to connect to people – In this session Darren will be asking the question; Do we really need websites to make us look credible anymore?

16:25

Panel: Brand authenticity in the era of fake news

Chaired by Steve Kuncewicz, Slater and Gordon & co-chair of creative pro-manchester

Panel: Mel Powell and David Edmundson-Bird, Manchester Metropolitan University Business School and Anna Varley Jones, Weber Shandwick

In the “Post-Truth” area, Fake News is a new and growing threat to the reputations of businesses and the mainstream media. This panel presents a practical overview of where fake news comes from, what we can do to stop it and how to manage the fallout when “Alternative Facts” drown out the voices of truth and reason.

16:50

Closing remarks and after conference drinks- sponsored by Freeman Fisher LLP

Dan Nolan, the Eword and chair of creative pro-manchester