Smyle shapes its future with leadership boost

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In the wake of an unexpected global cultural shift, creative agency Smyle is redefining what it means to make awe-inspiring experiences, with a bold new focus on virtual and digital events to sit alongside physical events – all steered by its dynamic leadership team. 

The reshuffle sees Smyle’s first employee Dominic Thomas-Smith assume the role of Managing Director, while Andrew Dawson-Wills moves into the role of Operations Director, with oversight of the company’s digital, technical and commercial elements. Both positions support the rapid expansion of Smyle’s new virtual and hybrid events offering ‘Beyond’, spearheaded by Co-Founder and Innovation Director Matt Margetson.

This comes at a key time for Smyle, after rapidly remodelling itself to pioneer virtual experiences with the launch of Beyond in March this year. It turned out to be a key strategic move for a company facing a devastating industry downturn brought on by the global pandemic. Despite an almost complete cessation of physical events, Smyle has been able to showcase new technologies, business models and creative thinking by moving its clients’ event experiences online. 

Included in Smyle’s robust virtual solutions are secure hosting and infrastructure, intuitive UX design, state-of-the-art streaming services, integrated networking tools as well as bespoke augmented reality and 3D environments. Supporting the tech is a creative mindset that ensures digital events can be just as impactful, albeit in different ways, sometimes doing what physical cannot.

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In order to drive the company through this new era, Smyle took the decision to evolve its leadership team, central to which is the role of MD. 

Dominic’s rise starts from humble beginnings, when he took up his first job at the then start-up creative agency more than 16 years ago. His ability to come up with impactful event concepts and to snatch major new business wins out from under bigger industry names immediately earmarked him as one of the bright young stars of the company. He has since helped to build and expand on Smyle’s reputation as a one of the country’s top agencies; known for its entrepreneurial flair and commercial agility.

Rick Stainton, Co-Founder and Group Executive Director comments: “This is quite a watershed moment for us – our first employee promoted to MD. I remember on the first day Dom joined, promising him there were no limits as to how far he could develop his career at Smyle – that there would only be support for him to realise his ambitions. We are all very proud of his achievements to date and equally excited for what he will deliver in the coming years.”

CEO Keith O’Loughlin says: “Smyle is founded on its people and Dom is the perfect embodiment of the energy, intelligence and forward-thinking that makes us unique. Together with Matt driving our product development as Innovation Director and Andrew focused on perfect delivery as Operations Director, Dom’s new role adds further resilience to our leadership group. Navigating through the pandemic and recession that is forecast to follow requires imagination and agility, and we are confident that we have built the strongest possible team to not only survive but thrive.”

As well as driving breakthrough virtual and hybrid experiences and nurturing the talented pool of creative and technical minds at Smyle, Dom has highlighted four key areas of focus as part of his new role: digital, measurement, sustainability and diversity & inclusion. 

He says: “Innovation has always been part of our DNA and I am proud of our reputation as agile creatives who have consistently reinvented ourselves to be able to create bigger and better initiatives for our clients. At no time has this been more evident than now as we aim to reshape an entirely new industry, thanks to our powerful combination of great talent, new technologies and imagination.”