Buy Yorkshire 2016 was a whirlwind of business cards, branded freebies (thanks for the cake pops, plant pot and mints!) and truly inspirational seminars. Leading figures from a variety of sectors, including marketing, finance and humanitarian, congregated in Leeds for the two day conference. Though we could easily write a 10,000 word dissertation about the event, we’ll take a leaf out of Jeremy Sinclair’s (presumably minimalistic yet stylish) book and keep it simple. Check out our 3 highlights/lessons learnt from each session below…
Sir Terry Waite, CBE, Humanitarian & Author
Seminar Title: The Power of One: Lessons for Life and for Business.
Buy Yorkshire profile: Whilst negotiating the release of Western hostages as the Archbishop of Canterbury’s special envoy, Terry Waite was seized and taken hostage himself. Held in captivity in Beirut for 1760 days, four years of which were in solitary confinement, his spirit and faith were tested to the limit. The experience also gave him lessons in survival that would change his life forever.
Keep your mind active. Imagine yourself chained to a wall for 23 hours a day, blindfolded and in complete solitude. How would you cope? Could you cope? Astonishingly, Terry was able to distract himself from his bleak reality by mentally ‘writing’ several novels during his captivity.
Empathise. Terry’s ordeal was extremely harrowing, and it took him 12 months to adjust following his release. However, he’s grateful for the skills he developed in captivity; while he was previously able to sympathise, he can now empathise with and advise people who have undergone similar situations and hardships.
Don’t lose hope. Paraphrased: “By torturing me, my captors broke my body. By interrogating me, they broke my mind. But they never broke my spirit – if you keep hope alive, even if it’s a glimpse of hope, then you can endure.”
Adele Cooper, UK & Ireland Country Manager for Pinterest
Seminar Title: How to Grow Your Business with Pinterest
Buy Yorkshire profile: Adele is responsible for growing Pinterest in the UK and Ireland by building relationships with brands, as well as ensuring that the platform offers the best possible localised experience for users.
It’s all about the customer. Pinterest is ubiquitous in the wedding and events sectors, but its influence over consumers is vastly growing – 93% of people with Pinterest accounts use the site to make everyday purchases, and 57% of active users browse the site whilst grocery shopping.
Advertise subtly. According to Adele, the most popular ‘pins’ are instructional and/or ‘How To’ lists. Tasteful branding is also key; Pinterest users are turned off by corporate images and large company logos. Adele advised using your brand’s colour scheme (Burberry and Ikea were cited as good examples). Vertical pins take up less ‘real estate’ on mobile devices, and allow you to fit in more images. And don’t use hashtags – they’re useful for Twitter and Facebook, but unnecessary for Pinterest searches.
Preparation is Key. The majority of Pinterest users search for Christmas-themed content 4 months before the 25th December! We’ve spotted some fantastic festive content – including a ‘fetching’ reindeer hairpiece…
Jeremy Sinclair, Chairman at M&C Saatchi plc
Seminar Title: Brutal Simplicity of Thought
Buy Yorkshire profile: M&C Saatchi ranks among the top ten advertising agencies and has offices in 20 + cities around the globe. Jeremy’s creative work has won various industry awards, including two Gold Lions at the Cannes Advertising Film Festival (for Schweppes Tonic Water and the launch of the UK version of Cosmopolitan magazine).
Keep it simple. The best adverts are usually the simplest. When delivering key messages, cut the waffle and streamline your content.
Don’t be condescending. “Don’t talk down to millennials in advertisements. They’re people too, and just as ambitious as previous generations.”
Challenge yourself. Jeremy admitted that public speaking was never his forte, and he used to dread large audiences. Instead of avoiding speeches for the rest of his career, he set himself a challenge: accept any opportunity to present. After greatly enjoying his seminar at Buy Yorkshire, we reckon he definitely made the right decision!
Helen Bullough, Head of CBBC Productions
Seminar Title: Inspiring and Entertaining the Next Generation – Our Big Digital Plan for Children
Buy Yorkshire profile: Helen leads a large and multi-platform in-house production team and creates 360 degree content for children aged 6-12. She has worked on award-winning brands, such as Newsround, Blue Peter, and The Dumping Ground.
Don’t be scared of the competition. Instead of viewing video-sharing websites (particularly YouTube) as an intimidating rival, CBBC uses them to keep informed about children’s viewing habits. For instance, The Dengineers was inspired by the popular Minecraft tutorials. As a side note, The Dengineers looks like an amazing programme, and we’d love a JCI tree house…
Create immersive content. Wolfblood is a supernatural children’s series about teenagers with lupine traits. It’s also a multi-platform storytelling experience; the TV show is supplemented by a game, competitions and a motion comic – all of these build upon the overarching plot, and help strengthen the brand.
Kids will be kids. According to CBBC’s surveys, 4 out of 5 children aged 5-16 read in their spare time. Whether it’s a 3 minute YouTube clip or a 500-page novel, it seems that kids just love engaging stories.
Dan Walker, Concept Artist
Seminar Title: Imagining the (Un)real: Conceptual Design for Film and Television
Buy Yorkshire profile: Dan has provided concept designs and visuals for films such as Marvel’s Captain America and Guardians of the Galaxy, and Christopher Nolan’s genre defining Batman films. He was also part of the team that rebooted BBC’s Doctor Who for a new generation.
Test yourself. “Some jobs really test you, but I thank them for it.” As a Concept Artist, Dan has encountered some interesting challenges. Whilst drafting Matt Damon’s spacesuit for The Martian, Dan discovered that the actor was too muscular for the initial helmet design! Dan worked with his talented team to creatively resolve the problem, and the end design looked fantastic on the big screen.
Take pride in your work. As he explained the intricate design processes and backstage anecdotes, it was clear that Dan was passionate about his role, and extremely proud of his work. And so he should be – he helped design the Batmobile (Batman Begins), The Eleventh Doctor’s tardis (Doctor Who) and vehicles for The Expendables 2. Unfortunately, we can’t publish his artwork due to copyright law, but trust us – he’s very talented!
You can take the artist out of Yorkshire… After a long stint in London, Dan decided to relocate back to Wakefield. He feels a sense of pride whenever one of his props appears on screen – knowing that it was created in Yorkshire.
We networked, we were inspired…and we’re really looking forward to Buy Yorkshire 2017.
Categorised in: Charity
This post was written by Hannah Woodcock