Welcoming our industry peers
Last Wednesday digital marketing professionals, freelancers, and entrepreneurs gathered around two long tables in the North Laine Brewhouse for the first Brighton Digital Women meetup of 2016.
Although we had a few informal meetups last year, this was really the launch event for us as it was the first meetup since we launched our brand new website.
Sharing our purpose
We thought a lot about how we positioned the community when we created the new site and, over many a coffee, pored over how we worded our content to best convey our purpose.
Perhaps unsurprisingly for a group founded by a copywriting company owner, an in-house digital marketing expert, and an inbound marketing manager, we recognise how important it is for our aims to resonate with our audience in all areas of digital.
First up, Alice, Rachel, and I gave our digital peers insight into the driving force behind the group. We shared our desire to inspire more women to launch and develop successful careers in digital and ultimately help close the gender gap in digital leadership roles.
An inclusive approach
We also emphasised that this is not just a female cause, explaining that we recognise it as something that will benefit both genders. We all need to get behind closing the gender gap in digital to effect meaningful change.
For us, an inclusive approach is crucial. It is important that every one of our digital peers—regardless of their gender—sees how they will benefit from being part of our community.
Fortunately, it seems that this message is already being heard. Whilst most of our attendees identified as female, we were joined by two men at the table on Wednesday which was really encouraging.
What we will create
Next up, we gave attendees a flavour of what to expect from us in 2016, outlining the six things we are looking to create as a community. These are as follows:
- A first port of call for mentorship, sharing experiences and opportunities to progress
- A collaborative network to turn to for guidance, inspiration and support.
- Opportunities for women to get exposure and build authority in the local digital communities.
- The chance to explore the spectrum of career opportunities in digital – from technical, to creative, to commercial.
- More role models for the next generation of digital women.
- Opportunities for local businesses to show their support for closing the digital gender gap.
The next part of the evening was about finding out what skills our attendees were looking to develop in 2016, and how our community could help them.
We want people to get the most out of meetups, so future events will focus on the themes that were discussed. Over the coming months we are aiming to ensure that all of our attendees’ objectives are met. In this way, we can all develop our skills and become smarter (and more successful) digital marketers.
So, what were people looking to learn? Here’s a run-down of the Brighton Digital Women’s hot topics that we’ll look to address as a community in 2016:
- How to find a synergy between “outreach” and traditional PR.
- How to prioritise your digital marketing strategy as a small business and manage your budget to get the best bang for your buck.
- How to benefit from giving and receiving mentorship to move your career forward.
- How to master digital project management.
- How to navigate business strategy and ethics.
- How to put user experience at the centre of digital marketing.
- How to influence people online.
- How to make best use of personalisation.
- How to meet an audience’s needs effectively through compelling content.
- How big data can inform decisions.
- The future of the Internet of Things and how this should inform strategy.
- How to pitch to clients and who to pitch to.
- How to best use social media within a digital marketing campaign.
- How to make the move from print to digital and the pros and cons this will entail.
- How to break down silos by learning more about what our peers in other disciplines do.
- How to become a better public speaker.
If you weren’t able to attend and have any topics you want to add to the list, give us an email or Tweet us with your suggestions.
We are going dedicate each of our meetups to one of more of these hot topics and we will be blogging about the meetup topic after the event to summarise our learnings.
In the meantime, we will be reaching out to our contacts that have expertise in each of the above areas so that we can organise some speakers for future events to cover these topics more depth.
How you can get involved
As this is a collaborative community, we would welcome your input too. If you—or someone you know—would like to speak on one of these topics, don’t hesitate to get in touch.
You can Tweet us @BTNDigitalWomen.
We’ll keep you posted on which topic we will cover first at our next meetup!