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BIG 2014 Business Innovation for Growth Conference

Another conference we attended last week was the BIG 2014 Conference organised by Creative Lancashire. The conference was designed to showcase inspiring examples of business innovation and growth along with future scope and the impact of new ideas and possibilities in business.

Living in a digital world, businesses need to respond quickly to take advantage of expanding and emerging markets. At the heart of this is creativity and innovation, looking at new technologies and an ever increasing list of expectations from customers.

Opening the day was Wayne Hemmingway talking about how creativity is the way to make change happen. Not relying on simply accomplishing a task, but instead looking at more creative ways of completing work both in the digital world and the built environment.


BIG 2014 Business Innovation for Growth Conference


Matt Hunter

Matt Hunter

Matt Hunter

The first session of the day was from Matt Hunter, Chief Design Officer at the Design Council. Matt was talking about how your customers have absolutely no interest in your horrible legacy back end systems. His message was to stop making excuses for why change can’t happen faster and start to implement the changes needed to stay ahead in the rapidly changing world we now live in.

Transacting with your bank should be as easy as buying a banana. It currently isn’t. Customers are looking for a seamless interaction with your business. To the point where customers, whether end users or other businesses, are more interested in access rather than ownership. This is for resources, data, tools and software. We only have to look at the huge change with Adobe Creative Cloud how this has moved from an enormously expensive system traditionally, to a very affordable monthly subscription to the full suite of products.

Some of the future predictions Matt made included;

  • New technology around the Internet of Things
  • Increase in the making of things
  • Making money while you sleep
  • Intellectual property
  • International growth and innovation
  • Engaging with users

Interesting predictions made and certainly a lot of which I agree with where things are heading.


Chris Sanderson

Chris Sanderson

Chris Sanderson

Next up we had Chris Sanderson from The Future Laboratory who was talking about how a new generation of technology will save us and why mega systems like Google, Facebook, Microsoft, eBay etc. are game changers.

Chris started off by stating that technology doesn’t change society, society changes itself with the use of technology. With the rise in tech hubs, technology schemes, fabrication labs and meet up places such as MadLab in Manchester it is clear we are heading for a big shift in the world.

Mobile devices are often the first thing you touch in the morning when you wake up and the last thing you touch at night before you go to sleep. People have mobile devices almost surgically attached to them with people often being rather worried when their phone leaves their sight.

With the rise of technology, we have lost the traditional B2B and B2C. Chris believes we are turning into a “Trader Age” whereby everyone is both a buyer and a seller which is powered by digital platforms. Quite rightly, Chris asked the question “Is your business fit for purpose in the 21st century?” This is one that all businesses should be asking their self as relying on old technologies, systems and processes is quite simply not going to cut it with modern consumers.

Chris stressed about the importance of not just delivering products and services to your customers, but to deliver experiences. Add value to your customers’ life beyond the traditional product and service approach. An interesting point made next was around the idea of a cashless future as point of sale alternatives hit the market including Square, iZettle and Google Wallet.

Most retailers have no idea about who is walking through their doors. In the future customers will be easily identifiable, will be able to simply pick up goods and walk out of the shop without going to the traditional ‘till’ setup. Instead, the shop will know exactly who the customer is and be able to take payments automatically as products are tagged up correctly.

One technology leading the way with hands free payments is PayPal’s new Beacon technology;


Other technologies including PingIt and Zapp for mobile banking are changing the way customers pay for goods and services in a retail setting. There will be no need for people to carry around pieces of plastic in their wallet to pay for goods and services in the future as traditional credit and debit cards will cease to exist.

One point made was around the term Big Data. This term is a little confusing to most people and often isn’t actually that meaningful. Instead, in the future we will start to see Big Friendly Data which is all around sharing customer big data with the customer, instead of keeping this data internally within the business. As an example, British Airways Executive Club is designed to put you in control as a customer which shares all of your flight history in your account with information about you. All of which is putting more power and control in the hands of the customer to access the information they need at a time that is convenient for them.

Following on from this, with beacon technology springing up there are now beacons such as the one be Estimote which is a contextually aware beacon designed to send data to your mobile phone based on where you are. The video below explains the concept further;


From a retail angle more shops and stores are experimenting with augmented reality and in-store brand experiences that turn a shopping trip into a shopping experience. To the point whereby Burberry is starting to embed RFID tags into both the tags on products in their retail stores and also within the actual textiles of the products their self, to the point whereby this is in their privacy policy;


This is really interesting technology, since when you re-visit the store in the future, they will automatically know who you are. Reading through their current privacy statement, they state that they aren’t joining the dots between the product and their customer database, yet, although they may do this in the future. Imagine having that personal experience when you visit a store in the future.

Following a similar trend with new technology is around the August Smart Lock which is designed to turn the front door in your house into a smarter tool that you can control. The video below explains how the concept works;

This all being said, a quote from Dave Caplin, Microsoft’s Chief Envisioning Officer sums things up well stating that “Analytics, the way we bring data together, is still a little out of reach for many organisations”. This is true for simply online data such as Google Analytics and other systems, let along bridging this gap between online and offline data.

On the theme of virtual reality, Topshop recently set up a virtual reality cat walk so anyone from the general public could experience front row seats for London Fashion Week 2014. Really interesting way that the virtual and digital worlds are blending, in this example going from physical to digital to physical for people. Imagine this being broadcast around the world for everyone to see;

Another interesting point Chris made was about how we are going to start to see ubiquitous wearable technology in the near future as more people start to catch on with the technology. Including Google Glass, Muse the brain sensing headband and technologies mentioned earlier for cashless currencies.


Muse brain sensing headband

Muse brain sensing headband

As we start to see further enhancements with improved biometric scanners and devices, we will start to see these break out into the general populous which will allow brands to truly experiment with customer experiences. Including items such as the Sony digital store front in San Francisco with the endless aisle;


Sony Digital Store Front Endless Aisle

Sony Digital Store Front Endless Aisle



Following on from this, Chris talked about the 3rd industrial revolution with the rise in 3D printing and rapid manufacturing. With the likes of Acustom Apparel using 3D body scanners to scan 200,000 points on your body to fit clothes exactly to your body shape;


Acustom Apparel 3D Body Scanning

Acustom Apparel 3D Body Scanning


What this relates to is personalised manufacturing along the whole supply chain through the use of digital technologies and enhanced brand experiences. Take the idea for the endless chair design revolution which allows products to be manufactured automatically to order with 3D printing technology;

To summarise the areas Chris was talking about;

  • Prepare for smartphone supremacy, with a mobile first approach to everything
  • Create a cashless future with global office transactions through a mobile wallet
  • Use your location to interact with digital technologies, become contextually aware and create contextually aware systems
  • Join the Internet of Things, embrace online interactions within physical brick and mortar stores
  • Start scanning with 3D body scanners
  • Become biometric as technologies progress
  • Enable ubiquitous wearables as they become mainstream

A final interesting point made by Wayne Hemmingway following Chris’s talk was that technology should be reducing the gap between those that have and those that have not. This isn’t the case. Technology is making the gap larger. As a society, this needs to be looked at.

In addition, people no longer have to be looking to commute 2-3 hours per day to travel into work. Instead, we are starting to see the rise of community hubs, tech hubs, office hubs whereby people can work from various locations with ease.

A point was also made around the traditional thought process that everything online is free. This time is over. Digital materials are ever increasingly being turned into paid products and customers are starting to realise this and are more willing to pay for digital goods and information online.


Breakout sessions

Within the two breakout sessions, multiple people were speaking about a range of topics, so I’ll look to cover all of these together. The first breakout session talked about New Technologies and included Professor Rachel Cooper OBE from LICA, Dr Ania Servant from the National Graphene Institute, Asa Calow from MadLab in Manchester, Dr Paul Coulton from Imagination Lancaster and Chris Sanderson from The Future Laboratory.

Ania kicked off the session talking about how the potential for graphene is truly ground breaking. Imagine being able to have super-superfast broadband that is cable of downloading a terabyte of data within seconds along with being able to re-charge your mobile phone in only 5 seconds with powerful superconductors.

Asa then talked through how we are starting to see a professional side of the traditional maker industry. We are starting to see hobbyists turning into product companies. With fabrication labs increasingly popping up, we are going to start to see more of this in the near future.

Paul then talked about how the Internet of Things is still in the GeoCities stage of the internet. One tip was that we shouldn’t just be plugging the internet into everything, instead thinking along the lines of what digital things can we turn into physical items.

The second breakout session talked about Our Relationship with Users and included Wayne Hemmingway MBE from Hemmingway Design, Darren Evans from The Engine Room, Richard Scholey from The Chase, Kayleigh Davis from the Lego Group and Katie Gallagher from Manchester Digital.

As part of the discussions the key message was always to focus on the users. The example for which I always personally use when talking to businesses particularly in manufacturing is to focus on the customers and not the machine, as was reiterated during the session.

Often manufacturing companies have invested heavily in a specific machine which can cost near to £1 million for the single machine, and rightfully so they are proud of this investment. Although customers couldn’t care less what machine you have, nor what brand it is. All customers are interested in is WIIFM – What’s In It For Me. Talk about the benefits in terms your customers can clearly understand.

As an interesting example, the Magimix transparent toaster was shown, which clearly has thought about the user. Every single person reading this blog post will have at some point burnt a piece of toast as toasters aren’t smart enough to realise that when you have the setting on ‘Number 3’ when the toaster has just been on, then it really only needs to be on ‘Number 2’, which ultimately results in lots of pieces of burnt toast. The Magimix toaster resolves these issues;


Magimix Transparent Toaster

Magimix Transparent Toaster


Next up we had Kayleigh from the Lego Group who talked about the design process of lo-fidelity prototyping which means that products can be tested quickly and feedback can be given. Lego’s best tip is to always get feedback from users at the beta stage of the product so you don’t invest to heavily only to find out that something isn’t quite right.

Interesting insight into Lego’s prototyping stages including Lo Fidelity prototyping, High Fidelity prototyping and Beta Launches;


Lego’s Lo-Fi Prototyping

Lego’s Lo-Fi Prototyping


Lego’s Hi-Fidelity Prototyping

Lego’s Hi-Fidelity Prototyping


Lego’s Beta Launches

Lego’s Beta Launches


The conversation then turned to the question for businesses about “What is your digital strategy?” Often most business don’t have a solid digital strategy in place. Instead, the focus is on websites, mobile applications, social media. This is not a strategy, these are parts of the strategy. What do you really want to achieve for your customers and users? Understand this and you will see how all the different parts link up and can work seamlessly together. This will also allow you to focus clearly on what is required and not on areas that aren’t in line with your digital strategy.

In a digital world, there really is no excuse to not know what your customers are saying about you online. With so many monitoring tools available, businesses need to be getting engaged in the conversations that are happening. An interesting point made was that some businesses will need to fundamentally change how they do business and re-look at their business model. With the question being, how are you going to put the user at the center of everything you do? It is time to critically assess your business for a digital age.

One example given by Wayne was with a recent project to design new staff uniforms for all of Transport for London’s 22,000 staff. Part of this process was to engage with every single person to get feedback throughout the process, and most importantly to get buy in throughout the process at a time when there has been many issues with salaries and strikes.

This wasn’t a design by committee approach, but instead about giving the staff a voice on the new uniforms through the use of technology. Utilising a staff intranet, this led to over 16,000 people commenting on the work which is practically unheard of for large scale projects like this.

Following on from this a point was made about not trying to argue a point one way or another. Instead looking at a point and proving this point with data and evidence, both quantitative and qualitative. The amount of data available online means that you no longer have to rely on ‘gut feelings’ to make business decisions.


Daniel Charny

Daniel Charny

Daniel Charny

The next session was from Daniel Charny from From Now On who talked about the business of making. He has been seeing a renewed interest in making with lots of commercial value.

Stating that this is often more about knowledge sharing and sharing best practice between peers within group spaces designed to facilitate this sharing. One example Daniel talked about was with the Maker Library Network which is designed to link together the ideal of a library, gallery and a maker space all in the same venue;


Maker Library Network

Maker Library Network


This co-working space means that the skills and people are around to help with projects. An interesting idea talked about was the “Gift Economy” which isn’t about you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours, but instead is more of I’ll scratch your back and you scratch someone elses.


Phil Jones

Phil Jones

Phil Jones

In the final talk of the day we heard from Phil Jones the Managing Director of Brother UK. Phil was talking mainly to the audience of creative businesses in the room for the last session which covered some interesting topics.

Stating that creative businesses need to be more sustainable. This often comes down to not revving harder, but instead changing gear in the business. Often businesses don’t simply need to be doing more of what they are doing, but change what they are doing and focusing on more profitable areas in the business.

Overall, a very energetic talk with some really exciting points made for all creative businesses and corporate businesses looking to work with creative industries. Often both groups speak different languages, so bridging the gap through effective communication is key.



Overall the day covered an awful lot of great and exciting content, so a huge thanks to Creative Lancashire for organising the event. I’m sure a lot of the information, topics and example above have got your brain working to see how this could be implemented within your own businesses.

If you would like to talk through more about the topics discussed above then get in touch to find out how digital can transform your business.

Future Cities Symposium Manchester School of Architecture

Last week we attended the Future Cities symposium at Manchester School of Architecture which was talking about how the future smart cities are going to look and what is being done about this right now. Fascinating event and great to see how local councils are already starting to think through how technology is going to transform the world we live in. Over the next 5-10 years, I predict that the world we live in will be unrecognisable. The amount of development into smart cities, superfast internet and the internet of things is going to significantly change how the general public interact with the physical world around them.

The speakers at the event ranged from architects, directors of technology strategy boards and futurists. Below we will talk through the key topics that were brought up throughout the day and what this means for businesses and councils in the future.


Future Cities Symposium


Rory Hyde

Rory Hyde

Rory Hyde

The first speaker of the day was Rory Hyde, the curator of Contemporary Architecture and Urbanism at the V&A in London along with the author of the book Future Practice.

Rory opened the talks by saying that architects suffer from a “crisis of relevance” which he said wasn’t just about creating buildings but instead about being relevant for the space where the building lives and for the users of the building. He talked about 4 retreats from solid relevance including;

1)      Avant-garde: Which is to try new and experimental ideas within architecture

2)      Commerce: Currently developers often set the agenda, not the architects which often leads to extravagant developments that you can see throughout Dubai

3)      Icons: Where architects often seek to chase new and exciting shapes of buildings to truly stand out from the crowd. Take for example the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, The Gherkin in London and Sydney Opera House

4)      Urban interventions: Looking at personal utopias with clearly fenced off areas from the outside world

Looking into the future, Rory talked through ideas around schools and the availability of rooms and facilities. Imagine an ‘Airbnb for schools’, whereby everyone could get automatically updated with what is happening, information sent directly to their smartphones. If you haven’t heard of Airbnb yet, then it is the hotel booking website that is seriously disrupting the travel industry. The online service allows people to rent out their homes or spare bedrooms through the service. Launching only 6 years ago in 2008, they already have over 550,000 listings in 192 countries and will soon have more availability than the Hilton Worldwide and InterContinental Hotels Group globally. Imagine a system that knew when meeting rooms in a city were free and available for people, that knew when the buses were due so you could be directed to the most relevant place for you.


Smart Schools

Smart Schools


An interesting point Rory made was around the idea of community architecture such as wind turbines. Often these are installed by large corporations which provide no benefit to the local communities. Which is often one of the reasons why there is so much negativity towards new installations. Instead, imagine a situations whereby local communities directly benefitted from new installations which provided revenue to support local services. This would significantly change the perception of these technologies and would benefit local communities far more.

Following on from this, talk was around a future city that blended with nature. The example given was from Studio Gang’s Bubbly Creek which would allow nature and city to merge together into a natural symbiotic system;


Image source:

Image source:


While this is an interesting concept, personally I’m not too sure this would work to the extent described in the plans. What is interesting though how future cities are significantly changing as traditional industries are often dwindling in size and scale. Less space is taken up as production increases which is leading to a hollowing out of the traditional urban core.


Tom Cheesewright

Tom Cheesewright

Tom Cheesewright

The next speaker of the day was Tom Cheesewright talking about how the future smart city will blend seamlessly with digital technologies. Tom is an Applied Futurist at Book of the Future.

Tom started his talk off by asking the question that if the current technology is affordable and accessible, along with data being cheap then why are smart cities and home automation such a challenge to crack? It comes down to user experience, he stated that “user experience is the last hurdle to for truly smarter cities”.

Smart cities today are essentially technology applied to the build environment to reduce the expenditure and increase efficiencies. This isn’t difficult, it just requires a significantly different approach to thinking about how the systems within the city are used and accessed by the users.

To prove the point, Tom has started to turn his house into a Smart Home with the use of cheap technologies such as the Arduino and Raspberry Pi. Basic implementation initially with automatically turning the lights on and off when entering or leaving a room. The point being that this technology is available now. The future smart city is possible now, when this technology is used throughout.


Arduino and Raspberry Pi

Arduino and Raspberry Pi


Taking this to a whole new level, the Santander Smart City in Spain. The project in Santander is a world first city-scale experimental research system for future smart cities. The project is designed to stimulate the development of future applications for users within the city. As part of the project, over 20,000 sensors were fitted across the city to monitor data across a wide range of points.

To give you an idea of the scale of this setup, here are a few statistics;

  • Around 3000 IEEE 802.15.4 devices
  • 200 GPRS modules
  • 2000 joint RFID tag / QR code labels deployed on streetlights, bus-stops, busses and taxis
  • Environmental monitoring with around 2000 Internet of Things devices installed to monitor temperature, noise, lighting and car presence
  • Outdoor parking area management with almost 400 parking sensors used to identify empty and full car parking spaces throughout the city
  • Sensors installed in over 150 public vehicles including busses, taxis and police cars
  • Traffic intensity monitoring with around 60 devices located at the main entrances of the city which are designed to monitor traffic volumes, road occupancy, vehicle speed and queue length
  • Guidance to free parking spaces which link up the live data from the 400 parking sensors with 10 street panels showing exactly which parking lots have spaces
  • Parks and gardens irrigation with around 50 devices being deployed in city green zones to monitor moisture temperature, humidity, pluviometer (aka. a rain gauge) and anemometer (aka. a wind speed monitoring device)
  • And much, much more, read the full details over on their website


Santander Spain Smart City

Santander Spain Smart City


I’m sure you will agree that this is seriously cool. Exciting times ahead with future cities on the horizon. This isn’t a simple and quick fix for cities and towns to implement, although this is going to happen in the near future. The reason why this is the direction we are heading in comes down to resource planning, reducing costs and waste while improving efficiencies. Some of the statistics that Tom mentioned through his talk included how sensors placed in bins reduced the fuel bills for the council by 25% by simply only emptying the bins that needed emptying along with how the parking sensors and signs saved approximately 8 minutes for how long it took people to find a car parking space in the city.

Smart cities of the future will be context aware systems that optimise the build environment for its inhabitants. No longer will people have to go elsewhere to find out information about where they already are. This is interesting as we should start to be prepared for a post screen environment which allows people to interact with the city without being tied to a specific device with a screen.


Smart Cities Data and Processes

Smart Cities Data and Processes


Whenever anyone talks about smart cities and home automation, we always have to mention Nest, Google’s recent acquisition. This is really important though as Nest claim that their US customers save on average 20% on their energy bills. This isn’t just about cool tech, well ok, it is partially, but it is also about how this new technology can have a significant improvement on current technologies to save money for people and businesses.


Nest Thermostat

Nest Thermostat


The smart cities go beyond a reactive system. Imagine local councils knowing the actual noise and traffic levels produced from a factory near to a housing estate. Understanding this system allows the council to start to plan the towns and cities intelligently by using this environment and social feedback from the smart city technologies.

Tom went on to talk about the idea of connected councils where public services are reoriented around the citizen by connecting disparate data system to present a consistent and context aware experience for users. This is what Tom labels as “citizen centric design” which is all about the user opposed to a service centric design.

The main driving force for councils is to increase efficiencies, increase capabilities, increase satisfaction and increase engagement from the citizens. Smart cities work towards all of these goals. One example given, albeit a rather 1984 approach, was for adult care services. For example, if there are two call outs for environmental services at a property, there is a likelihood that adult care services should visit to see if there is any help needed.

Currently these conversations will be happening already in the council although more of a manual process whereby person A will walk over to person B in another department and mention it over making a coffee in the morning. The ability with smarter systems means that people don’t have to be used for the process, the system is used for the process. Meaning that people can be used for productive and value added work such as actually talking to the end users in this example.

Citizen centric design is designed to integrate data platforms and publish public APIs, allow for smarter strategic procurement which looks at the system as a whole, not just a specific job or department which will always lead to disparate systems being created. Using a hybrid agile development process for digital engagement skills and processes. Most importantly user testing, not simply pushing new technologies onto citizens


Current service centric design approach

Current service centric design approach


Citizen centric design

Citizen centric design


Dan Hill

Dan Hill

Dan Hill

Next up we heard from Dan Hill, the Executive Director of Futures and Best Practice at the Technology Strategy Boards Future Cities Catapult. Dan started his talk by stating that we need to understand that a city isn’t a static environment where changes can be made periodically, instead the city is a real time system that we need to tap into.

Dan gave the example of Masdar smart city in Dubai which is best explained through this concept video from a few years ago;

Really interesting how leading cities are grasping the idea of smart cities and capitalising on this opportunity. While this is still under development, this is certainly an interesting way smart cities are taking shape.

One interesting point that Dan expanded on was that we don’t make cities in order to build infrastructure. Often cities are designed with an infrastructure led approach. Instead, he argued, that we build cities for culture, commerce, community, conviviality and the city itself.

When designing on an infrastructure led approach, the design lifetime of an infrastructure is often planned out to be 100 years such as for a metro system, which in reality is often much less when change of government comes into play. With digital you are lucky if a website stands the test of time of 100 weeks before it is out of date. This means that digital systems have to be able to adapt at a much faster rate than ever before.

Dan went on to talk about the value and cost of inefficient systems that smart cities could improve upon. Quoting Cedric Price with “Technology is the answer, but what is the question?” The question was raised that if we have made it clear to citizens the value of a smart city to them. I would argue that we haven’t which is why privacy concerns are often at the forefront of people’s minds.

An interesting The Museum of the Future in the UAE showcases how cities will look in the future;


Museum of the Future

Museum of the Future


Really interesting concept looking at future cities and future technologies and how this will significantly change the world we live in and aid citizens with their daily life.

An interesting term was around “Urban Prototyping” which is all around creating products and services for the 21st century city and urban space. Looking at what citizens need within a modern city and looking at creating products and services specifically for these people.

Another project talked about was Sensing London which follows a similar theme around creating a smarter data driven city. The project is designed with three points in mind;

  • Collecting data for insight
  • Mashing data for innovation
  • Trailing innovations in real city environments

With something much closer to home, it will be interesting to watch how this project progresses over the next few years. Another piece of technology mentioned was DisplayAnts which is designed to create interactive public displays with public information available.

Dan then went on to talk about how software and hardware is blending with the use of smart software to unlock vacant resources in the city. With one recent example being the Uber taxi app that has been spreading around the world. Interestingly too is that this new technology isn’t always welcomed with open arms with Uber getting a lot of criticism in both London and Spain from angry taxi drivers, bringing the locations to a standstill. If you aren’t familiar with Uber, it is the taxi booking app that connects you as a customer with a taxi with the click of a button and is really disrupting the traditional idea of booking a taxi. This type of disruptive technology is going to continue to increase over the coming years in a range of industries.

Another interesting piece of information was about research from MIT which stated that we could have 80% fewer vehicles on our roads if we were using smart cars. This is an enormous saving and one that I’m sure any commuter would appreciate. Then going beyond smart cities, Bridj was mentioned which is not just looking at real time data, but predictive data based on historic information and demands. Essentially allowing more resources to be deployed in an area that is likely to need more resources soon.

Beyond this, we have the likes of KickStarter for more product based ideas. Well we also have BrickStarter which takes the same concept but looks at projects for cities and the urban environment. Interesting idea for allowing citizens to essentially pitch ideas in their local communities.

All this being said, we still have a long way to come, with planning notices still being tied to lampposts. This is still seen as the best way to engage with the public about work that is happening in an area. Quite frankly, this is a joke. 99% of people simply walk past this and take no notice at all. This is not a good way to be engaging with citizens within a local area.


Planning Notice on Lamppost

Planning Notice on Lamppost


Final Thoughts

The smart city is coming. This also requires a new approach within governments and local councils to fully understand how this change is going to impact the world we live in. Education is also going to be key to ensure the citizens fully understand what the smart city is, why it is so valuable and most importantly teaching people about a new way of interacting with official bodies.

One final thought to leave you with, imagine in the near future with a publically accessible CityAPI, maybe powered by things such as Fi-Ware. Whereby you can easily plug your business into this system to send and receive data that is essential for you and your customers. We already have cool WiFi Marketing & Analytics technology available for businesses, so this is an even more exciting time ahead in a digitally enabled world.

Interesting Insights from SAScon’s January Conference

We recently attended a digital marketing conference in Manchester called SAScon where we heard some exciting statistics from some leading UK brands including ASDA and So we thought we would share some of the insights from the event so you can see how this can apply to your business.

SAScon Logo

Session 1 – The State of the Digital PR Nation

Session 1 - State of the Digital PR Nation

The first session of the day kicked off with a discussion around the state of the digital PR world with Drew Benvie, the Managing Director of a London based communications agency who talked through his experiences. The key message from the session was that social media has disrupted the PR industry with brands being able to connect with their audience easier and faster than ever before. So much so that the San Francisco Chronicle are putting all of their journalists through a two month social media boot camp.

Drew highlighted how businesses are increasingly moving away from the traditional social media manager and towards a more social business as we have illustrated below;


Socialise your Business

Socialise your Business


This involves everyone throughout an organisation to be utilising social media, from marketing teams, customer service teams, human resources teams, sales staff and C-level people. Businesses need to move from simply being digitally adapt, but also being socially adapt and with people checking their phones an average of 110 times per day this is a huge opportunity to get in front of your audience.

Turning traditional PR on its head was further highlighted with statistics that 90% of media is consumed on a screen of some sort which is a phenomenal amount.


90% of all Media Interactions are Screen Based

90% of all Media Interactions are Screen Based


The future was clearly looking towards a world of image sharing, wearable technology such as FitBit, messaging and data. With large brands looking beyond followers, fans, engagement & CTR and instead are using social media to drive footfall into their stores since the offline and online worlds are intrinsically linked. Brands are struggling to keep up with the warp speed changes within the industry though.


Session 2 – Where Next for Metrics

Session 2 - Where Next for Metrics

The next session was a panel to discuss where we are heading next for metrics and measuring success in the digital world. Some of the interesting points raised throughout the session was that while Universal Analytics has been available for a while now, it hasn’t really been picked up by many to utilise the full features available. It will be interesting as this gains more traction to see how brands begin to join data together in exciting ways. One example given was how one brand utilised custom dimensions within Universal Analytics to include weather conditions and geo-location to understand what impact website visitor numbers and revenue figures were impacted by these. One of the key features with Universal Analytics is the amazing ability to understand customers, not just visits. This is something to cover in a future post, but in summary Universal Analytics allows you to see when a customer visits from multiple devices which can provide some really cool data;


Universal Analytics

Universal Analytics


With data being so easy to capture, it is essential to capture as much data as possible to understand your customers better. Once the data has been captured, it can be analysed for a deeper understanding of trends and insights. On the topic of data, businesses are moving away from last click attribution models to track results, but looking at a more holistic approach and including data from first click attribution models. This helps to provide a true insight into how your business is performing which allows you to make smarter decisions about where to invest in the future.

Leading on from this additional data and understanding allows you to tailor content towards your audience. A prime example of this is for customers accessing your website from an iPhone while browsing for new laptops. It is extremely unlikely that those visitors are going to be interested in budget end PCs, instead show those customers products they are most likely interested in such as Apple laptops. Not only will this improve the customer experience, but this will also lead to an increase in conversions and sales.

On the content side, it was stressed about not simply creating content to generate links, but to fully understand where this content fits into the customer buying cycle. Only then will this content truly add value and deliver long term results. Content should be adding PR value, gaining mentions on other websites, being shared on social channels and the on-page data metrics should indicate how much customers enjoyed viewing the content.

With the recent change in (not provided), several companies in the digital space have attempted data modelling to retrieve this data by looking at Click Through Rate data on the search engine results pages along with keyword rankings. Although this hasn’t produced any models that are accurate enough to rely on. Following on from this, it was emphasised that a #1 ranking for a specific keyword isn’t the metric that businesses should be focusing on. In situations where a strong brand is ranking in position two or three, then this will still generate more clicks as customers prefer to view content from them than others. Metrics that businesses need to focus on in 2014 need to be focused around the right metrics for their business that are going to give a deep understanding of customers and not simply vanity metrics. Ultimately, revenue is the end point for most businesses to focus on, so other metrics need to work towards supporting this main KPI.


Session 3 – Why Content and Context are the Key to Making Meaningful Social Connections

Session 3 - Why Content and Context are the Key to Making Meaningful Social Connections

The third session of the day was from Dominic Burch, Head of Social at ASDA who gave a fast paced talk with insights into how ASDA utilise social media. Firstly what might surprise you is that an organisation the size of ASDA only has two people within their social media team, yet they manage hugely successful platforms that connect with their audience.

Dom started out with five simple thoughts;

1)      The old rules don’t apply anymore

2)      ASDA are a media owner and they’ll increasingly act like one

3)      ASDA are a connector, not a collector

4)      ASDA will only succeed if they win the trust of shoppers

5)      Listen first, engage second, influence third

One clear theme throughout the day is that brands are increasingly stepping up to connect more with their audience and customers. To do this you need a good understanding of your customers, and it is clear that ASDA do know who their customers are. The image below clearly shows that ASDA know who their customers are and where they are online;


ASDA Customers on Social Media Channels

ASDA Customers on Social Media Channels


For ASDA, with Facebook being by far the most popular channel, this helps them to direct the strategy towards targeting those customers. Following on from this, ASDA also know that the typical Facebook follower has 232 friends and follow a total of 92 brands on Facebook, so ASDA need to keep their attention and stand out from the crowd.

One clear benefit of social media for ASDA is the ability to reach a huge audience and influence those people. On a monthly basis, ASDA’s Facebook page reaches 8.7 million people, generates 279,000 interactions and earns 157,000 clicks back through to their website. These are enormous numbers when remembering this is the work of only two people at ASDA. When comparing this to their traditional PR approach, where they were spending £150,000 per press release in a national newspaper (and they were running three of these per week!), it is clear that social media is a far greater opportunity to connect with their audience in a meaningful way. With the reach from social media, this tips the balance of power and enables ASDA to control their messages to their audience instead of going through traditional national newspapers.

While the above figures showcase the reach ASDA’s Facebook page has, Dom did stress that it is important not just to chase the numbers. Having a large following is utterly pointless if those people aren’t your target audience, a smaller number of more engaged followers are far more beneficial so connect to the right people with your messages.

In a similar theme, social media was compared with traditional TV advertising. ASDA has an 18% market share in the UK, meaning that running an advert on Coronation Street means that you are advertising to people who simply aren’t interested in the brand and wasting budget on this. Comparing this with social media, this allows a really targeted approach towards your audience to make your budget more effective at connecting with your audience.

Interestingly enough ASDA don’t have a huge budget for social media, so they have to focus on using relevant and low budget content that they can share socially. An example was given that with a £100 investment (yes, that low from a brand the size of ASDA!) resulted in content being shown in 100,000 newsfeeds of their audience. When comparing this to traditional PR, this is quite a difference. Another example of this was when a customer posted a question wondering if their dad was one of their oldest home shoppers. ASDA then went to visit the gentleman, took a photo and asked their Facebook fans to wish him a happy birthday which resulted in 25,000 likes for such a simply and cheap PR opportunity.

It was reiterated about the well-known fact that the best way to increase engagement on social media is to ask a question. This is clear when you compare ASDA’s engagement levels with their competitors;


ASDA Social Media Engagement Levels

ASDA Social Media Engagement Levels


In-fact, ALDI do actually beat ASDA in terms of engagement levels, but this is a clear indication that ASDA are leading the way. One point made was that customers love it when ‘Del Boy Offers’ appear with the likes of 50p for 1 or 2 for £1. When customer see offers like this, straight away they are posted on social media channels which adds an extra dimension to the social media channels since it is essential these type of things don’t happen too often as it doesn’t show ASDA in a good light. Following on from this, in more extreme examples when there is a potential PR issue on social media, it is essential to take this offline to avoid it turning into a PR disaster. Never try and solve issues in a public space.

On the topic of follower growth, it was outlined that they have found promoting content and posts to friends of friends to be an effective method. The thought being that people who shop at ASDA are likely to be friends with other people who shop at ASDA. This can be seen in the graph below which contains the number of mentions over the past two years for ASDA;


ASDA Social Media Mentions

ASDA Social Media Mentions


Following on from this, ASDA had 268 million organic page impressions on their Facebook page. They were expecting to reach around the 300 million mark, although the Facebook update which tweaked their algorithm deciding what content to display in users newsfeeds really impacted ASDA’s organic visibility.

Taking a look in-store, some interesting statistics included that ASDA FM has a staggering 18 million listeners per week. Then looking at online and offline, the ASDA shop website gets 6 million visits per week, where 1 million of these use the store locator to find one of the 560 shops that are in the UK.  Traditionally businesses have looked at online and offline as completely separate, although ASDA realise that people who shop online also shop in-store. So it is important to remember this when sending someone an email that they haven’t shopped online in a while, as they have likely been visiting in-store instead. They aren’t two completely separate groups of customers.

ASDA have started to link social media back to their website with their #ChosenByMe range which brings in social mentions together into a single place.  A few other interesting ways ASDA is using social media can be seen on their editorial calendar below;


ASDA Social Media Editorial Calendar

ASDA Social Media Editorial Calendar


From asking customers to help choose packaging on products, which resulted in 25,000 customers giving feedback within 1 hour, which is a huge opportunity for market research. To the good old debate about what sauce is best on a bacon butty, and ASDA found that it is quite evenly split. One key message was that content needs to start at the strategic level of your organisation. What key messages do you want to be talking about and who do you want to be talking to. Knowing this will help guide your social media activity.

Some final thoughts came around how we are going to be seeing much more of a ‘pay to play’ model on social media with changes in their algorithms leading to decreased visibility for brands. Long term we are going to see the death of the social media manager as we move towards social organisations at every level. Customers expect instant responses on social media channels and we are starting to see a much stronger interplay between social media and TV which was a similar theme mentioned at a recent event we attended, #SocialMediaWhatsTrending


Session 4 – Joining the Dots between PR, Social & Search

Session 4 - Joining the Dots

The next session was a panel discussion around the importance of joining the dots with digital marketing instead of treating each channel separately. The key message from the session was about how departments need to work together to achieve success. PR people need to be talking to SEO people, and vice versa. People working purely in SEO need to look towards telling stories to their audience. Then a common theme was around how everyone needs to be responsible for reputation management online. It is extremely easy for things to turn bad online, so everyone needs to be thinking about this with everything they are doing.


Session 5 – The top 5 Brands that ‘Get It and Deliver It’

Session 5 - The Top 5 Brands that Get It

The fifth session of the day was another panel discussion that was focusing on brands that clearly understand the value of digital marketing.


Interesting statistics including that 30% of all traffic to their website came from Facebook in 2013, with official sources stating that Facebook is a larger traffic source than Google for Burberry. This may not come as any surprise when you realise that 60% of Burberry’s marketing budget goes towards social media.

One of the most exciting thing about Burberry is how they have bridged the gap between digital and the real world within their Regent Street, London flagship store. If you haven’t seen this before, then just watch the video below and be mesmerised;

Red Bull

It is difficult to tell if Red Bull is a drinks company or a content marketing company now with what they produce. Just a few examples of how Red Bull have revolutionised content marketing by creating impactful and unusual content for their audience.

Then we have the Felix Baumgartner jumping from the stratosphere which was only available to watch on YouTube and the shortened version has had a staggering 35 million views;


British Cycling

Another example given was with British Cycling whereby at an event, they understood that social media was key to the event. So far as they had a social media hashtag on the cycling track and a van outside the venue with skills video editors in so they could take the footage, quickly edit and publish to social media channels. This resulted in content being available on YouTube after crashes within as little as 10 minutes from the event happening.

We are going to see much more of this event based marketing especially with the use of collaborative web tools which allow you to easily share content and data with your colleagues around the world within minutes.


Small Town Somewhere

A strange and slightly odd one was how one small town somewhere (Sorry, I can’t remember the name of it, but never the less, it highlights the point), actively used social media to publicise the town. What they did was to print & post a photo of everyone who liked their Facebook page onto a physical notice board within the town. Within a matter of hours, they had already filled up the board and continued to receive further mentions online.



The final one was rather tongue in cheek, with the NSA and GCHQ knowing everything about everyone. Who said government departments don’t ‘get’ social media.


Some other interesting points that came from the discussion was that everything works on an evidence based approach with digital unlike traditional marketing methods which can be notoriously difficult to measure accurately. It is important to use digital platforms to streamline communication and process, and if necessary completely remodel your business around what is possible. You have to ask yourself, is your organisation structured in a way that will help you succeed? You only have to look at the likes of HMV and Waterstones to see what can happen if you are too slow to adapt to changes in the market. This is specifically true of traditional media businesses, as they are needing to completely re-think their business to compete digitally.

One prime example given was how British Airways only monitor their social channels between 9-5 UK time, yet their customers are active around the clock as they travel to/from their destinations. This is a prime example of how businesses can adapt to the changing needs of customers to provide a superior service. Co-op have been an early adopter of Snapchat for marketing activities by running a campaign targeting students.

The key message throughout the session was that businesses need to get over the fear of failure, make changes fast and fail quickly. Some businesses are doing to need to fundamentally evolve throughout the organisation to keep ahead.


Session 6 – How to Break the Cycle of Bad Marketing

Session 6 - How to Break the Cycle of Bad Marketing


The final session of the day was from Phil MacKechnie, Head of Organic Performance at Starting off with some exciting statistics, the three websites within the group, and generate a huge 8 million visits per week.

Starting again with a key theme from throughout the day, the message was clear that businesses need to stop ignoring their customers and start to engage with them. Listen to them, help and support their needs with all marketing activities. There is no need to go chasing new big and shiny things, instead get back to the basics and start with your product, place, sales service and promotion. All of which need to be 100% focused on your customers.

Content is key for them as they communicate with their customers, so businesses need to get some good ideas and work together with key stake holders throughout the organisation. Working in silos has to stop and collaborative working is the only way to succeed long term. Purely from an efficiencies point, working together means more effective marketing spend and data can be shared between teams easily. Don’t get stuck in a content rut, understand what is working and what isn’t then adapt as necessary. This may result in having to look at team structures to understand how teams can work more effectively together.

A phenomenal 50% of all traffic is from mobile and tablet devices on, which really does highlight that a responsive website needs to be the number 1 priority in 2014. Customers are accessing your brand, content and website throughout the day on multiple devices, so your business needs to seriously consider what this means and what needs to be done to improve all these areas.

On the Search Engine Optimisation front, one only has to look at the messages Google is putting out about what not to do. These are clear indicators about what Google doesn’t like. Instead, start to look at campaigns and events as this will help with your Search Engine Optimisation efforts as well as building your brand. One message following on from this was that businesses that don’t have a strong brand online are going to find it ever more difficult to compete as customers look towards recognisable brands when purchasing online.

Finally the focus turned to KPIs within your business and the importance of getting these aligned. If different departments have competing KPIs then this simply isn’t going to work. Instead, work to align your business so all departments are working towards a clear strategy to target your customers.



Overall the SAScon event was extremely insightful as I’m sure you can see from the masses of information above. Hopefully this will give your business some food for thought about what you need to be working on in 2014 to succeed. Some of the key messages throughout is that you need to ensure your entire organisations is working towards a clear strategy to target your customers and forget about working in silos. There are some exciting examples above about how you can increase your organic reach across all channels.

BBC Social Event Summary – #SocialMediaWhatsTrending

SocialMediaWhatsTrending Event

Where: Media City UK

When:  29th October 2013

The #SocialMediaWhatsTrending event held at Media City UK was designed to gather industry experts together and look at ways where social media is changing the way people connect with businesses.  The BBC Academy College of Journalism and BBC North designed the conference to bring together practitioners in journalism and content making from the digital world.

I’m sure a lot more people would have liked to attend the event, so hopefully we can cover some of the main bits here. Throughout the day there were two lots of sessions running. I was in the main session throughout the day so if anyone attended the breakout sessions, then please leave your feedback on those in the comments section.


Session 1 – Online Privacy, Freedom & Security (in the Era of Transparency)

Session 1 -Online Privacy - Freedom and Security

The first session was chaired by Stephanie McGovern, the BBC Breakfast Business Presenter, with the panellists including; James Ball, The Guardian Data Journalist, Graham Culey, an Independent Computer Security Analyst along with Martha Gill, Journalist at The Telegraph and New Statesman.

Overall the session was really insightful, especially to find that The Guardian only receives around 1.5 – 2% of their traffic from Twitter. James Ball made a good point about how journalists are in a difficult situation since on one hand it is extremely important to protect their sources, although with the increasing usage of new technology this can lead to you compromising your sources without even realising.


Session 2 – Editorial Leadership, Social Media & Breaking News

Session 2 - Editorial Leadership - Social Media and Breaking News

The second session was chaired by Rachel Burden, BBC Radio 5 Live, with the panellists including; Anna Doble the Head of Online at Channel 4 News, Tim Gatt the ITV News Digital Output Editor along with Chris Hamilton the BBC News Social Media Editor.

Throughout the session, Tim Gatt gave a fantastic insight into the performance of the ITV News website which gets over 4 million visitors per month, 50% of which is from Twitter and Facebook. In addition, he revealed that ITV Evening News gets between 4 – 6 million viewers per night.

After which, Aziz Rashid the Head of BBC North West pointed out that this is beaten by BBC Regional News every night. Not that it is a competition…

Anna Doble gave an interest insight into how the Channel 4 News Google+ followers are actually far more engaged with Channel 4 compared with other social channels. This is an interesting topic since it was also debated at another session as to which is more important, a high number of followers or a highly engaged but lower number of followers.

Chris Hamilton is quite excited about the future of Facebook, particularly with the introduction of the Facebook Insights API and Graph Search. If you aren’t sure what they are, in short, the Facebook Insights API allows developers to pull aggregated demographic information from Facebook which can be used to better understand your audiences. Likewise, Facebook’s Graph Search allows users to easily find people who are interested in different topics, as an example you could search for “Developers in Blackburn who like Star Wars”. Ok maybe that is a bad example, as I’m sure that would include most developers, but hopefully this highlights what this is. The point Chris was making is that this really does allow businesses to find trending information that is happening right now, which has previously been left to the realms of Twitter.


Session 3 – Flagship Entertainment “Capturing the nation” – The Battle for the Biggest Audience

Session 3 - Flagship Entertainment - Capturing the Nation - Battle for the Biggest Audeince

The third session was chaired by Stephanie McGovern the BBC Breakfast Business Presenter with panellists including; Rob Francis the BBC Continuing Drama Online Producer, James Cooper the X-Factor Senior Interactive Producer and Thom Gulseven the Channel 4 Senior Online Producer.

This again was an insightful session with interesting findings about the X-Factor around website traffic. James mentioned that while the website traffic from traditional sources was decreasing, this was being replaced by increases in traffic to the website which is being fuelled by the X-Factor 5th Judge App which has been downloaded more than 1 million times.

When James was asked if the 5th Judge App was leading to less people picking up the phone to vote, he didn’t have the figures. Although he did say that they are introducing a pay-in-app option, which one can only infer that this is the case and X-Factor are aiming to increase revenue via the mobile app.

The topic of engagement VS follower numbers came up and while Thom Gulseven would prefer a much more engaged audience on social channels, James believes that the large number of followers is still vitally important especially from a commercial point of view. Ultimately advertisers want to know how many people are going to be seeing their branding messages.

Another interesting piece of data that Thom mentioned was that around 50% of viewers watch Made in Chelsea ‘On Demand’ which is a staggering amount. This really does just show how the behaviour is changing for how people consume content. This leads nicely onto the keynote speaker of the day, Ben Cooper who talked about the shift away from different devices towards providing content on ‘All Screens’ at times when people want to watch things.


Session 4 – Keynote Speaker – All Screens

Session 4 - Keynote Speaker - All Screens

The keynote speaker for the day was Ben Cooper the BBC Radio 1 & BBC Radio 1 Xtra Controller. Through his talk he really emphasised the importance of knowing your audience and what they want. This understanding is changing the way content is being created at the BBC and how it is then shared with the world.

One example Ben gave was how they have added an extra dimension to radio by adding 6 cameras per radio studio which is allowing them to create even more content with little extra effort involved. This extra dimensions is paving the way for engaging with different audiences who may not have listed live to a show previously. An example of this was the recent interview with Kanye West which has been viewed on YouTube over 1.5 million times within the space of 6 weeks since being uploaded.

One really interesting point mentioned is about how the BBC are looking to incorporate Radio 1 into the iPlayer platform instead of using YouTube. This is really interesting since this is starting to move the power of short form video away from the Google owned YouTube platform back to the BBC.

As part of the ‘All Screens’ topic, Ben mentioned that 33% of people use music streaming services simply because they can access them via a mobile device. Around this topic, there is always the debate if music streaming services are going to replace radio and Ben simply doesn’t believe this to be true. Radio has much more of a personality and allows listeners to connect with the presenter at a level that streaming services simply can’t offer. What I believe will be interesting in the future is how the two of these merge together. Are we going to start to see more homemade live streaming radio stations curated by amateur DJs which can build up a following of their own – all powered by a streaming service in the background? It is going to be interesting to see either way.

A few other interesting facts about Radio 1 is that the website gets approximately 3 million unique visits per week, the YouTube channel is the most popular radio station on YouTube with over 680,000 subscribers along with a fact that 9 people every second are watching a Radio 1 video on YouTube. On top of this, 10.8 million people listen to Radio 1 each week for an average of 6 hours. Ben mentioned that this is down from a previous average of 12 hours per week, but I would question if this is simply because audiences are simply consuming the content in different ways and the BBC hasn’t managed to integrate these new data sources to fully understand how people are consuming content.


Session 5 – Investigative Journalism & New Technologies

Session 5 - Investigative Journalism and New Technologies

The next session started with Tim Pool, a VICE Journalist and Producer who is really breaking the boundaries of journalism by using new and exciting technologies. These technologies include live video streaming, Google Glass and drones with video camera attached.

An interesting point made by Tim is how he has had to use this technology in the past to get past the police who were blocking him from legally filming. The situation he described was how the police were lined up in a row blocking journalists’ access to an area so they couldn’t film. This is where the use of drones came in, Tim simply flew a drone over the police to start filming what he was legally allowed to.

Following on from Tim was a panel chaired by Cat Lewis the CEO and Executive Producer at Nine Lives Media with panellists including; Ian Katz the BBC Newsnight Editor and Alex Miller the VICE UK Editor in Chief. Throughout the discussion it was interesting to hear about the different rules that each company needs to follow along with how online criticism is dealt with.

On the BBC side, everything has to follow extremely strict guidelines whereas at VICE, things are a little more relaxed which allows them to put an interesting twist on their reporting. Due to the different approaches, the way criticism is dealt with also changes. If a slip is made by a BBC presenter then the usual ‘we are very sorry’ comes out, whereas if a similar thing were to happen with VICE, then this would be a more relaxed approach and often the readers would understand that actually, what was said wasn’t said in a negative light.


Session 6 – Sport, Social Media & ROI with Audiences

Session 6 - Sport Social Media and ROI with Audiences

The final session of the day was chaired by Ben Gallop the BBC Sports Head of Interactive & Formula 1 with panellists including; Scott Davies the VP EMEA of, Chris Nield the Social Media Executive at Manchester City FC along with Dan Walker the BBC Sports Presenter.

This final session raised some interesting points about how to handle trolls online, with the panel having different methods of dealing with this. One can simply ignore the trolls and get on with your day, whereas others have found that retweeting hate messages to their followers allows their followers to deal with the problem on their behalf. There is no sure fire answer here to the problem trolls cause online, so I’m sure we are going to see a lot more debates about this topic in the future.

An interesting statistic from Ben Gallop was that 40% of all tweets are about sport. I’m not sure where that figure has come from and it isn’t one that I am sure is 100% correct. I have found a study that 40% of tweets are ‘babble’, which depending on how you read that could be sports or not.

Ben did go on to say that the BBC Sports website is the largest in the UK in terms of audience and that around 4 – 5 million people watch Match of the Day each week. On a social media point, it was interesting to find out that approximately twice as many people are tweeting about Match of the Day compared to Strictly Come Dancing, even though Strictly has double the audience. This again comes down to the point raised earlier about engagement.

Dan Walker gave an interesting insight into how they managed to interview Mario Balotelli. He notoriously doesn’t do interviews with people, although Dan found out that he was a huge fan of Noel Gallagher and that Noel also liked to dedicate a song to Mario at different gigs. It took 6 months to plan but eventually Dan managed to organise an interview of Mario with Noel. This just goes to show the importance of creating unique and engaging content and that it takes time and effort to do this.



Overall the #SocialMediaWhatsTrending event was a fantastic day with lots of knowledgeable speakers. It was great to find out about the juicy bits of data from some of the most well-known websites and brands in the UK. If you ever want to reference and of this information quickly, we have put together this infographic on the subject which summarises the whole day into nice bite sized chunks;

Click for full infographic

Click for full infographic

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Halloween Fun

Where would we be without a bit of Halloween fun? Here is the BBC’s attempt at pumpkin carving, which one do you like the best?

Halloween fun