image for A look back at Bristol Media 2015

A look back at Bristol Media 2015

Published on Thursday, 17th December 2015

Our 10th Anniversary year has been an exciting one for us at Bristol Media and we thought it would be interesting to take a look back at some of our achievements in 2015.

In March, while we were busy preparing the new website, one of our Board Directors Chris Thurling made his first visit to SXSW in Austin to research how Bristol Media might have a bigger presence there in the future.  Chris returned with an infectious enthusiasm for the world's largest interactive conference, which has led to 22 of our members going to Austin as part of a Bristol Media contingent in 2016.

We then very proudly launched our new website and have been delighted to hear that you love it so much.  Members are regularly self-publishing and we top 15,000 unique visitors every month.  We are also proud that @Bristol_Media Twitter reached over 27,000 followers!

Our annual Barometer which came out in April showed us that with the economic recovery firmly on track, the creative industries in Bristol & Bath had every reason to feel positive.  Almost two thirds (62%) had seen turnover increase in the past 12 months and 72% expected that profits would be up by the end of the financial year.  Other interesting statistics were that just one in five of our members now has 100% full time employees and that 67% of our members feel that Bristol's creative community is very open to collaboration. Research shows that companies that prioritize collaboration are twice as likely to be profitable and twice as likely to outgrow competitors - need we say more?

We held several workshops throughout the year on a variety of subjects including Account Management, Print Production, Legal aspects of Video Production and Copyright, IP and Trademarks - watch out for more of these next year including another on Account Management and one on Digital Project Management.

We began a MeetUp group in January which now boasts almost 800 members from across Bristol's creative and tech communities.  We have held eight Media Tuesday MeetUps in 2015.  With an average of 80 people attending each event, that's 640 people who we have helped to connect at these events alone.

On a hot evening at the end of June, 180 of us gathered at The Brew House, the beautiful new studio space belonging to digital agency Zone for our Summer Party.  We enjoyed icy cold Pimms and canapes from Friska, met the team from Zone along with lots of old and new faces, and have held several events at their space since then including the intriguing 'Secret Life of Your Mobile Phone' with Geoff White.

Our Master Class day in July featured Master Classes in social media, content management, client retention, conversion rate optimisation, the importance of strategy, how to grow a digital business, b2b/b2c marketing plus a keynote on the agency/client relationship and a panel session with the Future Foundation and the IPA on the Future of Marketing Agencies - a packed day for the 85 delegates who attended.

We partnered with Creative United to bring you two workshops on how to prepare your business for external investment and our final event in this programme is a Master Class Day on Investment Readiness on 25th January 2016.

The IPA visited us for the second time under the banner of Creative Bristol, to discuss the national strategy for the creative industries and take soundings on how it relates to Bristol and Bath. A write up appeared on The Drum. In December, we were also visited by John Kampfner and the Creative Industries Federation to discuss the issues, challenges and opportunities facing our sector with a distinguished panel which included our own CEO Fraser Bradshaw.

We decided that with Bristol finally starting to get the recognition that it deserves nationally and with so many great quotes and statistics published about our creative and tech sectors during the year, we should pull it all together into one quarterly publication, and with some lovely design from India Rabey and the team at The Way, 2 Degrees West was launched. Look out for our next edition in February.

On 26th November, we held our 10th Anniversary event at M Shed with a party for 300 people and were chuffed to bits when the tickets sold within 3 days! We launched our showreel which you can see online and the beautiful book which we will continue to use to promote you and your fabulous work as widely as we can. The whole project was put together by a team of people who did a mountain of work behind the scenes - truly collaborative working! Many thanks to you all for making it happen.

Lastly for this year, we launched Vision 2016 with the theme 'Connecting Creativity'.  Our 5th conference takes place on 11th and 12th May and the speaker line up is really exciting.  We shall be joined by Facebook, Uber, Julia Hobsbawm, Fjord, Wolff Olins, Margaret Heffernan, Mark Borkowski, Glenn Tutssel, Zone, Channel 4 News and many more. Early bird tickets are available now!

We hope you'll agree it's been a great year!  All that remains is for us to thank you all for your support, wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year and we'll be back with more for you in 2016!

Caroline, Alli, Lynda, Fraser, Paul and all our Directors