An award-nominated Brum-based blogger + lover of chocolate-coated pretzels,
minimalist interiors + RuPaul's Drag Race.

Google’s Digital Garage: #CreativeFest Birmingham Event

Google’s Digital Garage: #CreativeFest Birmingham Event

Yesterday I had the pleasure of spending the day at Google’s Digital Garage in Birmingham for their #CreativeFest event, and it was one of my favourite networking events to date.

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Launched in 2015, Google creates Pop Up Digital Garages in cities across the UK. These Digital Garages are a welcoming and complimentary hub for everyone and anyone nearby who wants to learn and develop skills in digital marketing.

Birmingham’s Digital Garage hosted an event they called #CreativeFest, intended to bring together local creatives looking to gain knowledge, skills and tips in the world of digital marketing. Between developing my blog and my current marketing internship at BE FESTIVAL, the ethos of #CreativeFest really excited me and I knew I had to go!

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10am-12.30pm Build Your Confidence Coffee Morning

Yes, I am that person who arrives at 9:55am to a drop in event from 10am-12.30pm. However, arriving so early meant that throughout the morning I got the opportunity to speak to almost everyone at the event, which was absolutely lovely.

Google had set up a lovely selection of snacks and drinks for us (there were Google cupcakes!) and created a wonderfully relaxed atmosphere so we could get to know each other a bit better in the lead up to the upcoming talks. Google intended the event to be pretty lowkey, so in total there were probably around twelve of us. This definitely made things more intimate and really helped to create a community vibe.

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One of my favourite things about the event was the range of entrepreneurs in attendance – we each have different passions and we’re all at completely different stages in the development of our projects/businesses. This was so lovely – it meant that we were able to learn something new from every single person there, whilst discussing ways in which we could collaborate to balance out our knowledge and skills.

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To list just a few of the start up projects/businesses present, I met someone looking to start up their own yoga and wellbeing business; someone launching their career as a freelance graphic designer; someone working in academia and research looking to develop their digital skills; someone creating a disability-oriented social enterprise.

As you can imagine, we had so much to talk about over our cupcakes and coffee!


12.30-2pm Building a Local Audience on Social Media with IGersBirmingham

We were then introduced to Fraser, Martin and Beth, who run IGersBirmingham, home to photographers across Birmingham that regularly meet to capture the city through their own artistic lens (see what I did there?). I met the IGersBirmingham team at the Staying Cool Reaches Creative Heights Event a couple of weeks ago, so you may recognise the name from that post!

They talked us through their journey to build a presence across online platforms that led them to a following of 16.5K on Instagram alone. This is less about the number, however, as much as it is about the demographic of their followers; many of them are local to the city, and finding others online with common interests was where they focused their discussion.

It was so lovely to hear from an organisation which is so passionate about Brum and what the city offers, as well as they work to bring such a big city together both online and in person to form a creative and supportive community.

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Some key tips from IGersBirmingham
– Be genuine, be responsive, be real.
– Vary the times that you post online – it’ll broaden your reach.
– It’s just as much who you don’t work with as who you do work with.
– Keep in mind why your followers like your content and what they expect from you.
– Stay true to your brand, who you are and the difference you want to make.


2.30-4pm Building a Brand on Social Media with Amrit Singh

Next up we learned how to establish our own digital identity with award-winning creative Amrit Singh. As with IGersBirmingham, I had also met Amrit at the Staying Cool Reaches Creative Heights Event – he was the artist commissioned to create the stunning piece of art featuring Birmingham’s most iconic buildings on the window of Staying Cool’s penthouse apartment in the Rotunda, where the evening took place.

Amrit discussed his ethos as an online content creator and the key aspects of his brand that he’s maintained throughout his career since he began working self-employed a couple of years ago. Amrit focuses particularly on the power of livestreaming, which was particularly intriguing to someone who had never previously considered its value and popularity!

Amrit’s presentation was brilliantly captivating and informative – not only did it introduce alternative ways of looking at establishing and believing in your own voice, it also highlighted the fact that Amrit’s done a TEDx talk before!

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Some key tips from Amrit Singh
– The most important brand you’ll ever get the opportunity to work on is your own.
– The vibe you put out there is the one you’ll get back.
– The more we advance with social media, the less we trust.
– Social media platforms give us the power to share raw real world events in a way that the media won’t.
– Learn from everyone, develop patience and have fun!

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I left Google’s Digital Garage feeling inspired, motivated and excited about putting my new knowledge into practice. Thank you so much to Google, IGersBirmingham and to Amrit for such a lovely, insightful, and overall fascinating experience.

photos: my own
graphic: Lifestyle of Your Design
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20 Comments

  1. June 22, 2018 / 7:02 PM

    Oh wow! This sounds like my kinda event. “It’s just as much who you don’t work with as who you do work with.”. I love this. It can be easy to forget the effect that a bad relationship can have on a blog. And they gave you guys cupcakes as well?!

    • June 23, 2018 / 7:37 PM

      Hey there! Thank you for such a lovely comment – you should definitely check whether there’s a Google Digital Garage near you! Haha, the cupcakes were indeed incredible both aesthetically and culinarily! X

  2. Sandy C.
    June 20, 2018 / 8:37 PM

    What an amazing opportunity to learn more about digital marketing and engage with others who have the same desires as you. I had no idea that Google had events like this. Im definitely going to see if Google have any other events near me. Great Post!!

    • June 20, 2018 / 9:33 PM

      It is such a good idea and such a lovely way to meet likeminded people whilst enhancing digital knowledge in a safe and welcoming environment! Let me know when you attend a Digital Garage event! Thank you for such a lovely comment! X

  3. June 20, 2018 / 8:14 PM

    this is so cool! I didn’t know these existed but I’d love to attend one if there was ever one near me! I also love your blog header! x

    G

    http://www.teawithgi.com

    • June 20, 2018 / 8:15 PM

      Hey G, thanks for stopping by! Aww thank you so much! Hope you’re having a lovely week x

  4. June 19, 2018 / 8:25 PM

    What a great experience, especially the google cupcakes! I would love to go an event like this one day

    Kate xx
    http://www.mummywho.com

    • June 20, 2018 / 1:28 PM

      Hey Kate! Thanks for popping by- it was super lovely and I’m so lucky I got to attend! X

  5. June 18, 2018 / 9:50 PM

    This event looks so good and with all the knowledge gained. It it always great getting to know other like minded people. Also the different types of blogs out there. Nice photos and great post Nati : ) xo

    http://www.juanitalikes.com

    • June 18, 2018 / 9:54 PM

      It was definitely the perfect mix of informal and informative! Thank you for such a lovely comment! X

  6. Punam Bajaj
    June 18, 2018 / 7:04 PM

    Hi Nati, it was great to meet you on Saturday at the Google Digital Garage Creative Fest Birmingham event. The vibe was amazing and it is always fantastic to be surrounded by like minded entrepreneurs, as the ideas just flow. I love your blog post on it and am flattered to get a mention too, bless you.
    Life After Coffee is a brilliant read and really refreshing compared to what else it out there. I have definately subscribed and cannot wait to see what is posted next…

    • June 18, 2018 / 7:18 PM

      Hi Punam, thank you so much for such a lovely comment! Thank you for your kind words- I’m so glad you like my blog! It was so wonderful to meet you and I’m looking forward to catching up again soon! Sending you good vibes for a wonderful week! X

  7. June 18, 2018 / 6:26 AM

    This sounds like a perfect event to attend! Everyone is so friendly and welcoming of all ideas and creative outlets. I love it! Thank you sharing! (Those Google cupcakes looked so cute!)

    • June 18, 2018 / 7:41 AM

      Hey Kayla, thank you for such a lovely comment! I agree- I’m so happy I got the opportunity to attend! Haha, the Google cupcakes tasted as good as they look! Have a lovely week! X

  8. ruthinrevolt
    June 17, 2018 / 9:05 PM

    Wow, this sounds great! I really wish I had your courage to go to so many events – I haven’t even managed one yet. It sounds like this one was particularly educational! 😀 x

    • June 17, 2018 / 10:03 PM

      Hey Ruth! Thank you for your comment- I’m so glad you like the post! I’ve told you before and I’ll tell you again- we’re going to embark on your first ever blogger event adventure together some time! Whenever you wanna give it a go, I’m always a DM away! Sending you good vibes for a wonderful week x

      • ruthinrevolt
        June 17, 2018 / 10:19 PM

        You are so wonderful, Nati! 🙂 Have a lovely week! x

  9. June 17, 2018 / 8:07 PM

    I’ve never been to an event, but I think I could safely say that Google is a pretty big one haha! It looks like you had a great day, very informative! x

    • June 17, 2018 / 10:01 PM

      Hey Chloe! I thought Google would be so intimidating but it was actually so relaxed and informal – I think the cupcakes helped! Thank you for such a lovely comment! X

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