OUT AND ABOUT: PPA FESTIVAL, VR WORLD, BEAUTY UK

Like a hungry bear in the forests of California, as soon as the warm weather struck we were out in force looking for sustenance. Rather than leaping salmon though, our nourishment was in the form of knowledge.

We’ve taken in three completely different but equally compelling industry events in the last couple of weeks. Here’s a bite-sized round-up of what went down…

PPA FESTIVAL

Venue: Tobacco Dock, London

Why did we go?

We are associate members of the Professional Publishers Association (PPA), and have a long and rich history of working with publishers as their creative agency partners.

What was on the agenda?

There were so many enticing sessions across the six stages that it was often hard to pick. Our highlights included Tory and Lib Dem MPs debating the future of the creative industries, execs from Heat and Glamour discussing influencer marketing, and a fascinating insight into new subscription strategies.

What did we learn?

  • With 25-40% of the UK creative industry made up of EU nationals, any Brexit deal must not damage the diversity and economic strength of the sector
  • Whilst bloggers and other influencers are effective at promoting individual products, magazine content is proven to be better at long-term brand-building
  • Publishers like Time Inc. UK and the FT are adopting powerful new digital subscription processes that utilise data to drive growth and offset print decline

 

VR WORLD

Venue: Olympia, London

Why did we go?

Our dev team are always eager to explore new technologies, and this event promised to be the ultimate showcase of not only virtual reality but also augmented and mixed reality – technologies our clients are beginning to express an interest in.

What was on the agenda?

The team picked the sessions they were most interested in beforehand, with talks ranging from the latest advances in VR and AR technology through to live demos. Of course there were plenty of demonstrations around the venue for the team to immerse themselves in too.

What did we learn?

  • The general consensus from our team was that VR still has a long way to go before it gets anywhere near what can be defined as mainstream
  • The event was a powerful demonstration of what’s possible in virtual reality technology, but didn’t convince us how and where it can be applied to everyday life in a meaningful way
  • We did get excited about one piece of kit though. ZapBox, a crowdfunded venture by VR and AR specialists Zappar, aims to make VR and mixed reality affordable. One to watch…

 

BEAUTY UK

Venue: NEC, Birmingham

Why did we go?

With several beauty clients on our books now, we are becoming increasingly aware that the beauty sector is one of the most fast-paced and innovative industries out there. It’s always great to find out about new processes, technologies and trends – and where better to learn than one of the UK’s biggest shows?!

What was on the agenda?

Dozens of beauty businesses large and small were exhibiting at the NEC. The whole place was alive with colour, sweet scents and of course more than a touch of glamour. Many of the stands featured live demonstrations of new waxing techniques, nail art and even a rather enticing ‘ten-second tan’.

What did we learn?

  • We learnt that the beauty industry is as exciting and vibrant as ever (although we sort of knew that anyway)
  • We met some great up-and-coming brands such as ARK Skincare and Crystal Clear. Check out ARK’s amazing #ageintelligent campaign, urging women not to try and look younger but to be confident in looking great whatever age they are
  • We had no idea a ten-second tan was remotely possible. It is, people. It is.