Digital Gaggle – a free one-day event is returning for its fourth year to ruffle the feathers of tired training days, corporate conferences and boring business events. Digital marketers in the South West are invited to come along to Bristol’s Colston Hall to enjoy a line up of inspirational speakers, workshops, and an opportunity to network over a pint afterwards.

The October event, hosted by digital marketing agency Noisy Little Monkey, aims to bring together the digital marketing community and do it in their own creative style. TechSPARK caught up with Claire Dibben, marketing manager and events organiser at Noisy Little Monkey to talk turkey. She tells us, “Marketers are a cool, intelligent bunch so why not share our skills with each other and help everyone become just a bit more awesome? Every day’s a school day, guys.”

TechSPARK: What’s the aim of the event?

claire-dibben marketing managerClaire Dibben: The Digital Gaggle conference aims to educate, inspire and skill-up marketers who want to become that little bit better in their job. We love meeting new people and we love listening to brilliant speakers share exciting updates in the marketing sector, hence Digital Gaggle was born. We don’t charge anything for people to attend the morning conference; we make it this way because we think it’s important for people in this industry to continue learning and continue getting better at what they do.

TS: How did Digital Gaggle come to be?

CD: Digital Gaggle was born from the brain of Jon Payne, founder and technical director of Noisy Little Monkey. He got tired of the incredible amount of bull***t some agencies spout in order to keep their clients; often over promising and under delivering on what they can achieve.

“Jon set up Digital Gaggle events to educate marketers and help people network with other brilliant marketing minds in the South West”

 

sarah-m_digital gaggle speakerDead set on ensuring the wool wasn’t being pulled over anyone’s eyes, Jon set up Digital Gaggle events to educate marketers and help people network with other brilliant marketing minds in the South West. This is the fourth Digital Gaggle conference and we’re approaching our 1st birthday of the monthly meet-ups – it’s an exciting time.

TS: Is Bristol a good place to host this event?

CD: Absolutely! Bristol is THE digital hub outside of London and we want the Digital Gaggle conference to play a part in cementing this city’s position at the forefront of the digital marketing industry. Even better is that there are some really awesomely talented people living right here in the South West who deserve to share their knowledge at these events and be celebrated in their hometown. Why should London always get to steal the limelight?

“We’ve got a world renowned group of UX practitioners in the South West who are excited about sharing their knowledge”

 

TS: Why are you focusing on UX?

CD: Why not? It’s such a crucial aspect to the customer journey and marketers need to ensure that every step of the way is excellent (or at least useable) for people of various cultures and abilities. In today’s digital world, everyone’s online and a good UX is essential to converting prospects into profit via your website. What’s more, we’ve got a world-renowned group of UX practitioners in the South West who are excited about sharing their knowledge and practical tips with the 200+ attendees of Digital Gaggle.

group-speakers digital gaggle 3

A gaggle of speakers: March 2016 – Dixon Jones, Daniel Payne, Sarah Mead, Andy Headington, Josh Baldwin

TS: What can people expect from attending the afternoon training sessions?

CD: This is the first time we’re running training sessions following the conference. The aim is to equip attendees with even more tools to add to their marketing bag of tricks. Each session lasts one hour and there are only 14 spaces available for each. We wanted to keep the groups small and make the training really personal for the attendees; it’s not simply cramming 50 people into a room and spieling off stuff that they’ve probably heard 100 times before. Attendees will leave armed with actionable tips and advice that they can put into practice at work that very same day.

“In this day and age, marketers need to become increasingly tech savvy”

 

The first session will be led by Tim Fairchild, managing director of Bison Grid, and Noisy Little Monkey’s very own local and mobile search specialist, Josh Baldwin. The exceptionally self-explanatory title of the training is: “The Three Tech Pillars for Non-Techies: Essential Fixes to Improve Ranking, Bounce Rates and Conversions on your Site”. In this day and age, marketers need to become increasingly tech savvy. This training session will translate the tech speak into something more digestible for the common marketer – you’ll leave knowing the tweaks you need to make to your website in order to trickle customers smoothly through that sales funnel.

“Expect really excellent advice and information delivered in a whacky (but very endearing) style”

 

Buffet_AttendeesJon Payne will be taking the reins on the second training session of the afternoon. His talk-come-workshop “Become the Buyer: A masterclass in Building Buyer Personas” aims to give a step-by-step breakdown on how and why you should create buyer profiles for your business. Clue: they’re pretty much the foundation to any business’ marketing strategy. Those familiar with Jon’s teaching style will know to expect really excellent advice and information delivered in a whacky (but very endearing) style with a mild dose of inappropriate humour.

TS: Which part of the event are you most looking forward to and why?

CD: All of it – cheesy answer, I know, but this is the first Digital Gaggle conference I’m organising since joining Noisy Little Monkey so I can’t wait to see it all pull together. We’ve got some really incredible speakers lined up including James Caig from True Digital, Léonie Watson of the Paciello Group and Pat Wood, Co-Founder of TruffleShuffle.co.uk.

I love the fact that thanks to some great sponsors including e-commerce development specialist Bison Grid and marketing communications agency t&s creative communications, it’s a free event. I like a full fat breakfast too, so I’m thrilled that web design company Somerset Design is providing every delegate with a free bacon buttie before it all kicks off. I’ll be making sure I’m at the front of that queue.

TS: How can people get involved?

CD: Tickets to the free Digital Gaggle conference can be snapped up via our website, just Google for Digital Gaggle. Be warned: there are only 230 available and they sold out in one-week last year. You can also purchase your tickets to the training via our website.

If people don’t quite get their tickets on time then they can add their name to our waitlist. In the meantime, we also run monthly meet-ups at the Famous Royal Navy Volunteer in King Street. They’re held on the third Thursday of each month, we host a speaker and provide a drink and some nibbles for the price of the ticket. You’ll meet some really cool, fun people and learn some new stuff along the way.

Digital Gaggle will be held on Wednesday 5 October, 8:30am – 13:30pm at Colston Hall, BS1 5AR. You can register for a free ticket on their website, keep up with Digital Gaggle by following them on Twitter, and check out their monthly meetup on their group page.