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Event News: Agility Gets Digital

Written by Michelle Kalman on June 17, 2012


When we set out to host a party here at Agility, we decided that we wanted a room full of magazine people to help us celebrate the launch of Unbound Media, and also to share with us their thoughts and experiences on magazines in the digital space. What makes an event worth attending?

Well for starters - lots to drink.

An A-list crowd helps a lot too. Hosted by our very own Andre Gaulin, Director of Solutions at Agility, our panel session featured The Kit Magazine's Publisher – Giorgina Bigioni, Chatelaine's Editor-In-Chief – Jane Francisco, Glow Magazine's VP Digital – Ken Hunt and Sharp Magazine's Editorial and Creative Director – Michael La Fave. Talk about a one-two (three-four) punch!

Despite the fact that our panelist’s brands weighed heavily on the female/beauty side of things, the conversation itself really had very little to do with what shade of must-have lip-gloss you need this season. Instead, our featured guests delved into a frank and informative discussion about what it means to make magazines work in a digital age. 

Agility Gets DigitalOur Stellar Panel - Andre Gaulin, Ken Hunt, Jane Francisco, Giorgina Bigioni & Michael La Fave


One major highlight for me was Ken Hunt's take on predicting the future of the digital landscape. Basically, he thinks if anyone out there claims they know what is going to happen digitally in the next year, he would take all of his money and bet it on the opposite. A refreshing reminder that the 'next big' digital trends are just about as hard to predict as weather.

Speaking of weather, Jane Francisco admitted that technology is virtually unavoidable in our fast-paced media lives – why step outside to check the weather when you can simply check it on your mobile device? Don't get me wrong; this lively conversation was just as much about traditional magazines as it was about apps, tablets and social media.

Digital first, then print? Yes for Giorgina Bigioni, who has published her fair share (and beyond) of print pubs only to launch Canada's first online digital beauty magazine a few years ago. Torstar scooped it up and decided it was too good not to print. So now, what set out to be an ‘online only’ brand, has given birth to a print sister.

Taking a stance for good ol’ fashioned print was Michael La Fave. Yes, of course Contempo Media (who publish Sharp Magazine) are players in the digital media space but Michael didn’t let us forget that magazines have been around for a million years longer than the Internet. Okay, maybe not a million but something like 125 years. Perhaps digital brands have a thing or two to learn from their predecessors?

The panel was rich with insight, conflict and ideas – tune in to our video highlights here for the full scoop.



Who doesn’t like discussing magazines (or anything for that matter) whilst working your way through a mountain of cheese? Literally. Thanks to Cheesewerks, our Get Digital guests were treated to a tasty sampling of local artisan cheeses, which paired perfectly with Prince Edward County’s Lacey Estates Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

Lest I forget to mention the onslaught of oversized Beau’s Lug Tread beer. We started out drinking the brew in sophisticated glassware but that really didn’t last very long. 

Guests were also treated to magazine laden gift bags including a Dermalogica Multi-Active Toner, so we’ll all be looking fresh, just as soon as we recover from the booze and cheese.

Thanks to our very generous sponsors and everyone who made it out to the Agility space. We’re already drumming up ideas for our next event... The Art of Translating Magazine Viz Online? Replacing Your Print Sales Hat with A Digital Cap? Oversized Beers – The Wave of the Future? I’ll have to check in with Ken Hunt to see what he thinks on that prediction.

Stay tuned for more event news and if you’d like to be included in our events – just drop us a line.

Take a look at our party pics here.


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