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Our Round-Up Of Silicon Beach UK 2015 Day 2

  • Written By Marcus
  • Posted September 28, 2015
  • 5 minutes Read Time


I arrived bright and early for day two of Silicon Beach and after an interesting and enjoyable first day, I was keen for things to get underway. So here is my whistle-stop summary and thoughts on day two…

Lawrence Weber (Karmarama)

Day two kicked off with a talk from Lawrence on how we can continue to be creative in a tech landscape moving towards more recessive and engulfing interfaces – particularly useful for creating, adapting and updating an eCommerce website. Lawrence’s talk came to three main conclusions for agencies; learn new skills, learn to bring others in and learn to apply pressure elsewhere but the big takeaway for me was that our secret weapon as tech evolves and interfaces change is human insight and creativity. Lawrence summed up his conclusions in these actions; be adaptable, humble, insightful and brave!

Martin Johnson (North Kingdom)

Our first of two Scandinavian speakers, Martin talked to us about the importance of designing products and communications based on the audience’s habits and chosen environment rather than a platform or channel. Martin told us that user experience matters so much because consumers are now exposed to so much and this is why the North Kingdom focuses on the gaps along the user journey that meet user needs and overcome pain points. We saw fantastic examples of this from clients including Lucasfilm and Disney Interactive, the Ice Hotel and Google Chrome and Lego.

Nicklas Bergman

Second Scandinavian speaker, Nicklas, came to Silicon Beach to help us survive the tech storm and started by showing how we have changed our behaviour through the ages based on the emerging technology of the time and how brands that don’t keep up disappear. Nicklas explained how crucial timing is when new technologies emerge and with a series of great videos left us all considering the possibilities of new technologies and how and when we embrace them.

Rina Atienza

The next talk came from Rina Atienza with a fantastic quote: “Don’t work for applause, live for a cause”. Rina talked us through her career/life so far in the style of The Settlers of Catan board game, telling us about her background as a historian and her future plans to move to the Philippines and add to her board. The message I took from Rina’s interesting talk was that it’s always been people that matter, not career credentials or tech tools!

Alastair Duncan (Alternative Genius)

Alastair from Alternative Genius gave a very witty and interesting talk about the digital marketing landscape and how stayed it has become in recent years. His four key tips for us (while rubbishing typical buzzwords) were to be; provocative, memorable, different and most importantly, better! Although this sounds obvious it was put across in a great way with the thought that “being different is easy, the hard part is being better”. Alastair’s vast experience and knowledge shone through in a charismatic and impactful talk.

Anjali Ramachandran (PHD)

Next was a talk from Anjali on the rules of campaign personalisation that I was really looking forward to and I wasn’t disappointed. Anjali started by talking about personalisation and how popular it is with brands giving some great examples of ‘Coca-Cola’ and ‘Starbucks’ before giving us the rules. A direct, confident approach is powerful, be useful, context matters, under 35’s are comfortable with personalisation already, always have a human touch, set clear boundaries and most importantly, “take time out before send out” meaning we should all double check campaigns thoroughly to avoid errors.

Jeremy Ettinghausen (BBH)

Jeremy kicked off his talk by explaining his title of Innovation Director and said that despite a high failure rate, Wiley Coyote would’ve made an excellent one! Jeremy then gave us the 9 no’s of innovation. One and two were no holograms or holographic duets with dead people followed by No-stalgia, No crystal balls, Nobody knows nothing, No-velty and No cynicism. In a very interesting and funny talk, Jeremy left us to consider that being innovative isn’t always what we might think it is.

Amy Kean (Havas Media)

Our next futurist took to the stage to talk about what the future could hold for our industry and to explore what we felt about some possible futures. Amy talked us through the importance of digital languages (GIFS, Snaps, Emojis, etc) and how they have evolved and will continue to evolve. She also extolled the foresight of the porn industry for their early adoption of most tech and interface advancements. The most interesting concept of the talk from Amy was the idea of ‘Dreamvertising’ and how the delegates felt about a brand’s message being implanted into our dreams…

Fern Miller (DigitasLBi)

The next talk came from Fern Miller and shared with us the results of a social media study DigitasLBi had recently undertaken. There were thought-provoking and at times quite dark insights included in the talk as well as a touch of humour. The results were interesting if not unexpected and Fern drew our attention to things sometimes overlooked like the language used for interaction with social media (like, follow, dislike, etc). The clear message was that we need to help educate our young people on the importance or un-importance of social media. “Our generation created it but theirs has to grow up in it”.

James Caig (True Digital)

The last talk of the day or as James put it himself, the headline act! It was certainly a great end to the conference with an interesting and amusing talk that started with James’ move from London to Bristol and the similarities with a brand ‘moving’ to keep up with technology. James’ main message was that as digital technologies become more important to a business’ success, the timeless skills like insight, creativity and strategy come more and more to the fore to make every user experience brilliant.

Matt brought the event to a close after thanking his guest speakers, the brilliant catering team, his volunteers and the delegates. I think it’s safe to say that Matt nailed this event, both days were engaging, interesting and useful not to mention good fun! I loved that there was no running order so you were far more inclined to stay seated for the whole event and enjoy every bit of it and I thought the location was fantastic too!

Looking forward to Silicon Beach 2016 already!