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Digital Digbeth

Alicia our apprentice went to Digital Digbeth: a day of industry talks, demonstrations and networking opportunities for the arts, digital and creative businesses of Birmingham. Here, she gives an insight into what she took away from the event…


Recently I visited Fazeley Studios in Digbeth for the Digi Cities, Digital Digbeth programme. Katie, Suzie and I spent the morning listening and taking part in the talks and engaging with the latest digital innovations. Set up in one of the studios was a demo room to test out some exciting new digital and tech trends, with demos from BBS blue room, Backface, Holosphere VR, STEAMHouse, The Space and the BBC Three Talent Team.

For the first hour, I took notes from a BBC Three speaker, who helped to deepen my understanding of how to develop innovative content.

It became apparent just how much effort goes into producing content for BBC Three’s digital platforms. To succeed in such a competitive industry, employees now need to have a much broader set of skills – something that we are noticing at Barques. Gone are the days when a social media executive doesn’t get involved in photography, or when a copywriter doesn’t have to be able to upload his or her own content. Now, more than ever, employees need to have a multi-faceted skill set.

The talk went on to discuss the importance of reach and engagement over views on social media, as well as the importance of tailoring your content for your specific audience. BBC Three achieves such high reach and engagement figures because they connect with their audience by telling a story that is often relatable, always relevant and above all, interesting.

During the break, I went to have a look in the demo room to see what they had to offer and have a bit of fun with the latest gadgets. Holosphere Virtual Reality crafts exceptional content for interactive and immersive technologies. Suzie and I took part in one of its virtual reality demos, one of them being ‘Anglo-Saxon Gold Smelt’. It was a one of a kind experience, and transported us into a different world – it was very realistic!

After the break, we attended a Google Digital Garage that was all about telling stories online. The talk was full of useful information about what you can do to improve your business online. I learned that 42 million people in the UK use social media; so having a presence on social media is vital. A quick way to improve your social media stats is by having a quick response time, this will enable you to have control of your brands image. Without control of your brands image, it gives your audience the opportunity to have power over how your company is portrayed in a way that could be negative. He went onto talk about digital presence, and not to neglect YouTube – did you know that YouTube has more unique visitors than Facebook? It’s also bigger than any other search engine if you discount Google, of course.

After the morning talks, a lovely lunch was provided. It was definitely an enjoyable morning and I learned so much that I can use to help further develop the Barques social media presence!