PPA Blog

PPA Back in Town: What Went Down

By Sorcha Mondon

1 Oct 2021

Want to relive PPA Back in Town? Read to remind yourself of what went down at the PPA's first in-person event in two years.

On a surprisingly balmy evening in the middle of September, PPA’s incredible network of members came together at the Happenstance under the spectacular façade of St Paul’s cathedral to enjoy in-person company for the first time in almost two years. There was undoubtedly a somewhat anxious energy in the air as guest began to arrive – some of us had forgotten how to speak to people, let alone network.

Sure enough, as the Air Fizzness cocktails started to flow (The PPA Back in Town exclusive drink with Air Business - champagne with strawberry puree served with a cut strawberry rim), so did the conversations. The room was bustling with energy, for so long had we missed the sound of a room full of enthusiastic voices. A glass was clinked to mark the start of speeches, and Tom Bureau, PPA Chairman and CEO of Immediate Media, kicked things off with an uplifting speech discussing the challenges the publishing industry overcame in the face of the pandemic. Next, we heard from Adam Sherman, CEO of Air Business - a PPA Strategic Partner for over 10 years, and exclusive sponsor of the event. Adam celebrated his businesses’ incredible resilience during the pandemic enabling content to reach subscribers when they needed it most.

Finally, we heard from PPA’s new CEO, Sajeeda Merali. As her first event in her new role, Sajeeda’s speech got to the core of why we all love magazines, drawing on some of her own favourites including consumer titles such as British Vogue and BBC Good Food, as well as the important B2Bs that help with her own industry insight like The Drum. She gave gentle insight into what some of her early priorities are - namely an agenda that positions us for tomorrow, creating an industry that stays relevant and keeps up with the vast amount of digital transformation.

Just over a week after, Sajeeda reflected on the event:

“PPA Back in Town was everything I hoped for and more. Having had some really rewarding conversations, I’m left feeling inspired by the amount of support we clearly have from our members around a transformational agenda. I’m especially enjoying many follow up conversations with many sharing ideas on how they want to be involved; a positive sign of some collaborative work to come. It was hugely exciting to feel the energy of an industry re-emerging from the pandemic and I’m looking forward to meeting more members at our next event, the 30 under 30 Awards next week.”

Click here to to view all the photos.

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