Something to Shout About
Martin Fullard chats to Shout About London co-founder and CN30 under Thirty winner Ben Gamble about events in secret locations…
London is a big old city, and sitting among its tapestry of architecture are thousands of event venues of all shapes and sizes. If you think you know them all, you’re probably wrong. Ben Gamble and Stuart Groves set up Shout About London in 2013. They call themselves London experts and, as they specialise in running events at secret venues, you’d have to agree.
I sat down with Gamble over coffee to understand what all the shouting is about.
“Stu and I met when we were working at the London Film Museum, where we were both sales managers,” said Gamble.
“In 2013 we left to start our own agency as we spotted a gap in the market for a London specialist events company.
“We thought Shout About London was a clever concept so bought the name and trademark as we believe it can be a big brand one day.”
There are plenty of venue finders operating in London. So what, I asked Gamble makes his stand out? He told me: “Our focus was finding unique venues, so we did our market research and spoke to clients we’d met previously. We asked them what were their main frustrations working with agencies. Most of them said the same thing: that they don’t go to venues before putting them forward and that they suggest the same ones. So we took on those criticisms of agencies and tried to improve these areas and get the basics right.”
Shout About London runs 100 events each year, mainly for media, advertising, and technology companies. Clients include Sky Media, Salesforce, Advertising Week Europe, and Red Bull. These are not small brands and carry with them a great deal of gravitas.
Gamble said: “Advertising Week Europe made us realise the value of using secret or previously unused venues for events. We proposed to run their gala dinner at Southwark Cathedral.
“We approached the dean and he said they’d never done an event for a corporate before. There were 800 people seated inside at tables (obviously we moved the pews out of the way!)
“It was a Game of Thrones event with lots of cool quirks. At registration there was a photo stand where people had their pictures taken and then everyone’s face displayed on an LED screens inside [in line with the famous Game of Thrones promotional material].”
Shout About London has run events at unknown locations all across London, from abandoned warehouses to the Archbishop of Canterbury’s private library in Lambeth Palace.
Gamble outlined their plans for foreseeable future, concluding: “Our focus will remain in London as we want to be known as the go-to London specialists. We’re not especially precious about being the biggest in terms of turnover. Should we decide to replicate it elsewhere, it’s important to use people locally.”
The guys operate in secret locations so you might not see them about town. You will, more likely, hear them.