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#Huddledown in Eastbourne

Date: 7 August 2017

Huddle Conference

Emma reports back after attending Eastbourne’s first Creative Digital Technology mini conference

By Emma Pearce, Marketing Consultant, Pearce Marketing
(as published in Platinum Business Magazine)

I was intrigued when I received an invitation to Huddle in my email inbox. It turned out to be a Creative Digital Technology mini conference featuring three interesting sounding speakers as well as a bit of networking – but it was happening in Eastbourne. Yes, Eastbourne, rather than the rather more well established creative industry centres of Brighton and Hastings.

As a digital marketer that works collaboratively with other creative and technical people and loves cloud technology, I was soon buying tickets for myself and a colleague. I’m glad we went – with about 70 other people it turned out.

Eastbourne has some great people working on all manner of creative projects locally, nationally and across the globe. Infact, co-organiser Stuart Lambert from Cohub in Eastbourne, quoted figures from Nesta that said how Eastbourne is in the top 47 creative clusters in the UK. The town has 2703 people from 969 businesses working in this sector. So that doesn’t include all the freelancers. It’s a high growth sector – with a high concentration on the South Coasts with Hastings and Brighton too.

Alex Read from Bamb, co-organiser of the event, said “The aim of Huddle is to create a meaningful and credible community of creative, digital and tech workers.”

Stuart, Alex and Rob Price from Deckchair Digital are aiming for Huddle to achieve a number of things:

  • Build a platform that shows local opportunities, vacancies, a talent list for the area and publicises applicable news
  • Host training and workshops, socials and conferences around the creative and tech sectors
  • Enable more collaboration and awareness for who is around and what they can offer
  • Lobby local authorities and bigger businesses to source locally
  • Show the might of collective talent and grow the local economy


The first speaker of the night was Nicholas Raeburn from Sky Iris Productions and Vireal Media. He talked about passion projects and how they can work for you and your business. Once a year he tries to undertake a personal project with little or no budget. He decided to enter a film competition and without even knowing the result as yet, it has lead to him doing a piece of work for Elton John! He believes that you should ask yourself “what would you love to do?”. If you ever feel that you’re are losing your spark, then a passion project, where you do it for the love, will reignite your creativity.

The second speaker was Donna Comerford who wears many hats including Education Coordinator for Brighton Digital Festival and Advisory Board Member at Tec Hub Eastleigh. She demonstrated, with fantastic success stories, how we should all seize the opportunity to collaborate between education, arts and creative digital industry firms. With a skills shortage and children (and adults) having a lack of insight into what local jobs there are in creative, tech and digital sectors, we should all do more to help educate. She encouraged everyone to speak to local teachers about giving talks.

The final speaker was Ant Miller from Human Made who develop WordPress websites for enterprise scale companies like Greenpeace and TechCrunch. He talked about empathy being the key ingredient to successful relationships between people involved on collaborative projects. He said that anything complicated, interesting and new needs partners to deliver value. There is a correlation between partnership and innovation. How you deal with a situation when the proverbial hits the fan will come down to practical empathy. His amusing and entertaining talk went down well.

Congratulations to the Huddle team for a great first event in Eastbourne at the Royal Hippodrome Theatre. To find out more and the latest events visit:

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