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Our Top 7 Highlights from Digital Shoreditch 2015

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Jennifer Allen our Account Director soaked up the inspiration at DS15 and thought it would be awesome to share her highlights from the lightning talks, workshops, panel debates, open houses she attended.

Digital Shoreditch 2015 was like no other creative festival in the UK, beginning from the 10th – 22nd May. It saw a cool vibe ride its way into East London and London Tech City, known as the digital ecosystem. Bringing together renowned leaders to celebrate innovation within the creative tech and converging digital industries. The festival programme was organised with military precision, hosting 600 speakers and over 200 sessions and numerous Open Houses. Grouped around daily themes – Make, Grow, Next, Connect and Live, promoting an interdisciplinary approach to the festival.

It wasn’t the biggest brands or industry leaders that dominated the festival, it was the innovators of the industry, who shared all their knowledge and ideas to celebrate the outstanding creativity.

1. Content Strategies for Uncool Clients

Content specialists Sticky Content – Catherine Toole, Managing Director, strongly believes that organisations need to be more imaginative about content strategies for uncool clients. It is not acceptable for brands with relatively bland and dry content not to be engaging and imaginative in its creative content. Regardless of the market place a brand operates within, they all need to be noticed and talked about, to create a customer relationship.


“If the marketplace isn’t talking about you, the reason is that you’re boring.” 

Seth Godin


Whether your client is cool or uncool, Toole believes when it comes to publishing content, whether in print or digital, all agencies will be faced with the monster. That isn’t content but the people behind the content known as ‘frakencontent’. Committees or individuals, who are responsible for producing content do not possess the expertise or have the same creative vision as the agency. It is vital to try to avoid your clients becoming bigger than the actual brand publishing project. 

Jen’s Take Away Point

  • Create a ‘content approval email’ where you don’t ask your client for feedback on the final draft but guide your client by communicating you are happy with it and ask them to approve the content for publication. This will see a dramatic reduction in the rounds of amends you receive from your client.
  • To manage difficult clients, try to enforce the working practice of the Content Quad, by Kristina Halvorson.
Copyright 2010 Brain Traffic

Content Quad Model Copyright Brain Traffic 2010, by Kristina Halvorson.

2. The fast paced world of Branded Content Coca-Cola

Liquid & Linked Content

Stanislas Magniant, Coca-Cola’s Communications Director, Northern Europe explained on Content Day, their approach to liquid content, which was part of the Content 2020 Vision creating a co-owned space for fans and customers to share brand content and share their own brand stories. Putting the customers at the heart of the brand, has proven very successful with the Your name on a bottle of Coca Cola campaign making customers feel part of the brand journey driving customer engagement, increasing website traffic and sales.

Jonathan Mildenhall, created Coca-Cola’s Content 2020 vision. The brand success has been built upon customer loyalty but Coca- Cola were challenged by a content strategy to turn their customers into brand guardians, which other brands like Apple have done so effectively. So by placing the customer at the heart of the brand, Coca Cola customers have become the storytellers of the content of the Coca-Cola European sites. Creating ideas so contagious they cannot be controlled Coca Cola called this liquid. Through customer storytelling, which evokes conversations with consumers, starting with brand stories which creates liquid and linked ideas, creating engagement, which requires Coca Cola to react and respond to those conversations in real time.

Mildenhall’s, vision was to create an online magazine that combined both their business and customer stories. This was due to one key drives of technological advancement, which provides greater connectivity with consumers and their brands.

Jen’s Take Away Point

  • Content is becoming a huge game changer, regardless of the size of your brand or your market share, it cannot be ignored by anyone.

Content 2020

2. The Internet of Things (IoT

A panel debate on Next Day Digital Shoreditch, discussed the Internet of things (IoT), providing a great insight to the changing environment, which is already evident in our everyday lives. Brands are only at the beginning of discovering what technology is capable of and the impact upon our behaviour and lifestyles. It’s all about connected devices and the IoT initial focus has been centered upon wearable’s, examples being the Nike Fuel Band, Apple Watch and Google Glass and not forgetting the smart fridge, which will be the must have device. 

The ultimate purpose of IoT, will certainly go beyond the fridge informing you via a notification you are out of milk. It will have far greater impact than creating disruptive industries. Both the health and the environmental industries were cited, to witness the greatest impact. People living with Dementia would see major improvements in their quality of life, due to technological advancements,organising their daily routine by devices that communicate notifications. There may even be the power to save our planet by consumers controlling the heating in their properties by an app on their phone.
PwC presented the idea of how individuals could vote on specific algorithms relating to government policies that affected their daily lives. Like the NHS or Transport for London based on these results would represent the party you would vote for which would replace the traditional voting system. This seemed to be very favourable with the audience and caused much discussion, allowing retail brands like Tesco to automatically order customers food without customer involvement.

Jen’s Take Away Point

  • If you haven’t brought a wearable device take a trip to the Apple or Nike Store and just have a look at the devices to understand the direction of IoT is taking.
DS15 Roundup Article_Image 2

Nike Fuel Band

4. Secret Speakers at the Ace Hotel

Perhaps one of the best-kept secrets of the festival was the series of secret speaking sessions that took place at the ace hotel, a very trendy hot spot, in Shoreditch for business meetings or meeting with friends socially.One of the best talks for creative’s was on Monday, Make Day, Alex Bec a fellow Brighton graduate and MD of ‘It’s Nice That’ presented a talk through a live stream in the rooftop bar of the ace hotel.

The rest of the week, hosted speakers from a range of industries, from filmmakers, developers and product developers. Check out the round up of the secret talks.

Jen’s Take Away Point

  • If you can’t afford a membership at Shoreditch House, head to the ace hotel, as its full of creative’s, a great place for a professional meeting and to impress a client.
Digital Shoreditch   Jennifer Allen

Jennifer Allen at Ace Hotel Roof Top Bar

5. Open House

Between 16 – 24 May, the festival brought 15,000 people to participants’ studios, co-working spaces, galleries, restaurants, cinemas and roof tops. Creating networking opportunities that allowed the participants of the festival to showcase extraordinary work. We were proud to host an Open House on the 19th May, continuing our DS15 lightning Talk ‘Content is King, Design is it’s Queen’ which allowed a great networking opportunity and for our agency to showcase our latest projects. Since hosting an Open House at Digital Shoreditch 2015, we have been inspired to create a monthly meet up ‘Creative Corner’.

Jen’s Take Away Point

Poster   Content Is King, Design Is It's Queen

Poster for our DS15 Open House - Content is King, Design is it's Queen

Creative Corner Posters

Our Creative Corner Posters

6. Publish Content First

WP Engine, kicked off the Live Day, cited as the most exciting day of the festival on the main stage declaring, WP Engine firmly believes now is the time for the content specialist. 


“Every day we see our customers moving toward becoming publishers–we’re more sophisticated now, so brands and websites are more reflective of this shift. It’s an exciting time for our industry!”

WP Engine


All organisations need to consider a ‘publish first’ approach for their content: which is vital for audience engagement and SEO.  Brands will be investing more capital for their online presence, planning content, the purpose of content and reducing duplication of content is becoming increasingly more important.

All brands and organisation now have an online presence through a website or a blog. It is vital that brands can publish breaking developments in their industry or organisation. By hosting their content on a robust CMS platform to execute messages for the audience. 



Jen’s Take Away Point

  • Content is King and all brands and organisations need to carefully consider the best hosting platform for their Content Management Systems.
  • Websites need 24/7 support provided by an expert organisation.

7. Best APP

Throughout the whole festival many speakers and experts communicated great Apps they would recommend for people working within the digital space for organising your everyday work lives, i.e. Wunderlist and Evernote for your creative ideas, Box or Dropbox for your workflow, Eventbrite for organising your events and MeetUp to become involved in the business community. However the best app that I discovered whilst being involved in a panel debate at the festival was Sli.do. It an interactive app to be used at events. Organisations can create a hashtag, that attendees can use to join in on the discussions. Anyone can ask a question, incoming questions can be moderated before appearing live. The questions can be displayed live via a presentation view. Participants can vote on questions and the most popular questions are displayed.

Jen’s Take Away Point

  • If your organisation hosts events regularly, this is a very cost effective platform to provide real time involvement with your audience. On a monthly basis find out what Apps your industry is recommending.
  • Thank You Digital Shoreditch Team for organising and inviting &&& to be part of awesome festival. Bring on DS16.
DS15 Roundup Article_Image 4

Brilliant App Sli.do

Updated 12/4/2018 -


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