After months of anticipation and planning, the first ever Digital iQ event in Norwich took place on Friday afternoon. It was great to see so many people come along despite the wind and rain. Bringing creative minds from the city together in one place was incredibly exciting, with representatives from brands, agencies, freelancers and not-for-profits turning out in force.
Proceedings kicked off with a brief welcome from myself, before I handed over the reins to Sam Wright, Head of SEO & Content at Norwich and London-based Ad-Rank Media. Sam spoke about the connection between SEO and PR, drawing from his own CruiseDeals.co.uk case study to show that it really is possible to achieve fantastic results on a budget.
Next up was video content strategist, Gary Gumbleton from Instant Magazine. Gary has years of experience in developing high quality video content and inspired the audience with a lively presentation on how to effectively integrate video marketing into campaigns across all sectors.
The first half of talks was rounded off by a brilliant talk from Ralph du Plessis, Managing Director at Red Mud Media. Ralph shared his tips for creating a less stressful work environment and simplifying the digital marketing process – a topic that felt particularly fitting for a Friday afternoon!
After a short break for drinks, it was time for an in-depth interview with Ben Phillips, CTO and Co-Founder of Thread.com. Ben’s story is truly inspirational and goes far in showing just how much potential start-up businesses have within the digital sector.
Boasting nearly 1.3 million subscribers on YouTube, it was a pleasure to introduce local sensation Stuart Ashen to the stage next. Stuart spoke at length about the process of working with YouTube talent from a brand perspective, and shared his tips for building influencer relationships that last.
Ashen – or Ashens, as he’s known on YouTube – was always going to be a hard act to follow, and the presentation part of the event finished with an interesting look at the impact of Brexit on eCommerce, from the Founder of Evance, Geoff Willings.
In true Friday style, we rounded off the afternoon with an hour of drinks and networking. It was fantastic to meet so many like-minded people from across Norfolk and the feedback we received on the day was brilliant, inspiring us to make the next Digital iQ event even bigger and better than the first.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everybody that came along. We’d love to hear your thoughts on the day as we look forward to the next event and aim make improvements where we can, so attendees should keep an eye on their inbox for a short feedback questionnaire. It only takes a few moments to complete and helps us to ensure that future events run as smoothly as possible.
I realise that there are people with different levels of digital marketing expertise that attended and we would ideally like to run talks across two rooms in future. However this very much depends on getting more speakers involved from local brands and other established digital marketing agencies. This time round we focused on delivering content for the majority and the initial feedback suggests this was the right decision. However, I will be reaching out to other business owners in the coming months with the aim of collaborating for future events.
We are particularly keen to address again the gender imbalance of speakers at the conference, on this sunny International Women’s Day afternoon. Rest assured that this was entirely unintentional and we look forward to welcoming some inspiring local businesswomen to the stage at future events.
With that in mind, we’ll be releasing information on the next Digital iQ conference over the coming months, so if you’d like to get involved please do get in touch. Whether brand, agency or freelancer, we’d love to hear from you.