What I Learned at This Way Up

CRYSTLSD Intern Nimra reflects on her time at This Way Up 2018…

Listening to all the different talks during the first session was very insightful and engaging. It was interesting to learn about people’s experiences from different areas in the industry, more about their role and work. For example, Mia Bays from Birds’ Eye View talked about Reclaim the Frame, a campaign to give women filmmakers more opportunities. This year they’ve worked with 5 cinemas across the UK, putting on special events that include a film screening and a craft event. During the talk, Mia revealed that they have funding for a second year and will be extending Reclaim the Frame to other cities and cinemas in the UK.

Photo Credit:    Unsplash

Photo Credit: Unsplash

I particularly enjoyed the marketing aspects of the conference. Ian Wharton of AKQA, (a company I hadn’t heard of before, but I immediately became intrigued by) offered up his expertise in working with some of the biggest brands in the world. He talked about the significance of marketing, using relevant and topical examples to illustrate his points. Even though Ian works with global brands, he made the point that all organisations need to be ‘understood, enjoyed, remembered’. Three simple, yet powerful words. They explain exactly what qualities marketing campaigns and strategies should have to be successful. He went into more detail throughout the talk on how exactly one might go about doing this, which give me new insight into the industry. 

I really enjoyed his talk and wanted to hear more, therefore I decided to attend the workshop he was doing along with Laura Rothwell (CRYSTLSD Managing Director) in the next section of the conference. They began the workshop by taking questions from the audience. I thought this was an interesting way to begin the workshop, because usually questions are taken at the end of such presentations, but by taking these questions first it gave Ian and Laura an idea of what kind of roles some people had and the struggles they were facing and wanting help with. This then allowed them to give a more focused talk on ideas that suited their audience.

After this, we worked on a marketing and branding task, in which we had to consider a range of questions which made you think more objectively about your brand and business, allowing you to discover exactly what it is you want your brand/business to represent.

An example of one of the questions was ‘what person/place/thing best embodies your brand? Why?’ I thought this was a clever way of approaching marketing and really encouraged people to think more in depth about their business. By doing this kind of discovery work you are able to think from a different perspective and do close analysis on what exactly your business represents (or what you want it to represent). I thought it was an imaginative and creative process, something I appreciated and related to, as it is something I do as a literature student. It was useful and enlightening for me to hear what marketing professionals had come up with, some even surprised themselves, which shows that by thinking in a different way and viewing things from a different perspective you can come up with something completely new and creative, that you might not have thought of otherwise.

Photo Credit:    Unsplash

Photo Credit: Unsplash

Before I knew it, the day was over and it was time for me to head back to Newcastle, it was my first time at such an event and I found it extraordinarily helpful for my thinking and as part of my placement at CRYSTLSD.