The Christian New Media Conference to Premier Digital Conference
In 2010 I joined CODEC part-time, and soon got involved in setting up the ‘Christian New Media Conference‘ to accompany the awards that Premier Christian Media has been running since 2007 (my thoughts on awards in 2013). The first year attracted around 200 delegates at the Cass Business School, lots of positive feedback, and so we continued – formalising the notion of ‘inspire, equip and connect’ as the conference strap-line soon afterwards. In 2012, if I remember rightly, we outgrew our original venue and tried King’s College at Waterloo – that turned out to be a bit of a Faraday Cage and also too small for the 400+ delegates. In 2013, we took a risk on The Brewery, knowing we needed 500+ to cover costs – so 600+ was celebrated, last year we took our learnings about venue and content, and this year we continue with another excellent line-up. ‘New Media’ as a term is now rather old hat, so here we go with ‘Digital’!
Although I’ve started a new role as Senior Lecturer in Digital Marketing at Manchester Metropolitan University – “with a particular interest in digital culture, and how this affects the third sector, especially faith organisations, voluntary organisations, and government behavioural campaigns” – I remain involved as Conference (Programme) Consultant – so I’m always keen to hear from those interested in being involved in the conference.
Hashtags are simple – or they need to be! It’s the means by which people can find the event, participate in ongoing conversations, and for every year from 2011 onwards, has trended – at least in the UK – for most of the day (which does bring its own problems – with spammers – and who can forget #pickles!). The original hashtag was created by Pete Phillips – keen to find something short and memorable – and that could be ‘said’. Much debate about whether it was C.M.Mac, or CiniMac… but this year, with the change of name – the hashtag has also changed – although keeping the remit of short, sayable and memorable … so welcome to #PremDac15… watch as the activity hots up in the weeks leading up to November 14th 2015.
- In 2010, I shared a keynote with Maggi Dawn entitled Online: A Theology
- In 2011, I talked about #digidisciples, questioning how we can be whole-live disciples online
- In 2012, I gave a session with Bryony Taylor on Online Tools You Shouldn’t Be Without, and undertook an experimental end of conference Story of Today, drawing in voices inside/outside the event.
- In 2013 I gave a TED-style keynote entitled Tortured by Technology, plus a beginner’s talk on Digital Strategy 101
- In 2014, I offered a Digital Healthcheck, which encouraged us to think about healthy habits online.
- In 2015 I am offering ‘Create Engagement’: “The digital world is a social world. How do you get people to actually engage and take part in your digital project?”. We’ll look at some successful projects and discuss some ideas for how this might work for other projects.
Along with Premier, I have also undertaken a number of events (#NMTrain) around the country, designed particularly for those who find it difficult to get to London.
Want to know more?
Dr Bex Lewis is passionate about helping people engage with the digital world in a positive way, where she has more than 20 years’ experience. She is Senior Lecturer in Digital Marketing at Manchester Metropolitan University and Visiting Research Fellow at St John’s College, Durham University, with a particular interest in digital culture, persuasion and attitudinal change, especially how this affects the third sector, including faith organisations, and, after her breast cancer diagnosis in 2017, has started to research social media and cancer. Trained as a mass communications historian, she has written the original history of the poster Keep Calm and Carry On: The Truth Behind the Poster (Imperial War Museum, 2017), drawing upon her PhD research. She is Director of social media consultancy Digital Fingerprint, and author of Raising Children in a Digital Age: Enjoying the Best, Avoiding the Worst (Lion Hudson, 2014; second edition in process) as well as a number of book chapters, and regularly judges digital awards. She has a strong media presence, with her expertise featured in a wide range of publications and programmes, including national, international and specialist TV, radio and press, and can be found all over social media, typically as @drbexl.