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Festival of Happiness

The Festival of Happiness is an annual event dedicated to improving the mental health and wellbeing of the people working in independent agencies.

Discover the Power of Happy Agencies at the Festival of Happiness! Organized by the Alliance of Independent Agencies, this upcoming event is centered around the theme “Happy Agencies are Successful Agencies – How can we prove this?” Join us for an enlightening experience as we delve into the vital connection between employee happiness and agency success. Learn from top-notch speakers and experts about fostering a positive work environment, enhancing employee wellbeing, and boosting overall agency performance. Engaging panel discussions and interactive sessions will reveal the evidence linking happiness to productivity and growth. Don’t miss this opportunity to elevate your agency’s success through happiness at the Festival of Happiness!

Tickets for #FOH2023 are now on sale with the agenda and speaker line up to be  to be release in the coming weeks.

Festival of Happiness 2022

At distillery we are pretty proud of our culture. But we are always looking at how to improve. Big shout out to the Alliance of Independent Agencies for putting on the Festival of Happiness yesterday which Emily Goodson and I were lucky to attend. It was truly brilliant. As 2022 is coming to a close this was the perfect time to take tips on how to help the team inject our work lives in 2023 with more acts of thoughtfulness, kindness, laughter (who knew laughing yoga is a thing?), plus hula hooping while reading! So many takeaways – a big thank you to all involved.

Managing Director (London), distillery

Meet our 2023 Speakers
Subira Jones, affectionately known as The Corporate Hippie, once reigned as the undisputed Queen of Burnout. Today, she stands as an esteemed and award-winning Corporate Burnout Consultant, Tedx Speaker, as well as the visionary behind MPWRD Consulting. Collaborating with global powerhouses like Channel 4, Deloitte, and the Financial Times, she champions the creation of Sustainable High Performance Workplaces, where burnout becomes a relic of the past. With her captivating style, Subira educates, equips, and empowers high performers to reclaim their personal power, prioritise well-being, and forge fulfilling careers free from the grasp of burnout.

Subira Jones

The Corporate Hippie
Nicola Kemp is Editorial Director of Creativebrief, where she is also a member of the Associate Board. She is passionate about women finding their own unique voice and is co-founder of the social learning practice Good Shout and DICE, which stands for Diversity in Conferences and Events. She started her career as a financial journalist before specialising in technology, social trends and marketing. Her work has appeared across titles including Campaign, WGSN, M&M Global, Reuters, Bloomberg, The Guardian and The Observer. A passionate advocate for diversity in all its forms, she won The Women in Marketing Journalist of the year award for her work championing diversity in the creative industries. Nicola was named as one of the 200 women redefining the creative industry by The Dots an #EverydayAction award winner by Bloom, a Pitch 100 Superwoman, a power part time winner and a Campaign Trailblazer of the future. She has two young children and most weekends you can find her freezing on the side of a football pitch.

Nicola Kemp

Editorial Director - Creativebrief
"Matt Phelan is a Co-Founder at the Happiness Index. In his day to day role, he's responsible for the strategic direction of the business. Matt is the founder of The Happiness and Humans Community, host of The Happiness and Humans Podcast and author of Freedom To Be Happy: The Business Case for Happiness Matt recently completed a TEDx talk where he presented 12 million data points in happiness from 1 million human beings in 100+ countries in less than 15 minutes"

Matt Phelan

Co-Founder - The Happiness Index
It’s Time for Change puts the human factor back into business by helping organisations become places where people are happy, well, and able to perform at their best. My mantra is simple… get people right, get business right. Being a chartered psychologist gives me a point of difference to understand what’s going on and enable change. I support leaders to create a workplace culture based on understanding what is working, what isn’t and how to change it; where all employees experience positive wellbeing and psychological safety; and where individuals’ emotional needs are met. I throw out tick boxes, get beneath the surface of shiny new initiatives, strip back layers of complexity, and get back to the fundamentals of good business – its people. I work with leadership teams to bring to life purpose and values, and create clarity and alignment about how they want to lead. I help managers create psychological safety and meaningful connection in a hybrid world. I upskill employees to enable good mental wellbeing and engagement. Beyond the Water Cooler is my podcast where guests help me unpick how leaders shape employee experience to be fit for the future of work.

Lisa Lloyd

Chartered Psychologist & Psychotherapist - It's Time for Change
Annabel Dunstan is an accomplished entrepreneur and Founder & CEO of Question & Retain, a leading insights consultancy specialising in employee experience, client, and membership satisfaction measurement tools. Annabel began her career as a lumberjack's assistant, a ski guide, and then a sailing instructor before entering the world of marketing. She later joined Le Fevre Communications, where she worked on consumer and corporate PR campaigns for clients like NatWest and BT. In 2003, Annabel joined 3 Monkeys Communications, where she was appointed MD three years later, overseeing the growth of the award-winning top 50 PR consultancy to £7.5m revenues with 75 consultants. In 2011, Annabel founded Gain & Retain (G&R) to help businesses grow through attracting and retaining talented people and winning great clients. In 2012, she launched Question & Retain (Q&R), adding measurement tools to the mix, with clients including LNER, Imperial College, and the Federation of Master Builders. Annabel has been a judge for PR Week and Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA) Awards and most recently for the UK Employee Experience Awards and International Communications Consultancies Organisations Global Awards. She is also a Member of the PRCA’s PR Council and Chair of their Employee Engagement Group. Annabel is the published author of The People Business: How Ten Leaders Drive Engagement Through Internal Communications (Kogan Page), and a host for the PRCA’s Employee Engagement on-line guest show: Chat and Connect.. In her free time, Annabel enjoys playing alto sax, swimming in the sea, playing tennis, and cycling.

Annabel Dunstan

Founder & CEO - Question and Retain
Lotte is Laughter Yoga Master Trainer with over 20 years’ experience in the UK and she is Laughter Ambassador. She has trained more than 1,700 laughter professionals in the UK and has been leading corporate workshops for thousands of people. Her experience with running workplace programmes comes from over 20 years of working for national and international corporations, mainly in the IT sector. Through her work in technical, sales and marketing environments she has gained experience in dealing with people and stress at all levels in any organisation. This is the foundation for Lotte’s professionalism and understanding of how laughterbased activities and tools can have an effect on stress and teamwork, communication and performance in the workplace and at home. Her work ethics, passion, compassion, integrity, and genuine wish to help people find peace of mind and resourcefulness through laughter makes her humble and grateful for every opportunity. Lotte has played and continues to play a key role in the development of laughter-based activities, training, workshops, organisation, and people in the UK. Her promise is working together to improve individual and team health, spirit, joy and happiness levels both personally and professionally. She is one of the leading Laughter Yoga Experts.

Lotte Mikkelsen

Laughter Ambassador and Laughter Yoga Master Trainer - UnitedMind Limited
Becca Rawlings heads up Total Media Group’s People and Culture team. She oversees the social and cultural objectives of the Group, aiming to create a thriving agency culture, built around the real influences of what delivers a happy and purposeful company. Becca leads Total Media’s award-winning DEI council alongside overseeing industry leading mental-health, wellbeing and ESG programmes across three agencies with a lasting commitment to foster a culture that goes beyond perks, where decisions are made based on what actually matters to employees and directly influences their happiness. A key highlight of these programmes was achieving B Corp accreditation in 2021, where Total Media were the first UK independent media agency to attain this status. In recognition of all the above efforts, Becca was crowned 'Cultural Ambassador of the Year' at the Company Culture Awards earlier this year. Away from the office, Becca juggles a far too energetic three-year-old and two community projects within mental health and disability awareness.

Becca Rawlings

Head of People, Culture & Business - Total Media Group

Andy Coulson

Founder | Coulson Partners - Host | Crisis What Crisis? podcast

Gemma Popejoy

Chief People Officer - The Marketing Store, Europe

Kaya Herstad-Carney

Senior Program Manger - The College of Music

Isobel Hunt

Research Manager - Opinium
Sharon had a 20 year career as an award-winning producer, client services director and MD in creative agencies, before becoming a leadership coach 10 years ago. She now uses her understanding of how agencies tick, to enable their CEO’s and leadership teams to fire on all cylinders. She specialises in building confidence, authenticity and emotional intelligence in leaders so they unleash their inner power to inspire and lead high performing teams, to create collaborative cultures and more enjoyment at work. She is in the top 1% of accredited coaches in the UK, and trains professional coaches. She has a psychology degree, is a fine artist and is holds a post graduate degree in coaching.

Sharon Baker

Founder and Transformational Life Coach - The Freedom Formula
Meet our 2023 Charities
Beam is a social enterprise that supports homeless people, refugees and prison leavers to access jobs, homes and skills. Through Beam's crowdfunding platform, individuals and companies can read the stories of people who want to turn their lives around, donate directly towards their goals and send them encouraging messages. Since launching in 2017, Beam has fundraised more than £4.5 million, 100% of which is used to remove the barriers facing the most disadvantaged in our society. In doing so, Beam has helped more than 2,000 people to find jobs and homes, enabling them to leave homelessness for good and build brighter futures. For more on Beam's impact, go to:
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