Last week WP Engine held its inaugural Agency Summit, a two-day event devoted to exploring how agencies can use technology to move with greater agility, deliver engaging creative work, and drive your clients’ business forward. The event was a huge success with its many engaging sessions. Let’s take a look at what went down at Agency Summit in photos.


Agency Summit kicked off with opening remarks from the event’s host, WP Engine’s Director of Partnerships Ryan Ashby.


WP Engine’s CEO Heather Brunner gave the welcome remarks for the summit where she discussed how to create websites that serve millions of unique experiences.


In her presentation on exploring great digital experiences, Claire Graves, Managing Director at The Webby Awards, discussed ways to build incredibly engaging and intriguing web experiences. “At the moment, it’s not hard to make great Internet, but it is harder to stand out,” said Graves.


Agency Summit 2016 day one is in full swing! WP Engine’s Breanne Saucier and Lizzie Villarreal helped greet attendees.


During a break, guests have fun entering the world of virtual reality.


Reel FX was at the event and supplied multiple VR devices to try out.


Is open source eating the world? During the panel, Phil Crumm, Director of Strategic Opportunities at 10up; Thomas Prommer, Group Vice President, Technology at HUGE; JJ Toothman, Web Strategist at NASA; and moderator Eric Jones, Vice President of Global Brand & Communications at WP Engine discussed the importance of open source technology and its implications. “Those who take from the open source world have a responsibility to give back,” said Crumm.


Jason Cohen, Founder and CTO at WP Engine, discussed today’s digital white waters in his presentation on innovation in the age of open source. “Brands need to be publishers because people share content, not home pages,” said Cohen.


Not only did Agency Summit contain an array of insightful speeches, but the event also provided an opportunity for attendees to network with individuals from other agencies who ventured to Austin from all parts of the country.





Andy Jacobs, Principal Consultant at See Sharp Consulting talked about digital disruption and the agency model. Words of advice: “Sell the problem you solve, not the product.”

agency-summit-77Kevin Althans, VFX Supervisor at Reel FX introduced the audience to all of the latest camera and VR technology in his presentation on “Rocketing To An Immersive Experience.”


Has analytics killed creative? WP Engine’s CMO Mary Ellen Dugan moderated a panel on this topic that included ViTRO’s Executive Creative Director Greg Bokor; Sleek Machine’s Founder & Chief Creative Officer Tim Cawley;  CP+B’s Executive Creative Technology Director Joe Corr; and Spredfast’s VP of Research & Insights Chris Kerns.


Heather Brunner and HomeAway’s Senior Vice President of Brand & Integrated Marketing, Kristen Nolte, discussed what it takes to become a cutting-edge tech brand. One example: HomeAway outfitted an apartment in the Eiffel Tower, generating huge media buzz. Nolte stressed the importance of creating an integrated campaign that lives beyond that initial moment.


Day two of Agency Summit kicked off with a session from Indeed’s Economist, Daniel Culbertson who discussed the economics of talent. “About 60 percent of job searches on Indeed come from a mobile device. Therefore, your recruitment efforts should be mobile friendly,” said Culbertson.


In the session “Do You Have The Talent For Tomorrow?” Mary Ellen Dugan moderates a panel that included: Shannon Moorman, Vice President, Talent Acquisition at GSD&M; Kyle Lagunas, Research Manager, Emerging Trends & Technologies at IDC; and Daniel Culbertson, Economist at Indeed. 


Cristal Glangchai, Founder & Chief Executive Officer at VentureLab discussed the skill sets of the future in her presentation on grooming for tomorrow’s talent.


Following her presentation, Glangchai asked attendees to participate in a MiniStartup Challenge where each table of attendees created a product pitch for either a 3D printing, digital, or virtual reality product.


Groups brainstorm their product names, logo, and sales pitch.








Agency Summit concluded with ideas from tomorrow’s talent. Several middle school students discussed everything from their favorite internet sites, video games, and their future aspirations (they all want to design video games!).

Check out more of what went down at this year’s Agency Summit here: #wpeagency.