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Digital 2016 - What we learnt

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This week the WATERS team had the pleasure of attending Digital 2016 across Monday 6th – Tuesday 7th June.

A knock-out event with over 2,000 delegates across a range of industry sectors, the days were filled with opportunities for business networking, informative and engaging talks and inspiring keynote lectures at the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport.

Armed with our delegate badges, copious amounts of coffee and our notebooks we were ready to flex our imagination and learn new things that we could apply to our creative and technical work on a daily basis. We weren’t disappointed.

Rhian East, Director WATERS, has this to say about Digital 2016:
“From the moment the tickets were released, the whole team were excited by the prospect of going to Digital 2016. It can be challenging when staff numbers are low in the office, but we decided to give each team member the opportunity to go along to experience and learn something new. The team took part in workshops and listened to discussions, which they enjoyed and felt they took learnings from. A great couple of days, and I know the business will benefit greatly from the experiences and learnings from each member of the team as a result of Digital 2016.”

With so much to take on-board and a completely impossible job to write everything we took away in a single article, we thought it would be useful to instead share our team’s viewpoint from the conference.

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Jemma:
I think my key learning for the event is to Be Open.
‘Make things open...it makes them better’
Liam Maxwell, National Tech Advisor – Cabinet Office and Department for Culture, Media and Sport
In other words, don’t try to do everything yourself, every field has an inexhaustible pool of talent that you can use to your advantage. An example of this is why did Facebook succeed over MySpace? The answer is that MySpace tried to do everything – at once – and by themselves. Whereas Facebook opened up to ideas from others who could add value to their platform with minimum cost and internal change, therefore leading to a far more cost effective and successful outcome.

Rachel:
Stephen Kelly, Group CEO, Sage talked about being successful in the digital field is all about ‘leap frogging’ and not about keeping up. “If you are only keeping up, you are already too far behind.”

Emma:
For me there has to be two key learnings from the day I attended:
Listen and change
You must listen to your client or audience – they are always telling you what they want and as a business it is up to you to take this on-board and then adapt your service or business to ensure you continue to meet their needs. Whether this is developing new services or responding to them in different ways or by different channels. Never has digital been so relevant and prevalent and it is only going to continue to impact on our lives both as consumers or businesses.

Phil Doye, Director, Kellway talked about organisations having to ‘change’ to make themselves relevant to the audience of today.
Sir Terry Matthews discussed “you must have big ears and listen… If ever there has been a time to be involved in Digital – NOW IS THE TIME!”

Sophie Yates:
Highlight of Day 1 for me was the keynote speech by Phil Smith from Cisco – “Digital Thinking”.
Phil talked about how exciting times now mean there will be an exciting future. Not only that, things are happening NOW that we can take part in to change the world.

These are our WATERS takeaways from Digital 2016, naturally due to the vastness of the event they are only a small reflection of what has been learnt from the two day conference. 

We’re already looking forward to Digital 2017 and the opportunities that will arise for our business from now until then. It was invaluable to be part of a conference that is growing in popularity with delegates travelling to attend from all over the UK, not just from within Wales. Events like these certainly help put Wales on the map, and quite rightly so.

Until next time!