Ideas Fest 2022 is over, but we’re not over the lasting excitement, and buzz that came after - and we’re already planning for 2023!

Ideas Fest barrier

Last week we put on the inaugural Ideas Fest that brought together some of the UK’s most inspiring thought leaders, changemakers, and disruptors - and those were just the ones in the crowd. We heard talks from a diverse group of some of the most thought-provoking leaders in the UK, discussing topics from self-empowerment, creating safe spaces, how to become more sustainable, and anything else you may need to know to be a responsible business leader today.

We heard talks from huge names such as Steven Bartlett, Michael Acton Smith, Emma Sayle, John Caudwell, Hannah & Sophie Pycroft, and so many more.

So, here’s how it all went down….

On the first day, the sun was shining and the fields quickly filled with attendees and campers, all excited for the day ahead, where we kicked off the day with talks from Chris Kenna of Brand Advance discussing his story on how he was an effective boss but a bad leader.

Followed by a lunchtime talk from Michael Acton Smith, founder of Calm, where he took to our conversations that matter stage for an intimate talk with Jo Dalton, all about his journey to Calm, the importance of wellbeing, and his plans for the future - and he stuck around for the two days to talk to budding entrepreneurs and give his best tips and advice.

Michael Acton Smith Ideas Fest

Later that day we heard from Dr. Tru Powell and a panel of diverse women about why representation matters in the workplace. A conversation that allowed debates from the crowd, and inspired business leaders to ask questions on how they can ensure their business is a safe space for everyone - it was truly inspiring to see attendees getting involved and have the opportunity to have their burning questions answered by the experts.

We also hosted the Food and Drinks Heroes Awards where we celebrated the best food and drink businesses of the moment, with music, trophies, and food vendors all around to share the joy that food and drink brings. You can see the full list of the amazing winners here.


And to top off the day, we had interactive workshops dotted all around, where attendees could relax and have some fun - as we know how busy entrepreneurs can get. Workshops included Art Sippers, Pilates, Coffee Art, and so much more.


On to day two, after a night of camping for many, the sun was shining, and the excitement to see and hear from more inspiring speakers was in the air. We started the day with an incredible talk from some amazing businesswomen as they discussed their experiences as female founders, and why empowerment is so important.


Then we heard from the truly influential Gareth Thomas MBE, welsh rugby star and mental health advocate, as he told his story of coming out in an environment where it caused huge change, how he took control of his story, and how brands need to be more diverse.

His transparent, emotional talk uplifted and inspired the whole crowd and taught everyone there how we can be kinder, and more aware of what people are going through - it set the day off to such a positive start.

Gareth Thomas Ideas Fest

To bring the second day to a close, the incredible Steven Bartlett, Diary of a CEO podcast host and Dragons Den star took to the stage, in front of a packed out crowd, to be interviewed by Simon Lambert, editor of This is Money. The conversation focused on Steven’s journey to success, and how he manages expectations - one that left people with so much food for thought.

Ideas Fest Steven Bartlett Crowd

As well as his inspirational talk, Steven stayed around after the talk to speak with hundreds of people who wanted to pick his brains, pitch their ideas, or simply say hi - it was so exciting to see the interaction between younger entrepreneurs and Steven.

Steven Bartlett Ideas Fest stage

There were so many incredible talks and workshops that took place, so keep your eyes peeled for more content that will show our key takeaways from each speaker.

Other talks that took place over the two days included:

  • Set your sights on TikTok Success, with Katey McElroy from TikTok Business
  • Motivational talk from Brad Burton
  • There’s no KPI in wellbeing
  • Debate Mate Presents: Education as the primary engine for creating a diverse and a more inclusive world
  • Creating truly safe spaces in our workplaces
  • In conversation with John Caudwell
  • Meet the authors: Jamie Bartlett, Sophie Morgan, Nova Reid
  • & so many more

So, you’ve heard it from us, but here’s what other people had to say about Ideas Fest 2022:

John Stapleton, food and drink entrepreneur, speaker, and investor said: “Smashing event! Set to become an annual pilgrimage for all entrepreneurs. Glad to be a part of it!”

Claire Hovey, founder of Copy & TV said: “A raging thumbs up review from me for Ideas Fest 2022. A brilliant event for founders, thought leaders and creatives alike.”

Speaker and Caleno founder Ellie Webb said: “What an incredible 2 days! My very first business festival… what a brilliant idea and format. I met so many innovative entrepreneurs who I have so much respect for.”

Alex Hughes, attendee and founder of Curios Entrepreneurs said: “Ideas fest was the perfect attraction for founders, change-makers and thought leaders. From the minute I walked through the gates, to the moment I crawled out, there was so much energy and genuine human connection throughout.” 

One commenter said: “I’ve seen so many posts from Ideas Fest this week - all with glowing reviews! I’m locked in for next year.”

We’re already so excited for Ideas Fest 2023 and can’t wait to see you all there for an even bigger and better event than before. You can book your early bird tickets here.

Still not ready to book for next year? Register your interest here to get updates that will definitely make you want to book your tickets.