Damien Trevatt – The Man Behind Ungagged
“Take risks, make mistakes, learn from both, but most importantly, don’t look back, just keep going.” – Damien Trevatt
In an age with a never-ending supply of advice givers, Trevatt walked the walk as he took a huge risk in the Fall of 2014, creating what was then labeled, “The Un-Conference.”
Trevatt saw a problem in the digital marketing space. Current conferences were stagnant. Speakers shared very little real information as the conferences were often recorded or live streamed. Presentations became generic and the “nuggets of information” to help online business owners and consultants were few and far between.
He foresaw a conference which would take the industry back to its roots. One where webmasters would meet in a pub in London and share information to guide their collective businesses skyward. Drinking, cursing, and sharing insight. He knew it was the perfect cocktail.
With his vast experience in IT, solid business strategy knowledge, and as one of the pioneers in the digital age (starting in 1994), he knew what the market needed. How did he know? Trevatt did something unconventional. He asked the market.
The platform to pose the question of what the market wanted in a conference was an easy choice. It was his own. Trevatt had acquired Black Hat World, a highly respected online forum for digital marketing consultants and agencies. The site ranks in the top 500 worldwide.
The feedback was simple. Create a conference to attract the brightest minds in the industry, take away any constraints, zero selling from the stage and by all means, don’t record the conference. Make it an event that either you show up or you lose. Ungagged was born. This confirmed what Trevatt already knew. It was now time to get to work.
Partner Greg Hayman Helped Build a Rock Star Team
Trevatt took on a partner, Greg Hayman, and together they began assembling a team in the UK. They wanted a conference that would attract the smartest and most forward-thinking speakers and attendees, and Hayman knew from his business experience, that if you want to attract the best, you have to hire the best.
And that they did.
The first Ungagged conference was held at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas. They needed a keynote speaker to turn the place upside down, and Erika Napoletano, author of The Power of Un-Popular agreed. She did just that. Her salty language and straight-forward approach was the catalyst for building the brand of Ungagged.
This was the conference that wouldn’t waste an attendee’s time. Getting advice from real experts in the market who would not only share insight on stage, but they would be in the bar later explaining complex marketing methodologies in a simple and concise way so attendees could get on their laptops, implement the strategies and see results as quickly as the following morning.
The Ungagged team learned from the risks they took and the mistakes they made since Ungagged launched. There have been four conferences in the US and three in London. Each one better than the previous because of the collective leadership and unyielding commitment to excellence of the hard-working Ungagged staff.