Bruntwood was proud to be principal supporter of Liverpool’s Binary Festival for the first time this year. The festival was a great opportunity for us to engage with the digital community, make connections and share ideas.Held in Liverpool’s Baltic Triangle, a thriving and creative digital quarter close to the city centre, the festival championed the existing digital, creative and tech community in Liverpool.
“Without a doubt, the Liverpool Binary Festival exceeded all expectations this year,” said Jan Carlyle, Festival Producer at Binary Festival. “We were blessed with a brand new venue at Hinterlands that turned out to be the perfect stage for an event seeking to gather and champion Liverpool’s digital and creative sector. Our keynote speakers really connected with our audience and provided the perfect start to Binary.”
Hosted by Herb Kim, the keynotes featured speakers from various companies and tech backgrounds, offering their advice through stories and life lessons they had experienced in their careers.
The morning was kicked off by Amanda Follit, Managing Director of TH_NK LIVE, who shared her inspirational story. When she found herself homeless in the early 90’s, Amanda lived out of her car on the seafront - with no fuel. She found her first job selling televisions, thanks to her knowledge of programming a video and simply being able to use the equipment, at a time when computers were becoming increasingly more popular.
Fast forward a few years and Amanda was offered the opportunity to work for a new start up: Money Supermarket. It was there that she helped shape ‘product aggregation’, now more commonly known as comparison engines. Taking the project to market in just six months, the company grew from 40 to 200 people rapidly and set the standard for comparison engines.
Amanda now heads up the digital agency, TH_NK Live after leaving her role as head of digital operations services at Amaze. With a focus on develop clients’ digital capability and independence, TH_INK Live will handhold customers to help them upskill in-house.
Next up was Dr Sarah Wiseman, who gave an interesting take on the way we use emojis to communicate personal messages to each other. This looked at the evolution of emojis, and how we should expect to see the popularity increases in coming years. Through comic examples, including some embarrassing tales, Sarah was able to explain how many of us have been able to create our own secret languages through alternative meanings for emojis.
Whether it’s a pizza to tell someone you love them, or a bathtub to actually mean a coffin, people are able to communicate with each other in ways many wouldn’t understand - even if the emoji is known to them. Through this she was able to explain how even the smallest visual change to an emoji could impact these alternative meanings, and ‘secret languages’.
From linguistics to achieving your dreams; Sarah was followed by Andy Kent, CEO of software company Angel Solutions. Describing his company as an “18 year overnight success”, Andy spoke about the importance of patience when working towards achieving your goals. He also challenged the audience to tap into their more creative side. By taping a £1 coin to the bottom of everyone’s chair, he asked them to make something little into something big and see how far they could take that single coin.
Sticking with the creative theme, the audience was joined by the next speaker, Inventor Dominic Wilcox. Blurring the lines between art, design, craft and technology, Dominic creates innovative and thought-provoking objects. Dominic used his keynote speech to talk about his latest project, ‘Little Inventors’ which takes children's ideas and makes them a reality. The team inspire and support children to use their imaginations to think up ingenious, funny and even practical invention ideas then work alongside experts and professionals to turn these into real objects.
From family scooters to ‘war avoider’ houses, the Little Inventors project has been seen worldwide, with children from across the globe taking part.
The morning’s keynotes were closed by musician, science communicator and presenter, Emer Maguire. Combining her love of science with music and comedy, Emer entertained the audience and explained to them the science behind music. This was all put into action at the end of the speech as she performed a song she had written called ‘Insta Bae’. Referencing people’s social media stalking habits, Emer’s performance showed how easy it was to write a catchy song when you know the science behind creating the music. And a catchy song it was.
The rest of the day was split into ‘gatherings’, each session aiming to enhance and entice attendees about new ways to use technology for their own business or personal goals. There is already a real sense of Binary building on this integrated community of creators, leaders, agencies and companies, with collaboration at their core.The success of this year’s Binary Festival is a positive move forward for the creative sector in the North, which will hopefully grow from strength to strength.
“Without the support of Binary Festival’s foundational sponsors, Bruntwood, Baltic Creative & Liverpool City Council, there is no way this would have happened and come off with such style. We look forward to working with them on the next edition of the Liverpool Binary Festival,” said Herb Kim, Binary Festival Founder and Director.
Events like Binary help to highlight the digital community in the North, bringing together businesses of all sizes. It’s this sharing and collaboration that allows companies to make huge strides towards success in the future, with the overall goal of making the North a powerhouse for digital businesses.