Category Archives: Liverpool

Tech Nomads – Who Are They?

Who are Tech Nomads, and what do they do?

Based in Liverpool, Tech Nomads is a monthly meetup group. Held usually at Liverpool Science Park, this group consists of creatively minded people who are interested in programming, along with other tech and digital industry areas.

The purpose of Tech Nomads is to bring together and nurture a creative environment for people in Liverpool, to collaborate on tech-related ideas. By creating a close supportive community, Tech Nomads allows for the facilitation of creativity, through informal networking, as well as sharing ideas and experiences. Attendees can also develop their creative skills through writing code.

Recently I mentioned how the Liverpool City Region (LCR) has a growing creative, digital and tech community. Therefore, the work of groups such as Tech Nomads are indispensable, as they are hotbeds of tech and digital creativity, where like-minded people come together to meet, share, collaborate and learn from each other. It is through enabling different minds to interact in a supportive and informal environment, that creativity can thrive.

Tech Nomads is not just for people with an interest in technology. In fact, it is open to everyone, making it inclusive, open and welcoming. This is important to prevent people working in silos, which hinders creativity within organisations.

I am certainly impressed and intrigued greatly with the work that Tech Nomads does. Working in IT, I am certainly looking forward to attending events, along with meeting and networking with fellow tech enthusiasts. Finally, I am also looking forward to learning and sharing knowledge and experiences.

You can find out more about their events on Eventbrite, and also follow them on Twitter.

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Ubiquity City Social – Modigliani Opera Exhibition

Following on from my last article, I would like to share with you a second art-themed post. This is about a networking event in Liverpool that I attended recently, which featured an art exhibition that was educational, yet so unique and breathtakingly brilliant. In the words of Monty Python, it was something completely different!

This networking event was Ubiquity PR’s City Social. Held at 26 Bold Street in Liverpool, the event was to promote the Modigliani Opera Exhibition. This exhibition is to promote and celebrate the work of Amedeo Modigliani, using 4K videos, cinema screens and VR (virtual reality) technology, to provide an immersive and interactive presentation of the artist’s life and work.

Who is Amedeo Modigliani?

Born in the Italian city of Livorno in July 1884, Amedeo Modigliani is a painter and sculptor. Well know for creating portraits and nudes of a distinctive individual style, Modigliani’s works, which although not greatly received at the time, have since soared in critical appreciation and recognition of his artistic talent. In addition, Modigliani was also interested in poetry and developed acquaintances with notable artists and writers including Pablo Picasso, Jean Cocteau and Max Jacob.

Despite his success, Modigliani’s life was also plagued by ill-health, sadly resulting in his death in January 1920 from tubercular meningitis. Such a tragic end was compounded when his fiancé Jeanne Hebuterne committed suicide two days after his death, whilst eight-months pregnant with their second child.

There was plenty I admired about the exhibition. Firstly, I was amazed by how VR was used to present Modigliani’s life and work, which made me feel as if I was in his presence. A second reason was that I liked how the venue was specifically adapted, with the low lighting, shades of darkness and the 4K video screens, giving an atmosphere and a sense of mystique to the exhibition. It was something I had never experienced previously, and it enhanced the exhibition beyond my expectations.

In summary, the exhibition was a delight, as I was impressed with how it brought Modigliani’s work to life before your eyes and ears, making this a powerful educational experience. As well as absorbing the art and culture, there was also the opportunity to network with familiar faces. This helped to nicely compliment the exhibition, meaning I was able to absorb plenty from an educational evening, making this very pleasant to attend.

If you are a fan of Modigliani’s work, a lover of art and culture, or just curious to find out more, I really recommend attending the exhibition. Even better is that it runs till Monday 30th September, so you can order tickets here.

I would like to thank everyone involved with the exhibition. These include Joel Jelen and everyone at Ubiquity PR, as well as the award-winning The Italian Club for providing the catering. My special thanks also go to the representatives of the Fondazione Amedeo Modigliani. This is for providing a great multimedia exhibition, and for sharing their knowledge about Amedeo Modigliani’s work. You can find more about their work here.

Ciao!

Keith Haring Exhibition at Tate Liverpool – A Review

Although I have never regarded myself as a connoisseur or knowledgeable about art, I do admire the quality and effort that any artist puts into their work. I also respect how artists express themselves through their work, to interpret their views and opinions of the world around them. This was my experience when I attended the Keith Haring Exhibition in Tate Liverpool.

Keith Haring is a renowned American artist who created pop-art and graffiti-based works. Influenced by the street culture of New York in the 1970s and 1980s, he created several works of interesting imagery that reflected various social and political themes, that are still relevant today.

Having never previously heard of Keith Haring, I had no idea what to expect beforehand. Therefore, what I liked about the exhibition, is that it is a multi-sensory tour-de-force in combining the display of his works, with visual and audio displays, chronically his life and work, from his beginnings to his later years.

As well as displaying his talent, the exhibition also conveyed serious and powerful messages. These reflected his activism on subjects including racism, war, LGBT rights, nuclear weapons, apartheid, drugs and the AIDS epidemic. The latter is very poignant, as Keith campaigned tirelessly to raise awareness of AIDS and safe sex, before he died of AIDS-related complications in February 1990, at the tragic young age of 31.

I liked the exhibition very much, as I was taken by the colourful and striking appearances of Keith’s work. The imagery was very symbolic, and powerful enough to catch and hold my attention in different ways, through sight and sound. Another compliment is the seriousness of Keith’s later works certainly gave me plenty of food for thought, as it was a painful reminder of how the 1980’s was blighted by prejudice, injustice, fear and ignorance.

Overall, the exhibition is an experience that I seriously recommend. This is because the exhibition is a vivid and educational experience of eye-catching pop-art, that makes use of your senses. Secondly, the exhibition will also take you back to the 1980s and allow you to see how the issues faced then are still relevant and widespread today. A final reason is that as well as learning about the powerful artistic work of Keith Haring, it is important to understand more must be done to tackle the prejudices and injustices that we face today.

Finally, it is also very fitting that Tate Liverpool is hosting this exhibition till Sunday 10th November. This is because the city of Liverpool has a proud record of being open, diverse and welcoming, whilst resisting and fighting against prejudice and injustice, making the city an ideal host.

You can also find out more about Keith Haring on his foundation’s website.

Ubiquity City Social – El Pecado

Last week, I attended the Ubiquity City Social networking event at El Pecado. Located and hidden away on Bold Street in the heart of Liverpool’s Ropewalks, this cosy little Spanish eatery provided an ideal backdrop, to a delightful evening of networking. It was a lovely event to attend, and I came away afterwards not only impressed with the networking, but also of the venue and its homely surroundings.

Arriving at the event early, I was greeted with friendly welcomes and smiles. This was followed by refreshments including tapas that was tasty enough, to satisfy the hungry and salivating appetites. Other refreshments included glasses of sangria and wine, which was certainly popular with several attendees.

The event featured an interesting mix of people. Naturally there were several familiar faces, including some I had not seen for a long while, and I was also delighted to meet some new faces too. These included Heather Anderson of The Hive Youth Zone, Russell Gannon of Baltic Triangle Area CIC and Jane Slinger-Brennan of Rutherford Diagnostics. It was interesting to listen to their stories about what they do, which not only gave me food for thought, but also some potential ideas for future blogging content (watch this space).

El Pecado was a homely yet atmospheric restaurant. This is because I noticed how the tables and chairs were neatly arranged closely to each other. I also noticed the low-hanging lights on the ceiling and the closeness of the kitchen, which gave a sense of intimacy. In my opinion, El Pecado has the feeling and touch of an old-fashioned family-run restaurant with a soul and sense of comfort, fitting in nicely within the unique community and vibrant surroundings of Bold Street.

My thanks go to Joel Jelen and everyone at Ubiquity PR for organising a fine networking event. I also would like to thank the staff of El Pecado for the tapas, the sangria and the other refreshments, which all helped to make for a lovely evening.

Thanks for reading!

Professional Liverpool – Creative, Digital & Tech Sector Group Launch

The city of Liverpool has a vibrant and fast growing creative, digital and technology sector. Across the entire Liverpool City Region (LCR), there are many businesses who utilise technology to collaborate and work with partners and clients. However there needs to be a single unifying voice, to represent the interests of Liverpool’s creative, digital and tech community.

I was delighted to recently attend the launch of Professional Liverpool’s Creative, Digital and Tech Sector Group, at Roxy Ballroom in Liverpool. The purpose of this group is to provide a representative voice to the sector, and to raise awareness and promote it to the LCR and beyond.

Collaboration was the theme for this event, including the importance to businesses. This featured guest speakers who provided an overview of the group’s purpose and aims, along with why businesses need to collaborate. Led by Paul Furlong of Opus Media, who is the group’s chairman, the other speakers were Kelly Forshaw of Laduma, and Neil Atkinson of The Anfield Wrap, who gave some interesting examples of successful collaboration from their experiences in business.

The launch had a feel-good vibe to the atmosphere. With a warm, informal and quirky touch, there was plenty of networking, and collaboration with a packed-out audience feeling at ease, leading to hearty laughs and conversation. This was helped by the drinks, pizzas and chicken wings provided, along with the indoor golf, bowling alleys and table tennis.

I certainly hope the Creative, Digital and Tech Group is successful for Professional Liverpool and the region. Judging by the success of this event, I have great hopes for this group to encourage Liverpool’s creative, digital and technology community, and to collaborate successfully with other businesses and organisations. In these tough and digitally connected times, businesses and industry sectors can no longer afford to work within silos.

This means collaboration is the way forward for businesses and organisations, regardless of public, private or charitable sector position. This can only be achieved through open and honest communication, teamwork, and a willingness to listen and work together.

I was glad to have attended, as I am looking forward to learning more from future events. It was a pleasant evening and I would like to thank all the speakers, and everyone at Professional Liverpool and Roxy Ballroom, for coming together and successfully collaborating on a successful group launch.

LinkedOffline – A Networking Event with a Difference

It is good to attend a networking event and come away afterwards feeling that you have encountered something completely different. This is because some networking events are mostly similar in style and structure, meaning that you subconsciously expect the same every time.

Last month, I was delighted to attend the LinkedOffline networking event in the NYL Lounge in Liverpool’s Aloft Hotel. Having been involved with the LinkedIn and WhatsApp groups I was made to feel very welcome, which is why I decided to attend this event. I had also heard reasonably good vibes from the groups, and I was looking forward to attending.

Having arrived for the event at the Aloft, I was made to feel very welcome, meaning the positive vibes were justified. There was an interesting mix of people from different backgrounds, with shared stories, hearty good-natured laughs and also conversations on a wide variety of topics. A interesting little bonus was that I met up with some familiar faces, and I learned how to use the scan function within the LinkedIn app to connect with people.

The event began with an open-networking feel allowing everyone to informally meet, mingle and mix socially. Following this there was a welcome speech, which was followed by a group discussion, where everyone was broken into groups allowing for a brief discussion on what qualities made for good leadership. In addition these discussions enabled icebreaking to allow for everyone to introduce themselves, in a comfortable and relaxing environment, whilst also listening and learning from the stories of others. This made the event different from others I have previously attended, which was pleasant for me personally, as I came away with something new.

In conclusion, I really enjoyed the event and I recommend LinkedOffline to anyone in Liverpool. Set in a lovely and welcoming environment such as the Aloft, you can be sure to have a nice evening of networking.

I would like to thank Pam Case and Ian Denny the co-founders of LinkedOffline for organising a lovely event.

The Platform – Has Liverpool Got the Media it Needs?

There are so many media platforms in Liverpool today. From newspapers, online news and blog sites, the media representation of Liverpool has transformed beyond recognition.

At this month’s Platform event in Liverpool Science Park, I was delighted to attend and listen to an interesting debate, which looked at Liverpool’s media community. Led by representatives from the Liverpool Echo, BBC Radio Merseyside and Radio City Talk, this was a debate that was informative and engaging, with the panel and audience each having plenty to say. It was a lively discussion and at times very feisty!

Because media is a broad subject, this debate focused on how Liverpool is represented locally, where resources can be applied, the fairness of media coverage, and if any improvements can be made. The panel included Ryan McKernan from Agent Marketing, Paul O’Connor from Hit Search, Rosie Kenyon from Kenyons, Susan Lee from the Liverpool Echo, Pauline McAdam from BBC Radio Merseyside, Mick Coyle from Radio City Talk, and Liam Fogarty from the University of Central Lancashire.

I have learned plenty about the local media in Liverpool. For starters, print media is declining due to the fall in circulation, and fierce competition from online platforms. This means smaller print titles face a difficult and uncertain future, meaning some will cease to exist.

As a long-standing local newspaper, the Liverpool Echo continues to adapt and buck the trend for print media. This is through a combination of advertising revenue and their continued coverage of news representing all aspects of life in the city, including crime, politics and football. Indeed, I have learned the Echo recently saw a 60% surge in paper sales due to Liverpool’s recent dramatic Champions League semi-final victory over Barcelona, which shows how popular topics such as football helps to attract and grow audiences.

Advertising is also crucial for both traditional and digital media platforms. Whilst BBC Radio Merseyside is funded by the licence fee, others are reliant on revenue generated by advertising through audience growth, from the popularity of content created that connects and resonates with people. Therefore, to create and market content, it is important to know the target audience, and how to deliver and connect with them.

Despite the popularity of online platforms, I was also interested to learn that radio is still popular. Radio is a very simple concept that makes a connection with people and is also second to none when producing and delivering news, that relates to people in Liverpool. It also has the advantage of being continually able to rapidly adapt and produce content to fit the changing tone of these current times.

I also learned other interesting points related to Liverpool’s local media, which include the following.

  1. Engaging with people to get messages across.
  2. Need to be digitally literate and know how to use platforms properly.
  3. Plan what a campaign needs to do.
  4. Digital marketing is a very broad term.
  5. Know how to deliver content to a targeted audience.
  6. Content needs to tell stories that resonate with the audience.
  7. In negative stories, look for the positives.

Does Liverpool have the media it needs? Reflecting on what I have learned, I believe the media in Liverpool serves the city reasonably well. Platforms such as the Liverpool Echo, BBC Radio Merseyside and Radio City Talk produce content relevant to the city and its people, from local politics, public and mental health, environment, knife crime, government cuts, to other subjects such as football.

However, I also believe they can cover more stories related to the good things happening in Liverpool. These can include stories related to people, businesses, tourism and other topics. Indeed, there are several news websites such as Liverpool Business News, Good News Liverpool, My Planet Liverpool and The Guide Liverpool, which produce good quality content about positive things happening in the city.

I appreciate and respect that topics such as crime, local politics and football needs to be covered with limited media resources, as they are popular and helps sales. However, it is surely worth taking an occasional risk in covering other subjects, that may not get as much attention.

Is there any harm in trying?

In conclusion, I would like to thank all the panel members for their contribution to a lively debate, and to the members of the audience for their participation. My thanks also go to Liverpool Science Park for sponsoring the event. Finally, I would also like to thank Amanda Follit, Mick Ord, Garth Dallas and Steve Dickson, for organising a very thought-provoking discussion.