45% of all IAPI agency employees are under 30 years of age. This statistic is one of the reasons that the Future Heads leadership committee was firstly established and secondly why it is such an important part of IAPI.

The Future Heads committee’s focus is to ensure that we give a voice to those people within our industry who have either just started out or are in the infancy stage of their advertising career. As previously mentioned 45% of the industry is aged under 30. While the committee, its members and its activities are not ageist, the majority of those starting out in their advertising career are within this age bracket- but please remember, anyone of any age is welcome!

The committee is made up of passionate, dedicated individuals who have made a commitment to banish agency barriers and work together to proactively develop, retain and motivate our colleagues. 

This development starts with increasing awareness of our industry to students and continues through to motivating those already working with us to retain them and prevent them from leaving. This is vital to futureproof ourselves and our agencies.

To reach the student population, we host an annual event, ADEXPO. This is a career expo that provides students, graduates and budding advertising aficionados with an insight into the advertising industry. It’s a relaxed event where students can speak to people already working in the industry and ask any questions. But most importantly, the industry representatives are the likes of Client Managers and not Managing Directors. They are people who truly know (and remember!) what it’s like to enter the advertising workforce as it currently stands.

Alongside this event, we produce an Internship and Graduate Guidebook. All IAPI agency members feed into this with detail on internship or graduate opportunities, including structure, timelines, and payment.

We also host mentoring evenings where people with the likes of 1-3 years’ experience can speak to those with 5-7 years’ experience. Again, it’s an event that focuses on people being able to really ask the questions they most want answered and the questions which will benefit them.

The event highlight of the year is the Summer Party where everyone from all agencies is invited. This usually involves a BBQ, music and beers but it always involves the Agency Ping Pong competition- where we see agencies at their most competitive!

Finally, we speak to today’s leaders to understand what will be needed for and from tomorrow’s leaders. We meet each of the agency MDs to discuss what we can do for and with their young workforce. Motivation is at the heart of this as we know that a happy and motivated workforce is more likely to stay with us.

We always welcome new members to the Future Heads committee. It’s important that the committee is representative of the industry in terms of the different disciplines and the different agencies. For this reason, we are putting a focus this year on recruiting those from creative agencies. 

If you or a colleague would be interested in joining, please contact gemma.gilmore@sparkfoundry.ie


Future Heads Chair
Future Heads Chair
Gemma Gilmore
Gemma Gilmore
Business Director, Spark Foundry