So, the quarterly away day, a long anticipated day out of the office; particularly so after several emails regarding some rather nice sounding bagels.
But it does not start there, in true account management style the preparation for the day started way in advance. While some members of the team were knocking together an impressive video of client feedback, others were organizing a guest speaker and the AE’s were having secret meetings throughout the week.
After a frantic chase for the taxis, of which two were forced to arrive by tube we all arrived at what seemed an old school, it was in fact Microsoft’s space: Modern Jago. The venue exuded a cool vibe, with vintage looking décor and was spacious and contemporary channeling Microsoft cool. We were greeted with an array of bagels as promised, and an abundance of chocolates, sweets and drinks – a fair trade for sweet day at the office.
The day begins. Josette starts off taking us through a packed and interesting day plan, starting with the top tips of account management, something I was sure to scribble down along with the other AE’s.
Next to the stage was a long anticipated video. The moment of truth! A show reel of our collective clients’ opinions on not only what a great account team should be but also providing an insight on how we are performing ourselves. General consensus; we’re a pretty friendly bunch and not bad at the management stuff either.
Marc then takes over introducing the team to a fun and insightful group exercise – sharing good and bad examples of critical skills and responsibilities key to account management.
One of my personal favourites being Sian’s idea of the type of attire expected to be worn to client offices. Tip: apparently smart jeans are a sure win, fully suited and booted – not cool. The exercise provided plenty of insight into what we should and shouldn’t be doing in our roles and with our clients.
After a short break, more bagels were eaten (I may have had my second KitKat) we gathered to our seats and sat awaiting the key speaker; Tony Spong hailing from intermediary AAR. Tony was a great speaker; intelligent, witty and with the unique ability of seeing both from a client’s and an account manager’s perspective.
The speech handled new business, the agency and our relationship with intermediaries, existing and prospective clients, showing us what the client wants and needs and how we can maintain and nourish that relationship. It was a hit amongst all and fantastic to hear a fresh perspective outside of the existing client services team.
Our friends from Coventry then shared with us some interesting facts and stories of how it is living in with the clients – how the close proximity affects that relationship and the general day to day. It was great a chance to see what the Coventry team are up to in an informal and relaxed way.
And finally – a moment many sweaty palmed, heart racing AE’s had been waiting for; a performance/presentation of ‘A day in the life of an Account Executive’. With a sea of managers and account directors we took to the stage sharing some of our favourite and funniest moments and tasks we have experienced. This included a trolley dolly AE, ludicrous requests – including a good few inevitable changes to terms and conditions, fraud by incorrect job number (we’ve all done it!) and some pretty exciting (or not) new business tasks. Regardless the performance was assembled to show the fun and great times we have working with our teams and the enjoyment of achieving and producing some great work. FYI all stories were true, though perhaps some exaggerated.
In true Wunderman style we all then headed off to the pub for some very messy Friday drinks… And I think that would be the most appropriate time to end.