BBC Digital Cities will be in Birmingham for a series of inspiring one-off events and workshops across the UK’s second city next month.
The exciting week-long event will bring together the creative industries in the city, promote cross-sector collaboration, as well as forge exciting new partnerships for digital innovation in Brum.
Digital Digbeth Day will take place at Fazeley Studios on Thursday 15 June as a part of Digital Cities. The event in Birmingham’s Creative Quarter will feature some of the UK’s leading names from the tech and creative sectors, including the likes of Google, BBC Three and The Space.
There will be numerous fantastic events in Birmingham during the week - but here are my top 6 reasons why this year’s event in Digbeth will be unmissable:
1. Google – Tell your story online
The Digital Garage is a multi-million-pound program from Google that provides digital skills training to SMEs. This fantastic module reveals how to establish a business online and will give top tips on how to go about telling your story online.
Gori Yahaya, Head of Training and Development at Google's Digital Garage and director at UpSkill Digital, said: “Google's products and free digital training are a growth engine for people and businesses up and down the country. So if you live in or work around Birmingham and you want to boost your career, or turbocharge your business, please join us at our Digital Garage and talk to our experts. We can help you connect to new customers, help boost your productivity or improve your employability no matter what field you work in.”
2. BBC Three – Developing innovative content
Ian Ravenscroft will be discussing several topics, including BBC Three’s successful switch from TV to an online-only channel and his expert insights on future challenges for developing innovative content. BBC Three’s Talent Team will be on hand throughout the day to talk about the channel’s move to Birmingham later this year.
Ian, a Storyliner (Digital Content Innovation) at the channel, said: “BBC Three has learned a lot since moving online and we are always aiming to push the bar higher when it comes to creating relevant, inspiring, and entertaining content for young people. I'm hoping to share some of our successes, learnings, and where we're headed.”
3. Birmingham Museums – Engaging new audiences through live streaming
Arts Educator and Learning Officer, Jon Sleigh, will take us on a tour of the gallery’s latest digital art exhibition, while using live streaming. We’ll discover how artists have been inspired by technology and take part in a live Q&A to find out how Birmingham Museums are using the live streaming of cultural events to engage new audiences online.
Jon Sleigh, Arts Council Collection Learning Officer at Birmingham Museums Trust, said: "Online digital tours are a great way to make museums more accessible. Our tours at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery ensure more people can enjoy our Arts Council Collection exhibitions, whether they are at work, home or on the move via their mobile phone. I'll be sharing exclusive insight into our new exhibition I Want! I Want! Art & Technology and talking through some tips about how to engage new museum audiences using Periscope."
The Guinness World Record holders for the tallest 3D printed human (for their impressive larger than life portrait of Gadget Show presenter Jon Bentley, see below) will give attendees the opportunity to experience 3D printing.
Backface’s 3D printing guru Tim Milward said: "We're very excited to have been invited to Digital Digbeth Day, it's a brilliant opportunity to for us and other creative businesses in the area to showcase the exciting developments currently happening in Birmingham. Our 3D scanning rig which consists of 96 DSLR cameras is used to produce accurate 3D scans of people which can be used in film, animation and games development and our full colour 3D printer is great for producing cosmetic prototypes, props and miniature figures.
— backface (@backfacestudios) 7 May 2016
5. The Space – How to reach new and unexpected audiences using digital content and platforms
Founded by the BBC and Arts Council England, The Space is an innovative digital commissioning and development organisation, who are based at Fazeley Studios, will lead an exciting panel event!
The discussion will feature The Space’s Fiona Morris (Creative Director and CEO) and Owen Hopkin (Head of Audience Development and Distribution) who will offer invaluable insights on how the arts can discover and grow new audiences online.
Claire Hutchinson, Head of Brand and Partnerships at The Space, said: “At The Space, we don’t see arts audiences as a certain group of people who consume arts content, but rather lots of different people who are interested in different experiences. By working with arts organisations to use behavioural and interest-based targeting, we’re managing to engage new audiences in significant numbers, from football fans to space enthusiasts.
“So come along if you want an entertaining session on how to grow your online reach dramatically.”
6. Yamination Studios
Animation experts Yamination – who made the brilliant Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2 advert currently running on TV for Disney’s official toys (see below) – will be demonstrating the joys of stop-motion and showcasing their recent works.
Multi award-winning stop-motion animator/director/producer Drew Roper said: “Yamination Studios finds itself in a blossoming age of the industry, with the introduction of digital. We’re thrilled to present a teasing insight, showcasing works we’ve produced within this age that demonstrates just how much of an impact ‘digital’ induces the quality of animation that’s now achievable.”
Digi Cities Info
BBC Academy also coordinaters Digital Cities in Manchester, Bristol and Glasgow - encouraging innovation and collaboration across cities in the UK - so I encourage all creatives across the country to seek out your nearest event.
Tickets for Digital Digbeth Day are available via Eventbite.
We look forward to seeing you there! #DigiCities #DigitalDigbeth