Interview of
Nancy Delhalle,
Chief Marketing Officer, Serviceplan Benelux

unMISSable: the series of inspiring events that put enterprising women in the spotlight. For this year’s final unMISSable edition, we met with Nancy Delhalle, Serviceplan’s CMO, to tell us more about these empowering evenings…


So Nancy, tell us more about unMISSable.

Well, at Serviceplan we practise what we preach to our clients. What I mean by that is that we make ourselves known throughout quality content. Since its foundation in 1970, Serviceplan Group has developed formats for events destined to all kinds of audiences. The Best Brands Awards, a ceremony that takes the consumer’s choices into account, is surely the most well-known of them.With that in mind, the group founded unMISSable: a series of inspiring evenings exclusively attended by C-level women (CEO, CMO, CFO,…).

And why did you choose to host an event for women only?

Because we’re worth it! But more seriously, because we’re different. We’ve noticed that, within the company, women usually don’t like to go to « big » networking events or having to network for the sake of networking. They prefer events with real content that take place in an authentic setting and allow them to have less superficial interactions. Besides, women aren’t afraid of showing their emotions and their weaknesses, which can be unsettling for some men. That is exactly why it was important for us to create a space suitable for these enterprising women.

How does an unMISSable evening usually proceed?

Twice a year, we invite an exceptional woman to talk about her, about her life beyond her business card, in an intimate setting. We consciously limit the number of participants to 25 and we make sure to stick to a strict timing because we know our guests’ schedules are very busy.We also create a space where quality networking is favored, with a very individual approach. Furthermore, champagne and food delicacies are part of the unMISSable concept.

How do you choose these exceptional women?

The common thread in all the evenings is to find inspiration outside of our professionnal sphere. So we select exceptional women in their lines of business. Their profiles are very varied. For example, we recently had the honour to welcome the multi-award winning actress Barbara Sarafian, the singer-songwriter Beverly Jo Scott, as well as Lolly Wish, Diva Boudoir from Crazy Horse and Yoyo Maeght, who’s given her name to the art foundation in Saint-Paul-de-Vence.

This female event format was founded in Munich. Are you working together with your international colleagues on the unMISSable events?

Yes, because each year we organise an international edition. We went to Morocco to meet Andrea Bury, social entrepreneur and founder of TEDx Marrakesh pioneer. And this year, we had the privilege to welcome Barbara Hendricks here in Brussels for a blessed moment. Barbara is not only a magnificent artist, she’s also a great lady.She told us about her music, her famiy, her life growing up as a little girl in an America that rejected racial laws, her commitments through the Barbara Hendricks Foundation for Peace and Reconciliation and her role with UNHCR,…

At Serviceplan, is gender equality an important topic?

It’s not just important, it’s a priority. The respect of gender balance at our agencies is part of the managers’ KPIs during their evaluation. And in Brussels, equality stretches to diversity in general. Within our House of Communication, you’ll meet a dozen different nationalities and a great diversity in both colour and speech, which is not unusual for an agency located in the heart of Europe and for a group present on every continent. As for me, I’m the founder and ex-president of the expert hub FAM (Female Association of Marketing) within BAM, whose objective is to shatter that glass ceiling inherent to our sector. So this topic is close to my heart indeed.

Who do you have planned for your next unMISSable edition?

This year’s last unMISSable edition will welcome Hannah Van Ongevalle, famous bartender and founder of The Pharmacy and more recently The Motel in Knokke. She’s a strong woman in her thirties with unlimited creativity, who manages to find a work-life balance between her various professional and international activities and her private life with her disabled partner. It’ll be the perfect chance to finish 2019 in style!

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