Glug — An open letter to the community

11 years ago we put on the first ever Glug.

Me, Nick and 20 other creative types of all shapes and sizes, at the Water Poet in Shoreditch. We played a bit of pool, we had a good few laughs (a few drinks too, obviously). It was fun. It was the start of something.

Adam Jenns from Mainframe came along and brought with him a buddy — Pete Bowker. We chatted and got on well, and for the next 5 years Pete came on board as our Non Exec Director at Studio Output. We had a very good run, he helped us achieve some amazing things and then as is often the case, we changed things up and parted ways as friends.

On Monday Pete started his new job as CEO of Glug. It’s funny how serendipitous life can be. We had some incredible and very senior people apply for the role. We were actually really surprised by this. In some ways this reaffirmed to us what a special thing Glug is and could be in the future. But after a lengthy interview process getting back into bed with Pete felt right.

It’s certainly a big challenge to take on.

We’ve managed to grow Glug from the backroom of a Shoreditch Bar to 15,000 people in London, chapters in 35 cities worldwide, just under 70 events a year in these cities and over 45,000 Gluggers worldwide. But in the scheme of things we’re still a tiny little thing and that’s what’s Pete’s come in to change, whilst ensuring we stick to our values and beliefs.

We are for creatives, we’re here to help people through their creative journeys from further education through to becoming senior creative leaders and business owners. Currently we do this through events, talks, insights, Glug Club and other bits and pieces, but in the future we need to find new ways to better serve our community.

It’s time to be surprising, we want to do things you wouldn’t expect, both at events and elsewhere, we’re going to experiment and try things out and we’d love you to be part of this. Whether that’s simply by attending the events or engaging with our content or if you’d like to take a more active role — we’d love that too!

There’s other big news. Over the summer we did a deal with Microsoft Surface to support us for the next year and hopefully beyond. We danced around each other to begin with, tried out some sampling at events, ran a survey of agency owners to check out what they thought.

Because running a community of wonderful people like yourselves is different to being a media house or publisher. You can’t get in to bed with the wrong partner, it needs to be authentic and there needs to be real value for both sides. Otherwise you risk the community walking away.

But what we found is people loved the devices and were way more open than we’d expected. Don’t get me wrong, no one is under any illusions that the mainstay of the Creative Agency landscape is predominantly Mac, but it seems like that trend is less set in stone.

You might be thinking, why do I care? What does the Surface deal mean for me as a Glugger. It’s a valid point, so let me answer this here.

We’re going to use the money to grow the team at Glug, to scale up the community, to support events and our hosts worldwide, we’re going to use this money to launch new products and services that help train, educate and support the creative community, we’re going to launch a new CSR campaign ‘Glug For Good’ and a new membership scheme for our members and finally we’re going to use the money to give our members more stuff for less, cheaper event tickets, gifts, offers and more.

So expect more news from us in the coming months, some changes and good surprises.

But we also wanted to make a special request of you. Would you like to help out? Get involved? Support Glug? Become a host? Become a speaker? Write for us? Interview people? Make us a film? or simply continue to come to our events and tell your friends about it.

It’s an open invite to you to offer your support, to introduce yourself to the new CEO and to get involved in whichever way you feel appropriate. Drop him a line and say hello 😀

Thanks for your continued support
Ian (& Nick)

New Glug CEO — Pete Bowker
Glug Manchester 2017
Glug London — House of Vans 2016
Glug Vs Tech Off — Nick & Our Champion