Inspired Selection at the IPG Spring Conference

Last week Inspired Selection exhibited at the IPG Conference in Heythrop Park. Inspired are members of the IPG and we really take pride in attending and supporting this fantastic event. It was a hugely successful two days filled with inspirational speakers in the breakout sessions as well as on the main stage. There were brilliant opportunities to network, talk and learn from independent publishers or, as  Amol Rajan called us, “the good guys”. We thought we would use this Throwback Thursday blog to share our top highlights of the conference with you:

  • Multi-Format: there has never been a better time to work in publishing because of the huge variety of ways we can publish. Amanda Ridout, non-executive director of Head of Zeus, championed multi-format thinking as the way forward in the closing panel of the conference. There was also a fabulous seminar held by Jo Forshaw who ran the audio team at HarperCollins. Jo took us into the wonderful world of audio and the endless possibilities for publishers in this area.
  • Audience: Amol Rajan, Media Editor at the BBC, focussed on the need for us to go to our audience by adapting to different formats – such as audio, digital channels and different transforming social media. There was lots of talk about the need to be flexible and adaptable to what your audience wants and needs.   
  • Data + GDPR: the importance of data and the new GDPR regulations was a running theme of the conference. This is an important topic and will affect how all publishers/businesses store and record information. If you have clean, correct and up-to-date data then it will be easier to connect to your audience/readers and make sure your books are seen! In regards to GDPR, we want to show authors that we can protect their content as well as sell it.
  • Personality: your audience cares about the personality of your company. People want to buy things from nice people and companies with integrity and who genuinely care about the products they are producing. The new media and YouTubers of the world are promoting a personality-driven PR approach and Tom Bonnick from Nosy Crow was very clear that the content you put out there into the world with your company brand on must be consistent with the type of personality and brand you want to promote.
  • Quality: beauty is a doing word, Alan Moore reminded us in his Success by Design talk. Alan believes that really well-designed services and products have an inherent beauty. Consumers will pay for quality products and they care about who they are buying from. It is important that we have strong and powerful stories about why businesses exist and what value they are bringing to the world. There is a huge growing body of evidence that people will pay for quality stuff
  • Assets: the C word – our content and products are our assets. Amy Joyner from Kogan Page stressed the importance of knowing what assets you hold. What else can you do with your content? Be mindful about where you are placing your products and make sure you are making the most for the business and your authors. Leverage all areas - content is our business!
  • Searchability: this comes back to data and your products can’t and won’t sell if your customers can’t find them! As publishers you need to deliver a range of metadata in order so you can support customers at every stage in that journey. Metadata is hidden but so important in your searchability.
  • Focus: Michael T Williams gave an amazing talk on finding your focus. He reminds us that times of stress are also times of growth - we can grow through adversity and not all stress is bad. Feeling uncomfortable can actually be a time for growth and cultivate innovation and change.
  • AI: artificial intelligence is here and here to stay! It is not something to be afraid of but something that publishers can cultivate. AI is the science and engineering of making intelligent machines. AI is happening people and AI is better than people at recognising images, transcribing/spotting errors AND predicting stuff. It's here and it is happening and AI can do a lot more.