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BBN Academy 2019 – think, act, deliver!

November 14, 2019
Eija Väliranta

They say the best way to learn is to practice. And that’s why our B2B network BBN incorporates a series of activities designed to bring people together, support people’s skill development and of course, strengthen our culture of collaboration. It’s called BBN Academy and this year it took place in Germany.

A few words about ID and BBN. Our agency, Idea Development ID Oy, is a partner agency of BBN – a collaborative agency-owned organization, and that is why we call ourselves ID BBN.

The story behind BBN is pretty amazing and inspirational. In 1987, Tim Hazelhurst, owner of a mid-size UK B2B agency, instigated a search for suitable agency partners, driven by a desire and need to offer an integrated, pan-European service.

He met Sven Åke Armandt (owner of Sweden’s leading B2B agency) at a conference in Brussels. Between them, they built what was then a pan-European network called ‘The B2B Network’.

Agencies in Germany, France and Italy came on board immediately, with agencies in Spain, Finland (that’s us folks), Norway, Belgium, Czech Republic and The Netherlands following soon afterwards.

Now, 32 years later, BBN has over a thousand B2B specialists working in 45 offices in 29 countries and over 300 clients from 23 different B2B sectors. BBN is the premier B2B global agency group and offers both partners and clients the opportunity to work with the world, literally.

Sharing is caring – BBN Academy at its best

BBN is united by strong principles and methodologies. We collaborate daily and a significant amount of our client work involves the active participation of more than one territory.

To streamline that process, BBN committed at an early stage to creating world-class, best-practice B2B marketing methodologies, processes and tools, which have been adopted in all agency locations.

The yearly BBN Academy focuses on those proven tools and best practices. The Academy program delivers a mix of teaching, in order to explain and provide a common strategic foundation along with group exercises that help embed the knowledge.

This year the Academy was held in the beautiful Schloss Löwenstein in Kleinheubach, a 45-minute drive from Frankfurt.

Participants were divided into three different teams and provided with a client brief containing the same strategic input as a baseline.

I landed myself on team Blue and we named ourselves The Royal Blues, paying tribute to the beautiful surroundings we were in.

The Royal Blues

Back row

Czech Republic, Marco – Michal Pullman 

Singapore, GetIT Comms – Anil Khaira 

USA, HexaGroup –  Fred Becker 

Middle row 

Pakistan/USA, Celeritas Solutions – Imran Husain 

UK, True – Wendy Owen 

Front row

Canada, Tag Enterprise – Gabi Armstrong TEAM LEADER

Mexico/USA, MarketLogic – Katherine Gentile 

Finland, ID BBN – Eija Väliranta 

USA, Bader Rutter – Amanda Loveless 

Each team was asked to develop a creative Big Long Idea with content & channel strategies along with suggestions of how the campaign might be measured. The output on the final day was simply outstanding!

The judging panel chose the Green team as the Academy winner of 2019, but all of our campaign ideas will be brought to the client who will choose the ultimate winner. Fingers crossed!

Glitz and glamour at the BBN Golden Bees Awards

The academy program ran for two and a half days and culminated with the Golden Bee Awards Gala Dinner.


I was proud and happy to receive two Golden Bees on behalf of my colleagues.


Our Predictive marketing team got the Best use of digital technology and techniques award for case Visma and Tanja Holm is the BBN coordinator of the year. Congratulations!

BBN’s culture is a collaborative one. Put just a few of these people together in one place and the potential is quite extraordinary. BBN Academy proved that once again!

Eija Väliranta