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Festival of Happiness

Festival of Happiness 2024

We’re busy working behind the scenes on this years agenda & firming up speakers, meanwhile secure your early bird tickets below!


The Festival Of Happiness 2024 will be held at Google London, 6 Pancras Sq, London, N1C 4AG.

Key Dates

Important dates for The Festival Of Happiness 2024


7th November


Member Price: £110+VAT

Non Member Price: £150+VAT

Until 31st August


Member Price: £150+VAT

Non Member Price: £200+VAT

From 1st September


See Below Festival Of Happiness 2023 Wrap Up

Thank you to all that made The Festival of Happiness 2023 a fantastic event. The day concluded with the notion of “Happy Agencies Are Indeed Successful Agencies”.

The Festival of Happiness 2023, a landmark event that solidified the link between agency success and workplace happiness. This year’s festival brought together industry leaders and enthusiasts to delve into the crucial interplay of joy and success in agency environments.

The festival commenced with an invigorating start, featuring Laughing Yoga with Lotte Mikkelsen, and moved into profound discussions about deeper colleague connections and staff well-being. Insights from the Wellbeing Tracker Findings 2023 were particularly eye-opening, revealing critical trends in mental health and the necessity for better support in workplaces.

Panel discussions led by experts from Business in the Community (BITC), NABS, and others highlighted the value of thriving work environments. They shared strategies for fostering cultures that support employee well-being, emphasizing its impact on productivity, innovation, and the UK economy.

Keynote sessions included Andy Coulson’s take on crisis management, Nicola Kemp’s exploration of creative confidence, and Reeha Alder’s emphasis on authenticity in the workplace. These discussions underscored the importance of environments where employees can be their true selves, boosting creativity and agency culture.

The day wrapped up with Matt Phelan’s presentation on ‘The Data and Insight of Employee Happiness,’ reinforcing the idea that employee happiness is not just a ‘feel-good’ metric but a strategic imperative for agency prosperity.

The Festival of Happiness 2023 illustrated a vital truth: investing in employee well-being not only enhances lives but also strengthens businesses. Agencies that cultivate a culture of happiness see a cascade of success, attracting top talent, inspiring creativity, and driving engagement, leading to outstanding performance and sustainable growth.

In an ever-changing industry landscape, the festival echoed a universal truth: fostering joy is not only morally right but also strategically smart. As we reflect on the rich knowledge shared, it’s clear that happy agencies aren’t just an ideal; they’re a blueprint for success.

To read the full roundup, please click here.

Support Our Chosen Charities Here:


Beam –

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

What the day looked like...
Who spoke at the 2023 FOH?
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 is Former Editor of News of the World, Former Director of Communications, Downing Street, and an expert speaker on communications, crisis management and reputation. Throughout his career Andy has been, as he puts it, poacher, gamekeeper and game – experiencing crisis from every angle. He worked with David Cameron in Opposition and was a lead strategist in the 2010 General Election, helping his boss become Prime Minister after 13 years of Labour government. In Downing Street Andy built and managed the coalition communications team and directly advised the Prime Minister and Cabinet on all crisis issues. In his memoir David Cameron said: “Andy [had] transformed my relationship with the media and translated the theory of modern, compassionate conservatism into something tangible and sexy.” Andy resigned in 2011 saying: “When the spokesman needs a spokesman, it’s time to move on.” He then spent the next five years dealing with the fall-out of the News of the World hacking scandal, facing three high profile legal cases. He won two but lost one and spent just under five months in prison, including two months in high security HMP Belmarsh. Since then, Andy has rebuilt his life, putting all his experience to work as the founder of a successful strategic advisory firm, Coulson Partners, advising global CEOs, entrepreneurs and philanthropists. He hosts the popular podcast Crisis What Crisis? Created in the midst of the first lockdown, Andy interviews the survivors of all manner of crises, personal and professional and finds value in listening to the stories of the unravelled. As a speaker, Andy draws from his careers in journalism, politics and business to offer a clear view on how to cope when the tough times come. He believes crisis can help us find a life of greater productivity and meaning. As he puts it: “That’s the great prize of surviving crisis, whatever its cause. That it’s not just about getting your old life back … it’s a chance to discover a life that was better than it was before.”

Andy Coulson

Founder | Coulson Partners - Host | Crisis What Crisis? podcast
Isobel is passionate about mental wellbeing and has been since her academic background in Psychology. At Opinium Isobel is a key member of the wellbeing team and a trained Mental Health First Aider. Isobel works within Opinium’s PR and Thought Leadership practice area, running research across a range of sectors to deliver compelling insights. Isobel is also closely involved in employee research and has worked on our wellbeing surveys since 2019.

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, Leadership and Transformational Life Coach - Fly, Don't Walk
Kaya Herstad-Carney has had a varied portfolio career and is a passionate singer, songwriter, performer and a harmony/vocal fanatic, vocal arranger and producer, festival director, event producer. She is a qualified Vocal Habilitation Professional and a self-confessed vocal geek and senior lecturer with a wide range of experiences and interests on and off the stage. She has a particular love for vocal habilitation and artist development in the Contemporary Commercial field of music including musical theatre and the extreme vocal styles in rock, pop, soul and dance. Kaya runs two online degree courses for WaterBear College of Music as Senior Programme Manager and is the current Director of Education for the global vocal organisation Vocology in Practice (ViP) where she heads up the programming of education there and is also a singing teacher trainer through ViP and BAST (Be A Singing Teacher). During the pandemic, she has been working part time in her native Norway as head of vocals at Bårdar Academy and as Principle Lecturer of Songwriter at DIME Online and most recently before then as a passionate artist developer and senior lecturer in performance, vocals and songwriting/creative artistry at the Academy of Contemporary Music, and have also written HE module content for RSL (Rockschool) and WaterBear. She has previously taught at Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (LIPA) and University of Chester. Kaya is an award-winning singer/songwriter and regularly performs and writes her own material, either with “vaudeville grunge pop” outfit Science of the Lamps or for other projects; “yet another impressive outlet for her prodigious talent. She may be small but she has a big voice.” (Mighty Mojo) Solo or with her band she is particularly fond of playing festivals and has headlined many and supported numerous artists, including John Grant, Brett Anderson (Suede), Noah and the Whale, The Wombats, Lamb, The Farm and Marina & The Diamonds, as well as many performances with Sense of Sound choir including the BBC Nativity and with Seal, Bon Jovi at the Royal Variety Show and Ringo Starr at the Arena for Liverpool Capital of Culture Opening. Kaya’s original songs have been played on TV and radio and have been a part of three plays, two short films and two full feature film soundtracks for which she won a Silver Award for Best Original Soundtrack at the International Independent Film Awards in LA and was nominated for six other awards. A versatile, creative and hard-working individual, Kaya has a genuine enthusiasm, not just for music but working with people and the arts. She is a positive, enthusiastic and energetic music industry professional with a student and person-centered approach. For more info about Kaya on her website:

Kaya Herstad-Carney

Director of Education for the global vocal organisation Vocology in Practice
Bringing some much needed youth to the marketing team, Kashi spearheads all things events, community and social media! An experienced event manager she has worked across music, theatre and corporate, now spending her time dedicated to creating a better world of work through THI's events.

Kashi Chellen

Community & Events Executive - The Happiness Index
Louise Scodie is senior PR and communications manager at NABS, where she hosts NABS Talks and the NABS Podcast. Previously, Louise worked as a journalist and broadcaster as well as a communications professional. Louise’s credits include presenting two nightly shows on London Live and writing columns and features for titles including the i paper, Evening Standard and Marie Claire.

Louise Scodie

Senior PR & Communications Manager - NABS
Louise is an award-winning workplace mental health and wellbeing campaigner recognised by the Institute of Directors (IoD), the Society of Occupational Medicine (SoM) and the Reward and Employee Benefits Association (REBA). Louise leads BITC’s business-to-business campaign which takes a fresh approach to achieving sustainable employee mental health and wellbeing. For the first time, in collaboration with McKinsey Health Institute and an advisory board of Chief Financial Officers, the campaign has developed the game changing report, “Prioritise people: unlock the value of a thriving workforce.” The report makes the compelling business case for putting employee mental health and wellbeing at the heart of organisational purpose, culture and business strategy.

Louise Aston

Wellbeing Director, Business in the Community (BITC)
Reeha is an Authenticity Coach who works with Globally Renowned brands like Adobe, Jamie Oliver, Aviva and Mixcloud to create environments that allow everyone to be their true authentic selves every day. Reeha spent over a decade as the only brown women in the boardroom of multiple independent agencies and is now on a mission through her consultancy Mighty You to ensure that talented diverse communities can show up truly as their best authentic selves. Reeha's 1:1 executive coaching, group training, workshops and keynotes speeches have reached +1000 employees to drive change for the better.

Reeha Alder

Founder, Mighty You
Lorraine Jennings-Creed is director of wellbeing services and culture change at NABS, overseeing the strategic development of its essential services. Responding to the needs of our industry, Lorraine is passionate about advancing mental wellness across all sectors of the advertising, media and marketing community, to ensure individuals and companies alike are able to thrive. Lorraine also leads on the charity’s diversity, equity and inclusion strategy and is part of the timeTo initiative to eradicate sexual harassment and wrote and developed its Code of Conduct and training products.

Lorraine Jennings-Creed

Director of Wellbeing Services and Culture Change, NABS
Sue Todd joined NABS as CEO in April 2022 following a varied 25 years with well-known brands across the sector. She was most recently the CEO of Magnetic Media, the marketing body for the UK’s magazine industry, but previously ran her own brand and culture consultancy, Wonder, which supported businesses such as MEC (now Wavemaker), Channel 4, Primesight (now Global Outdoor) and Grey Advertising, with transformation and cultural change briefs to maximise employee and business potential. Her leadership roles at Emap Advertising (as marketing and people and culture director) and CBS Outdoor, where she was first inspired to bring understanding about commercial propositions together with a desire to create enabling cultures which individuals and teams thrived in. She is also a non-exec director for The Big Issue and spends her spare time trying to practice mindfulness, cycling and getting to the theatre and cinema as much as possible.

Sue Todd

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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