What I learned about my first Silicon Beach experience

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Twenty thought leaders, two days, one beach. There’s been an event happening on the south coast for a few years now that’s always made me sit up and take notice. Silicon Beach is its name and thanks to Carswell Gould, I was given the opportunity to go and soak up as much knowledge as possible.

The event brings together some of the finest thinkers, creators and doers for two days of inspiration and insight in arguably the UK’s fastest growing creative economy, Bournemouth. Alongside colleagues, I attended the first of those two days and after my head stopped spinning, I came away with these thoughts:

Passion with purpose

Each of the speakers spoke about challenging convention but it was the first speaker of the day, Evan Grant who demonstrated just how far this idea can take you. A true innovator, he discussed how to drive profit through passion and how having a deep love of what you do can surpass even your own expectations. I guarantee after watching his Ted Talk on cymatics your mind will be blown wide open.

Technology gives us superpowers

I love a self-confessed geek and there was certainly no shortage of them on Bournemouth beach. Chris Thorpe embraces his geekiness more than most and discussed how ‘normal people’ want something comfortable and familiar when they try new technologies. Of course, in a room full of techies, this probably wasn’t what they wanted to hear; yet this is a point that particularly resonated with Carswell Gould web team leader Phil Bennett. He said: “A mainstream audience needs to be reassured by something well-known when faced with a new technology or a product they’re not sure of. One way to do this is through celebrity endorsement.”

The value of good content

Digital is designed to connect and Mark Adams, head of innovation at Vice, gave the brands that don’t understand their audiences both barrels. His explosive talk centred on the power of good content as he informed the crowd that people just do not trust institutions. He said that humanising the stories you tell, as a business, is essential and it’s those stories that impact on people the most. As a content marketer, this certainly got me thinking. In an age when social media has given each brand a voice, it’s increasingly important to be authentic about the identity you want to project.

The future is not now

What’s your favourite Russian joke? This is futurologist Tracy Follows’: “The future is certain. It is only the past that is unpredictable.” After all the techie talk, Tracy hit us with some realism and provided a forewarning to think about society, the economy and the environment as a whole when contemplating the future. After all, we are embarking on a whole new way of understanding life and communications and this is a challenge for brands to improve, augment and enhance our lives. Inspiring stuff.

So after an incredible day, meeting truly creative people from a wide-variety of disciplines, there was nothing left to do other than to ponder it all over with a pint. Jackson Willis, web developer at Carswell Gould commented: “Tying this back to our day to day work, when we work on projects we try and approach them differently every time. It’s an approach our clients value and it was fantastic to see that theme echoed during today’s talks.”

Did you also attend the event in Bournemouth? If so, we’d love to know what your standout moments of the two days were.

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