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Sun, sea and digital

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The last two days I was lucky enough to get the chance to attend Meetdraw Presents: Silicon Beach – a great event in Bournemouth with a long list of fantastic and inspiring speakers, lovely tea, mini cupcakes, beachfront balcony lunches and networking opportunities with some charming like-minded digital fans. Oh, and not forgetting the added bonus of a free bar in Aruba on Wednesday evening!

A key thing was said towards the beginning that is important to remember – no one knows everything and no one ever will. Particularly with digital and things like social media, changes are constantly happening and everyone is constantly learning and different things will work for different brands all the time. Nicole Yershon of Ogilvy Digital Labs talked of the importance of building partnerships and good relationships. Admitting that you can’t do everything is key to then go on and form some great partnerships and deliver amazing work. The moment that an individual or company feels that they know everything, is the moment things can start to go downhill!

And that was great, because that’s why I was there – to learn. And I have definitely learnt a lot! The speakers all had wonderfully interesting and inspiring stories and examples to show, leaving my head buzzing with excitement, inspiration and ideas. It’s all still continuing to sink in and digest but I wanted to share some of the key things I have taken from this ‘digital innovation and storytelling’ themed conference and networking event.

Digital is becoming less of an ‘add-on’ – the campaign model has changed in marketing, advertising and public relations, needing to be fully immersed in digital from the very beginning. However another interesting point was made – those of us who live, breathe and work in digital are still in a ‘digital bubble’ (as put by Nicole Yershon) so it can be difficult to ‘convince’ people that digital really is, not just the way forward, but the now! Although having a Facebook page or a Twitter account might not be for every business, the technology is there to be utilised in many different ways that can work well for most organisations.

Furthermore, Microsoft’s Michael McClary highlighted that new technology is not equal to creative innovation. Just using new technology isn’t ‘innovative’, what makes it innovative is creatively making use of the technology that’s out there. Some facts and figures were given by Mike Malone of Grape Digital (in this great video) who made it clear how important it is for brands to be present on Facebook – because that’s where people are! And it’s also a good idea to keep as much as you can on your Facebook page rather than sending people elsewhere because people don’t want to leave their ‘chat’ conversations…. good thinking!

Some of what has been said and discussed over the past few days I was already aware of, or caused ‘of course that makes sense!’ moments, but it has definitely brought these things to the forefront of my attention. Light was also shed on some new great tools that I’m really looking forward to making use of! There are some exciting things to come, and who really knows how technology is going to evolve? But what’s important for the time being is creatively and innovatively using what is out there for us now.

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