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I'll Be Back South West: 10 killer questions

Published on Monday, 17th September 2018, contributed by a richard norton

Self-proclaimed technology oaf Richard Norton explains the who, why, what, where, when and how of the new monthly Creative A.I meet-up I'll Be Back South West. In just 10 questions. 

1. So, I'll Be Back South West... what is it?

It's a monthly meetup in Bristol (first week of the month every month) where brave pioneers of advertising and marketing gather to discover how creative artificial intelligence is shaping the future of creativity in our industry.

2. How did this meetup come about?

I had a chance encounter with a business called Persado about two and half years ago. This introduced me to how creative A.I will transform life in agency and brand land. I couldn't find any kind of creative A.I scene in Bristol so I hot-footed it to London and discovered I'll Be Back run by creative A.I pioneers Tom Ollerton and Alex Hobhouse. 

3. So what happened next?

Every I'll Be Back meet-up features an array of amazing speakers from startups, brands, agencies and academia. My mind was properly blown by what I was seeing and hearing. So I asked the guys if I could export it to the South West. Luckily they said yes.

4. The first I'll Be Back South West happened recently, right?

It did. And I was thrilled and humbled that so many faces showed up. We held it at Proctor + Stevenson. There was lots of lovely feedback, energy and enthusiasm for it. One chap even came down from Manchester. Fair play! Here's what it looked like.

5. Is there a formula to each meeting?

Kinda. We get four speakers to talk. No presentation runs for more than 15 minutes. There's no hard sell. And no Q and A - that can happen in the pub afterwards! It's about sharing ideas, opinions, case studies and maybe even controversy. I'm flirting with the idea of #IBBSW specials if I can lure superstars of the genre. It's all done for nothing - but I love it - and it's a great test of my powers of persuasion.

6. Why should South West marketing types come along?

Inspiration, knowledge, empowerment, connection. Creative A.I is happening right now and it makes sense to understand how it can help you as opposed to hoping it will go away because you're worried it might nick your job. (It won't. Rather it might make you brilliant.)

7. What gets you excited about Creative A.I?

I am by profession a copy, concept, social, script, film-making sort of a creative. I have no knowledge of Python, Keras, and other kinds of coding what-not. But I have always had FOMO regarding new technology. If it's shiny, I want to know more. And I love using it. Same goes with Creative A.I. Having now had hundreds of conversations with supremely clever types who play with neural networks for a living, I totally understand the power and potential it offers to help create better work.

8. Do you use Creative A.I. in your day job?

Hell, yeah! Every day is an experiment. And... exciting plans are afoot alongside another South West creative. Watch this space. More importantly, right now, I'll Be Back South West is about getting like-minded people together to explore the possibilities of minds and machines working together. You never know who you might meet there!

9: This all sounds amazing. Where can I get a ticket?

Right here. Ka-boom!

10: Any other business?

I'd love agencies, brands or businesses to step forward and host it. You only need to do it once. And we only require your space for a couple of hours post 6pm. The idea is that I'll Be Back South West moves venue to venue every month. This keeps it fresh and fascinating.

I'd also appreciate a sponsor too. No serious spend needed. Just for a cold beer and a slice of pizza for attendees. Imagine the kudos and effortless cool of being associated with the hottest ticket in town!

One last thing: speakers. If anybody wants to be stand up and be heard, I'd be thrilled and delighted to hear from you. Diversity is everything! I contact lots of people and have a ton of positive responses so that the first four meetings are all sorted. But if you're up for it, please let me know. You can find my contact details here.

I'll Be Back South West Go2 takes place on Thursday 4 October at Taxi Studio, BS4 3AP. Be there!

The next I'll Be Back (London) is happening on Wednesday 26 September. Here are the details.