With the exception of the smart person at Wimbledon who surely earned a pay rise after having the foresight to buy pandemic insurance, few people will have been prepared for the challenges presented by 2020.

We’ve all had to learn on the hop, change our plans fast and adapt the way we work. 

But a silver lining of adversity is learning from experience. You don’t have to look too far to find impressive case studies that have pushed creativity and innovation to new levels.

So whilst there’s no no annual pilgrimage to The Old Truman Brewery next month for MAD//Fest, our MAD//Anywhere virtual  event on 11-12 Nov takes place at a time when there’s an abundance of brilliant work and impetus to ‘Emerge Stronger’, the theme for the event.

Sign up for MAD//Anywhere pass here and here’s what you can look forward to:

1. Get inside the head of CMOs

CMOs have had their work cut out in 2020. The headache goes something like this – “my organisation looks to me for growth and innovation, but we no longer know if traditional patterns ring true and I can’t spend my way through the pandemic.”

We’ve assembled a stunning list of CMOs and marketing leaders from firms like Patagonia, Spotify, Skyscanner, KFC, Not On The High St, Boots, Zoopla and Carro to share how they’ve adapted and lined-up their businesses to triumph over adversity.

Check the speaker line-up here.

2. Diageo and McCormick’s £20k innovation pitches

One of the most popular features of MAD//Fest has always been our £20k start-up pitches. We decided that a pandemic shouldn’t get in the way of collaborative innovation and MAD//Anywhere’s innovation pitches will be entirely virtual for the very first time.

Following our 2019 partnership, once again we’re inviting the MAD//Fest community to pitch digital brand experience innovations for brands like Smirnoff, Captain Morgan’s and Bailey’s to Diageo and a global audience of brands and agencies. 

In another first, we’ve also secured a brief from global food player McCormick to support the firm’s ambition of creating mealtime inspiration through personalisation at scale.

Both Diageo and McCormick have put up £20k pilots for the respective pitch winners to scale their innovations.

Why do we love innovation pitches? They connect real life brand challenges with the latest emerging technologies through an engaging content format – essential viewing for any forward-thinking marketer looking to discover imaginative solutions to everyday challenges. Just make sure you sign up for MAD//Anywhere here.

View the Diageo and McCormick briefs here.

3. Sir Martin Sorrell: What does the road to recovery look like and how should marketing businesses adapt?

Recessions, the internet, digital disruption – Sir Martin Sorrell has seen a lot in advertising since he founded WPP in 1985.

So as Sir Martin builds the S4 empire, “a communications business for the new marketing age focused on data, content and programmatic”, it’ll be fascinating to hear his perspective on future growth, the road to recovery and how the industry will need to adapt to meet economic, cultural and business challenges presented by whatever the new normal is.

So whether the recession is V-shaped, U-shaped, W-shaped or something entirely different, grab a ticket and tune into this keynote interview with New Digital Age Editor Justin Pearse at 1000 on 12 Nov.

4. Rory Sutherland + MAD//Fest present…’Rorywipe 2020’

Humour is a very British way of dealing with adversity. So who better than to help make sense of the weird, baffling and batsh*t crazy things that have happened in marketing, society + the world in 2020 than Ogilvy Vice-chair and MAD//Fest favourite, Rory Sutherland?

This one will be a bit different. Streamed live from the living room of one of the industry’s most charismatic leaders and inspired by Charlie Brooker’s ‘Screenwipe’, we’ve asked Rory to compile the story of 2020 – an amazing, unusual and often bewildering tale.

Get a ticket here and don’t miss Rory in action on Weds  11th Nov from 1620.

5. The networking + community

Frankly one of the best things about virtual events is that they’re a chance to connect with the global marketing community without adding to your carbon footprint. And with over 3,000 marketers now signed up from 42 different countries, MAD//Anywhere is a platform that’ll put you in touch with the people behind the world’s most iconic, innovative and disruptive brands. 

Built by our friends at Socio, our platform is packed full of networking and interactive features that make MAD//Anywhere 2020’s most enjoyable and entertaining virtual marketing event. 

So embrace virtual, get ready for an inspiration fix and think positively about how we can change the future by attending MAD//Anywhere.  Get your ticket here.