Halston Marketing takes Leeds Digital Festival
Over the course of two weeks in September, Leeds was transformed into a hub of insightful activity on all things digital. The delivery of over 300 events across both virtual and physical platforms provoked out-of-the-box thinking and sparked a variety of hot conversations that left many attendees full of intrigue.
The Halston Marketing team were encouraged to attend as many events that pipped individual interest as possible. Whether in the city centre listening to some really cool expert opinions or immersing ourselves in the ‘new normal’ of virtual networking, we picked brains, made notes, and worked to open our network to vast opportunity. We were here, there, and everywhere.
WTF is no-code?
Leading the way, Director Georgia attended the aptly named ‘WTF is No-Code’ event. Hosted by Leeds Digital Drinks, discussions were had around how no-code changes the game for creators. “It was great to see so many companies flying the flag for the no-code movement in Leeds! It’s also exciting to see that Bad Unicorn has sprung up since lockdown and are delivering piping hot, absurd business ideas through the magic of no-code.”
#Unmute – Let’s talk about diversity and entrepreneurship
Marketing Manager Toni attended Include Me’s panel discussion designed to unmute on the diversity landscape for entrepreneurs in our region. “The event was super insightful, with plenty of stimulating discussions around equality and diversity.” Not only was Toni able to listen to inspirational conversations, she also had the privilege of photographing the event! Keep your eyes peeled for some awesome pictures.
Digital transformation: powering the journey to carbon neutral
Charlotte and Gabrielle, our Junior Marketing Executives, jumped online to join Leeds City College who were hosting a panel discussion exploring how the digital landscape is evolving to help combat carbon emissions. Jonny Ross from Fleek Marketing chaired the event, with insight from Rob Gill of Yonder Consulting and Ian Harris of Search Laboratory. Expanding their knowledge on how the future of digital innovation can be put into sustainable practice, Charlotte and Gabrielle look forward to implementing the latest details of digital powers within future content.
The green machines
Hosted by the DTP Group, representatives from Hewlett Packard were at this stimulating event that discussed how the world’s leading technology companies are mobilising actions to tackle climate change.
‘Researchers have suggested that to meet the UN’s goal Climate Change targets by 2050, we need the equivalent of a coronavirus-pandemic-scale lockdown once a year’ was the powerful opening statement. Similar hard-hitting phrases followed suit during passionate speeches, including the line ‘making claims is one thing, making change is another’.
One of the key takeaways for our Partnership Engagement Manager Evie was the insight that being truly sustainable really does help businesses outperform their competition. And at the same time, they become more attractive to prospective talent.
Evie also works closely with NHS Sustainability Partnerships, co-owned by Georgia. Of this high-profile event, she said, “It was great to see such a strong recognition that genuine sustainability is genuinely good for business.”
How digital images affect audience perceptions
Looking at the psychology behind image perception online, Strategic Marketing Manager Nicole joined this webinar hosted by Leeds University. Running through examples of images from social media, professional team photos, and Airbnb, the audience was invited to make the session interactive, voting for brands they would trust to buy from and those they wouldn’t.
Dr Xingjie Wei, a lecturer in Business Analytics and Machine Learning, then broke down the reasoning behind this, explaining how we can apply this knowledge to our marketing campaigns.
How the IoT is transforming your supply chain
Experts from Leeds University Business School delivered a webinar on one of the hottest topics of the moment: supply chains. They’re the backbones of businesses and are supposed to work in a way that keeps the world ticking. Given the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on supply, demand, and consumer behaviour, Dr Gary Graham and John Barnett shed some industry expertise on the current supply chain climate.
“It was really eye-opening to see an interactive demonstration of the true scale and potential fragility of global supply chains. It’s becoming more and more apparent that we need to future-proof them now, so it was really interesting to hear how the IoT will play a huge vital. If only we’d heard this a few years earlier!” said Gabrielle, who took part in the online event.
Market research: what, where, and how
We all understand the importance of using market research to establish, maintain, and grow a business. Yet sometimes, it can be easy to forget the basics. This webinar really emphasised the application of everyday techniques, like SWOT and PEST analysis, to get a true understanding of consumers. “It’s a reality that these factors can change overnight; the importance of continuously staying on top of them has been reinforced,” said Nicole, who joined the online event.
Becoming greener: the corporate sustainability summit
Five of us were lucky enough to attend this thought-provoking summit delivered by Hark, who monitor and manage energy use via the IoT. A treble-threat of passionate environmentalists delivered informative and powerful presentations surrounding the need for businesses to ramp up their sustainability efforts. Hark’s CEO Jordan Appleson also took to the floor, explaining that ‘without any visibility, businesses aren’t able to make sustainable changes. You can’t manage what you can’t see.’
Toni wants to give a special shout out to this occasion; she hadn’t been able to get events footage since before the pandemic, and says, “It felt so good to get back into something that I love doing so much!”
Let’s talk: the future of sustainable regulation
Founded by our very own Georgia and Toni at LDF two years ago, we were super proud that RegTech Talks was hosting its own event this time around. Conversation on regulatory compliance is increasing tenfold, so it was great to put on a panel discussion about changing attitudes towards corporate sustainability agenda. From simply being ‘nice to have’ or to fulfil a tick-box exercise, environmental targets now make up crucial components of business models. And tech is going to play a vital role in implementing such sustainable regulations.
Running an online business: top tricks for generating clicks
Hosted by Leeds City Council, this webinar talked about everything ‘customer’. From the importance of truly understanding them to online customer care to how to create a loyal customer base, Nicole came away with a plethora of consumer-based knowledge, as well as a deeper understanding of where to find insight. “The most useful thing I left this webinar with was the vast number of tools available to me to help with my strategy building.”
Species Protection with Digital Twins
Jessica and Charlotte listened into a digital event hosted by Slingshot Simulations and Rainforest Trust. The event discussed how Slingshot’s digital twin technology has been able to help the Rainforest Trust monitor endangered species. Erin, Conservation Specialist explains how the mapping on the globe enables the trust to identify which areas have a higher percentage of threatened species, and also range-restricted species. This visualisation updates constantly and helps the charity to use their resources more wisely and protection on the ground.
WILD Digital: Meet up and party
Bringing the busy fortnight to a close, Toni and Hannah attended WILD Digital’s Meet Up and Party, sponsored by BJSS. Upon arrival, they were both given names of random attendees to go and speak to, helping to break down any prior networking nerves or barriers. Aiming to create stronger, and inspire more opportunities for, women-led networks in Leeds, we can safely say that our team members left this event with some enhanced connections (as well as a couple of sore heads!).