In an exclusive interview, Becca Merchant, a key figure at Sintillate Talent Influencer Agency, delves into the inspiration and values driving their Sinfluenced events. Becca sheds light on how these events are fostering genuine connections among creators globally and supporting national venues. Learn how the ‘Sinfluenced’ events are shaping the creator economy landscape and promoting holistic well-being in the evolving world of influencer marketing.
Can you share with us the inspiration behind Sintillate Talent’s ‘Sinfluenced’ events and how they align with the agency’s values of Develop, Grow, and Connect?
Becca Merchant,the Projects and Event Manager of Sintillate Talent, shares the inspiration behind Sinfluenced events. Sinan Sahin, the agency founder, envisioned these events as a response to the pandemic’s impact on mental health due to isolation within our industry. “He had the idea of bringing likeminded people together so that they can physically interact with other likeminded talent to overcome isolating feelings that the online world can create, and enjoy themselves in a comfortable and safe space,” Becca explains.
Sinfluenced events break geographical barriers, bringing together talent from around the world. Becca emphasizes, “Most of the team members wouldn’t have had the opportunity to meet each other” if not for these events. Lifelong friendships and valuable relationships have blossomed, creating a lasting sense of community even for those no longer with Sintillate Talent.
These events not only enrich connections among individuals but also support nation venues. Becca notes, “As influencer events are known for giving venues exposure through talent platforms.” The events embody Sintillate Talents commitment to nurturing meaningful relationships and showcasing the power of community in an industry often causing people to work alone and feel isolated.
Sinfluenced events are known for giving venues exposure through talent platforms. Could you elaborate on how this collaboration benefits both the venues and the talent?
The collaboration between Sintillate Talent and the venues yields mutual benefits. Becca highlights how the events foster an environment where talent can connect and thrive. “It’s a judgment-free zone because everyone is like-minded,” Becca notes, regardless of their background or career status. This encourages support and camaraderie, particularly among women who often face judgment in other contexts.
In this environment, “there is no jealousy, no nastiness. It’s purely women supporting other women and really encouraging each other,” Becca emphasizes, underlining the positive impact on relationships.
For venues, the collaboration offers significant advantages. “The venues then obviously do get seen by a wider audience,” Becca explains. The diverse talent from all over the country shares event details, boosting ticket sales. Even for those who can’t attend, the events serve as a brand awareness campaign, especially beneficial for smaller businesses and venues. Becca adds, “If you get a big team sharing their details and showing off what an incredible space they have, suddenly it becomes a more well-known name.” This symbiotic relationship enriches both the talent’s experience and the venues’ exposure.
In the rapidly evolving creator and influencer marketing landscape, how have Sinfluenced events adapted to meet the changing needs and preferences of attendees?
Becca explains, “Sintillate Talent’s Sinfluenced events were initially centered around our director, Sinan, who resides in London. Our head office is located on the Essex-London border in the Southeast of the UK. The events started in London and gained popularity, showcasing the immense value they brought to participants.”
As the demand grew, Becca continues, “We realized how many people wanted to get involved and how much they enjoyed these events. That’s when we started organising them in other areas.” The strategy shifted to offer events in various locations across the UK to make them accessible to a broader audience. “We now do them in all different locations over the UK so that they’re accessible for people who live further north or further south, across to the west, etc” Becca explains.
This expansion aligned with the growth of the creative economy. “There’s definitely a lot more opportunity for guests to come to our events now because we have so many different locations that we have them in,” Becca highlights, underscoring the responsive approach of Sinfluence events to cater to a diverse audience beyond just the capital city.
As the Talent Agency Project & Events Manager, how do you approach curating unique experiences and activities for the Sinfluenced events that resonate with your audience?
“For every event we organize,” Becca explains, “we meticulously design and plan every single detail. Even down to something as specific as having our branding on all the screens in a club if that’s where the event is held.” This attention to detail ensures a cohesive and immersive experience for attendees.
“We believe in promoting good experiences, good places, and good people,” Becca continues. “Our approach aligns with our values of growth and supporting smaller local businesses.” It’s not just about the agency’s growth but also about fostering the growth of the brands they collaborate with.
“Our events encompass a wide range,” Becca points out. “From PR campaigns to nightclub events, shop openings, and more. Any brand partner that aligns with our values, we’ll work with them.” The agency’s focus is on meaningful alignment, not just ticking certain boxes or exclusively collaborating with large companies. “You don’t have to tick certain boxes or be a huge company for us to work with you,” Becca emphasizes, reflecting the agency’s open and inclusive approach to partnerships.
Sintillate Talent’s events seem to strike a perfect balance between professional development and entertainment. How do these events contribute to the growth and skill enhancement of the talent involved?
“For me, kindness is a huge part of life. It is the best trait a person can have. And what better way is there to encourage kindness, understanding, and empathy than to bring a group of like-minded people together to support, empower and encourage each other,” Becca reflects.
The impact goes beyond this, Becca notes. “We have found as well that the events help a lot of people, including myself, overcome social anxieties.” Attending events alone, going to new places, or even traveling to new cities for an event can be daunting. “All of those things can be really quite daunting and scary,” Becca admits.
However, through these events, attendees like Becca have grown in confidence. “Now I’m a lot more confident in traveling to an event, arriving by myself if needed and meeting everyone there,” she explains. This boosted personal confidence translates into various aspects of life. “I think you can take that everywhere with you in life, that extra bit of confidence,” Becca concludes. The events contribute to personal growth and empowerment, enhancing skills beyond the professional realm.
We’d love to hear about some memorable success stories or partnerships that have emerged from previous Sinfluenced events. How have these connections impacted the participants’ careers?
“Our most recent event was the completion of all UK venues of the Chinawhite Group. Our partnership with them has gone from strength to strength,” Becca recounts. What started small expanded as each event proved more popular and successful than the last. “The networking that happens within these events leads to huge open doors and opportunities for the team,” Becca adds.
Numerous success stories have emerged from these events. “Girls have been scouted as models and started modeling careers, It’s also inspired other talent to participate in empowering events like Miss Swimsuit UK of which we are also a key partner,” Becca highlights. These experiences have left a profound impact on their self-esteem and personal growth.
Moreover, the events serve as a platform to scout new talent members. “If we are out and we are hosting an event, and we see people who are having fun, they’re energetic, confident in themselves, and interacting with our team, that’s the kind of people we like to work with,” Becca explains. The events facilitate the discovery of individuals who align with the agency’s values, leading to new talent members joining the team.
The events’ regional nature allows exposure to diverse follower demographics. How does Sintillate ensure inclusivity and representation in these events?
“When hosting these events, they are open to everyone who is a member of Sintillate Talent to attend,” Becca clarifies. Inclusivity is a priority. “You only need to tick one box, and that is that you can be there on that date at that time,” she adds. Factors like origin, follower count, or duration of membership don’t restrict attendance.
Becca explains, “It doesn’t matter where you are from. It doesn’t matter how big your online following is. It doesn’t matter if you’ve only been with us for a week or if you’ve been with us for three years. If you can attend and you want to attend, you are more than welcome.”
The same openness applies to ticket sales. “There’s no ‘only the elite can come.’ They aren’t overpriced so that only people with the right budget can attend,” she states. The focus is on fostering connections and networking in a positive environment. “If you want to come and connect and network with these people, and you bring good vibes, then you will get on with us, essentially,” Becca emphasizes. The key criterion is having a good heart and a positive mindset, which aligns with the spirit of inclusivity that Sintillate Talent’s ‘Sinfluenced’ events promote.
Sintillate Talent is renowned for its team campaigns and event coordination. Can you share some strategies that encourage and engage the team during these events?
Becca shares their effective strategy for team engagement during events: “We start every campaign, every event with a group chat on WhatsApp.” This approach fosters a sense of connection and eases nerves for attendees, especially those who are new or attending for the first time. “It gives them a chance to talk on a more intimate basis and start building a friendship,” she explains. Discussions within the group chat range from outfit choices to event details, aligning everyone’s expectations.
As excitement builds, attendees naturally share their genuine anticipation with their own audiences. Becca notes that this isn’t about being paid to promote an event; it’s about the enthusiasm attendees have for the experience itself. “The people who are coming want to come, they’re excited. They know they’re going to have a good time and enjoy themselves. They know they’re going to be surrounded by good people who share their values,” she emphasizes.
When attendees express their genuine enthusiasm, it resonates with others and encourages them to join in. Becca references an interview she conducted with one of their roster members who genuinely wished she could attend a recent event she couldn’t make. This showcases the impact of the engagement strategy and the strong connections that develop within their community.
In what ways do you measure the impact and success of a Sinfluenced event, both for the talent and the partnering venues?
Becca emphasizes that Sintillate doesn’t solely measure the impact and success of their events through numbers or reach. Instead, they focus on feedback and the genuine enjoyment of the attendees. “What is important to us is if people have enjoyed it, if people have felt safe and felt comfortable and if they’d want to come again,” she explains.
Sintillate Talent values constructive criticism as well and provides an environment where attendees can openly share their thoughts and suggestions. Group chats on platforms like WhatsApp facilitate ongoing communication, allowing attendees to provide feedback on various aspects of the event.
For partnering venues and brands, Sintillate Talent ensures that they reconvene after each event to discuss how things went, assess their happiness, and gather insights for potential improvements. The feedback loop is integral in refining their events, and both parties’ input contributes to making each event better than the last.
Sintillate Talent has a strong focus on collaboration and partnerships. How do you select venues and talent that align with the agency’s vision for each event?
Becca highlights the profound impact Sinfluenced events have on the growth and development of the creator economy in the UK. Their emphasis on personal kindness, mental health awareness, and building a supportive community contributes to the well-being and success of their talent.
By providing a platform for like-minded individuals to connect, Sintillate Talent helps combat the rising mental health struggles associated with the online world, particularly within the realm of social media. These events serve as opportunities for creators to find genuine support and encouragement, which ultimately leads to increased confidence, resilience, and personal growth. As Becca notes, “The more we support them as a person, the better they do.”
This approach not only fosters a positive environment for the creators they work with but also has a ripple effect on their audiences. When creators are confident in themselves and their values, their followers witness authenticity and purpose, creating a positive influence that extends beyond the digital realm.
Can you share with us your current views on the state of the creator economy?
Becca shares a promising outlook on the creator economy’s current landscape. Juggling roles in marketing, her perspective is insightful. Becca notes the industry’s dynamic growth, remarking, “It’s booming and booming and booming.” She’s particularly intrigued by the UK’s embrace of influencer marketing, including unexpected sectors like small and tech-based brands.
Becca envisions a future where creators dive deeper into niche content. She predicts a shift towards authenticity, saying, “What is my niche? What do I have a genuine interest in?” This trend, she believes, will lead to a diverse range of content and more meaningful connections with targeted audiences.
Do you foresee any new trends or any new platforms that will shape the future of the influencer marketing or creator economy space?
In response to the question about emerging trends and platforms in the influencer marketing landscape, Becca highlights a rising star: LinkedIn. She acknowledges the growing prominence of creators on the platform, noting, “So much more personality is coming into it.” Becca observes that influencers are gaining ground on LinkedIn, even beyond the usual CEOs, which could potentially herald a new era in the creator economy. She remarks, “That might be the next big thing for creators.”
Looking ahead, tell us what exciting plans and innovations can we expect from Sinfluenced events in the future.
As Becca reflects on the future of Sinfluenced events, she hints at exciting plans and innovations without giving away all the secrets: “You can expect us to continue to grow…more events in the pipeline…new brand partnerships…existing brand partnerships getting stronger.” While the events have been UK-based so far, Becca notes that their global roster of talent could expand the reach of Influenced events beyond the UK in the future.
She emphasizes the core values of Sinfluenced events, centered on supporting mental health and well-being. Becca underscores their holistic approach, highlighting their mental health specialist on the management team, “We do actually have a mental health specialist on hand…available for our talent members to contact.” Becca explains that the focus goes beyond events, encompassing awareness campaigns, open discussions, and fostering a sense of family within the team.
The core principle is clear: “If people are comfortable and confident, they will excel, not only with influencing and being a content creator, but they will excel in their life.” This philosophy of supporting the individual’s well-being echoes throughout their approach, aiming to empower creators to excel in all aspects of their lives.