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Vision 2012

18 November, 2012 - Source: Bray Leino

Matt Rowntree, Bray Leino's Group Account Director, B2B PR, shares his thoughts on the recent Vision 2012 conference.

A few of the Bray Leino team recently attended the Vision Bristol event for the city’s creatives.

Fraser Bradshaw, the CEO of organisers Bristol Media, opened the event with the statistic that Bristol generates more per capita than London in the creative industries. I have no idea if that’s true or where the statistic came from, but judging by the size of the crowds and the calibre of speakers on the day, it’s clear that there’s a thriving community.

But that wasn’t the only interesting thing to be discovered on the day.

Dan Germain of Innocent talked about ‘stuff’. The more ‘stuff’ you do, the more stories you have to tell. This is the basis of Innocent’s early success and was the theory behind filling the empty space on bottles with what’s in the bottle, the ‘bottom of the bottle’ jokes – I didn’t even know they were there, as well as the theory behind Fruitstock in Regents Park.

Russell Buckley of Ball Park Ventures scared the bejaysus out of me (and most other people in the audience judging by the looks on their faces), when, without actually mentioning iRobot, The Matrix or The Terminator, basically informed us that by 2050 the world would be run by machines. He also had a scary way of explaining exponential growth using an analogy of a drop of water and Wembley stadium – riveting but scary stuff.

He also shared some really interesting statistics.

Did you know that as much as 40% of Internet traffic is mobile. Is your website mobile-optimised?

97% of texts are opened within one minute.

20% of emails are opened on a mobile phone – can the recipient read them easily?

He also had us checking out the Death Clock to work out when we were all going to die!

Carla Buzasi, Editor-in-Chief of the Huffington Post UK, shared her thoughts on digital news and her opinions on Newsweek going digital-only (a good thing), and media outlets having pay walls (a bad thing).

Dave Coplin from Microsoft’s Bing talked about search and making it relevant – essentially optimising it for purpose. He shared a little-known fact (or at least I didn’t know it): that the Qwerty keyboard, developed almost 150 years ago, was specifically designed so that you couldn’t type so fast that you would get the keybars on a typewriter all tangled up. We’re still using the same keyboard layout today in computers that have no such problems. So, as Dave put it, we’re using a keyboard (that appears on mobiles, laptops, and many other day-to-day applications), that was designed to be sub-optimal. I couldn’t imagine trying to get my head around a new layout though.

Paul Boag of Headscape shouted at us about the stupid way that businesses design their websites and ask us to share information on social media. Amusingly he showed us a website that had asked a visitor if it wanted to share on Facebook and Twitter an insurance form they’d just completed. To be fair to Paul I think that would make me want to shout too.

Finally, at the end of Day One, David Oliver of Ecotricity, shared the pros and cons of working for a green energy company – it’s great having a personality like Dale Vince as the founder and CEO but the office cars aren’t so great yet apparently (a variety of below par electric cars that leave their owners stranded without juice).

All in all, a great day. Loads of food for thought and great to see how engaged, passionate and serious the attendees and speakers were about putting Bristol at the forefront of the creative industry.

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