Leeds Digital Festival round up

Leeds Digital Festival returned at the end of April and we think it’s safe to say it was a major success!

Numiko was lucky enough to be part of the plotting, planning and scheduling from the very beginning. The festival hasn’t run since 2012 and this year Leeds' own Stuart Clarke put his entrepreneurial skills into action and reformed the band to make sure we celebrated Leeds as a hub for digital talent.

In December 2015 we blogged about our excitement at the first meet up and the momentum didn’t stop there. By the end of the festival there had been 56 events at 26 venues with no less than 173 speakers! That’s a lot of digital talk!

One of the best things about this festival has been the opportunity to understand other people’s perspectives. There’s been a real sense of community and the events have openly encouraged people to get involved regardless of sector and role.  We hope people found our events just as thought provoking as we did.

Are you Plugged In? was a panellist discussion with digital news leaders from BuzzFeed, Sky News, BBC News, Yorkshire Evening Post and Leeds Beckett University.

We heard how the channels and speed at which we access the news have changed over time. Gone are the days when world events would happen, but it wasn’t reported till the next day. Social media and mobile have made news available within seconds of the event. This doesn’t necessarily change what people are interested in, but it does change the way we digest it. The modern audience now has requirements such as video content being fit for mobile, tablet and TV.

As Anna Doble from BBC News pointed out, people still read more in-depth articles on Sunday mornings, but now it’s using a tablet and not from a paper. Social media will never replace the news industry but institutions such as the BBC and Sky will need to continue to adapt to meet needs of their consumers. There will always be a need for good journalism.

As an agency, this attitude is key to the way we approach any project. We are constantly asking how we can deliver what the user needs in the best possible way.

Pi, Chips and Beats followed straight after, so it was time to kick back and relax. I think it is safe to say Dave Eccles and the team thoroughly enjoyed themselves! It also turns out we have some secret 'techno genius' in the Numiko team (I'm talking about you Marie Kitney). The evening started with demonstrations of basic synth using paper and a soldering iron, how to set up a Raspberry Pi and Arduino ending with some sounds we could dance the night away to.

Now the festival is over and having seen some of the great events happening throughout the week, we have developed enough ideas to keep us going till next year! A massive congrats goes to everyone involved in the event from attendees to organisers.