Article | Jake Hudson-Wood

Barns Bulletin #2


October edition of the monthly Bulletin. For all things Freestyle, Read on…

So we’ve reached the end of October, and what a month it’s been. The temperature may have significantly dropped, but the activity at the barns has not; we’ve been all over the country for various conferences and awards ceremonies, but we still made it back just in time for a spot of trick or treating. Here’s what’s been kicking off at Freestyle in the last few weeks:



Additions to the Trophy Cabinet…

First up, we have been shortlisted for Communication Company of the Year by the Midlands Business Awards, so stay tuned for updates on that. But the main event this month was winning Bronze for Best Digital Rebrand at The Digital Impact Awards for our work with Pegasus Life. Great work from the PL team, making all your fellow Freestylers proud!

In addition, we’ve attended a flurry of conferences this month, with Freestylers bouncing all around the country, picking up valuable insights and making new contacts. After every conference we hold a team meeting where we present our most valuable takeaway, and occasionally pictures of delicious treats we found on the way.

IP Expo An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth

The first conference this month was IP Expo, a digital transformation event stacked with seminars about future technologies and how businesses should take advantage of them. Speakers included Dr. Hannah Fry, Andrew Keen, and even world famous Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, who had the most memorable quote of the conference :

“Early success is a terrible teacher. You're essentially being rewarded for a lack of preparation, so when you find yourself in a situation where you must prepare, you can't do it. You don't know how”


Pitching up at the Caravan Show…

Next up was the annual Caravan and Motorhome Show at the NEC. As the Caravan and Motorhome Club’s digital agency, we got to attend the show to get a bit more context around CAMC’s customer base and what is going on in the industry. We were not disappointed, from huge Winnebagos to converted minivans, they had everything the avid caravaner would need. The only thing left for us to do is try out a couple of CAMC sites, weekend away anyone?

Re:Develop 2018 : Fostering success through collaboration

Another event we attended this month was Re:Develop 2018, a conference in Bournemouth for developers and managers. After attending many a conference which failed to live up to expectations we were so impressed with the Re:Develop conference. They started strong with great snacks on arrival and loads of freebies, you could say they ‘had us at hello’. But once settled into our seats we were then hit with great talk after great talk. From the evolution of the Google Maps API, to improving estimation skills and building collaborative teams, and not forgetting life lessons from the Wu Tang Clan. 

As a team with different skillsets and perspectives, we all took a lot of nuggets from the day and we are looking forward to implementing some of the ideas at Freestyle. We’ve put our request in for tickets next year too!

Entourage with Blair Enns : Win Without Pitching

This event was held at the Institute of Mechanical Engineers in Birdcage Walk, London, with around 400 attendees in a packed lecture theatre. Blair Enns entertained and lightly scolded us all for our terrible agency practices, taking us point by point through the 12 key chapters of his approach. If we get it right, there will be 400 agencies doing a better job of building their businesses and serving clients in a more equitable way than the client/supplier model. Must remember, ‘I am the expert, I am the prize’.

NUX Conference 2018 : We need to be brave as designers

Freestylers Amy and Claudia took a trip up to Manchester to take part in the Northern User Experience meet-up and they brought back loads of UX knowledge to share with the rest of us, including:

  • Collaboration is vital, we need to use meetings and workshops to define a common purpose so everyone is on board
  • Challenge the brief, never blindly just ‘do’
  • Importance of designers is ever increasing, collaborate with all teams to build a world you’d be proud to leave behind
  • “You have to slow down enough to think. You have to move fast enough to learn” – we need to be ahead of the game when it comes to ethics, privacy and information sharing
  • Approach things with a beginner's mind, don’t be afraid to ask questions, be open, eager and don’t judge

Drinks, dinner, and desserts in Digbeth

To reward ourselves for a great third quarter of 2018, a huge gang of Freestylers headed up to Birmingham for the Digbeth Dining Club, a street food/drinks evening where we all got to try (waaay too much) amazing food; everything from mutton curry to gourmet hotdogs. We even finished off with some award winning desserts, Guy really enjoyed his chocolate maple marshmallow pancake, as you can see below.

Freestyle bakers are on a roll

One of the many perks of working at Freestyle is that every Wednesday we get a delivery of freshly baked bread and cakes from Knead It! bakery. The bread is so good that a few of us went on a course to learn how to recreate the magic at home! For an entire day on a chilly Sunday, these Freestylers were hard at work baking red bread, focaccia, cinnamon buns, Chelsea buns, and pizza; much to the enjoyment of everyone in the office on Monday morning! Hopefully this means fresh bread will be a daily occurrence at the Barns…

Freestyle dog of the month

Finally, the bulletin wouldn't be complete without our obligatory office dog picture, so here is our Freestyle Dog of the Month, Lola!

That’s all for October, be sure to follow us on Instagram and Twitter to keep updated on everything Freestyle throughout November!

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