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Published October 20th 2016

NYK Europe Live: Day One

Follow along for all day updates on what's happening at the Brandwatch NYK Europe Conference, taking place in London.

The day is finally here. It’s October 20th, London is looking beautiful, we can see the Shard from the front door, and the inaugural Now You Know Europe is underway.

I’m going to be guiding you through the next two days from Prospero House in London Bridge, so keep checking back for more! I don’t usually allow exclamation points but today calls for it.

We have guests all the way from Boulder, CA, India, Belgium and even Namibia in the audience today. If you couldn’t make it, we’re live streaming the event – you can follow along in the streams I’ve linked to in the blogs below, and why not download the app (fancy!) here.

04.05pm: Closing

Stephen closed his talk by covering how the future is, actually, already here.

But going forward, not only is more of the world going to be more connected, but the internet is going to become even more embedded in our lives, in unprecedented ways. Also, he has a houseboat. I would like a houseboat.

Will is closing the day, and we’re going to be back tomorrow with TWO, yes TWO streams of content. I’ll be bringing you the highlights, embedding tweets, popping up interesting links and eating more cake.

Go surf through all the tweets over at #NYKConf, enjoy a wine, and I’ll be back. Is that a Terminator joke? I think it was.

03.57pm: Keynote: The Future

The future of new content formats? The development of VR and AR is hugely exciting for Stephen and the Ketchum team.

Not only that, but “the future will be televised. Anyone can now broadcast to the world live through Facebook – and we are only just seeing the applications of this.”

The talk has been incredibly enlightening, and clearly I’m not the only one who has enjoyed it:

03.45pm – Keynote: The Future

As an expert on communication, Stephen is discussing networks, how they work, and the opportunities for engagement.

“I come at the internet from an earned media point of view,” he explains. “Brands are creating their own forms of media and their own communities – they’re creating their own influences. There’s a war taking place between earned and owned engagement and influence.”

Paid influence is a massive, massive business, creating a huge amount of noise – and also opportunities for anyone smart enough to take advantage.

Whenever an organization launches a new channel, people go and find it. Clever organisations are embedding them within other channels. META!

Stephen is talking us though crowdsourcing with purpose, citing a Lego campaign as an excellent example of an insight-led organization working directly with the public.

That’s the second time Lego has cropped up today. Clearly an inspirational brand.


03.35pm – Keynote: The Future

The next session, after we added to our already obscene daily calorie count by tucking in to more cake, is vaguely yet inticingly titled ‘The Future.’

Stephen Waddington, European Digital & Social Media Director at Ketchum and President-Elect of the CIPR, is going to talk us through his take on the bigger picture: which major trends are driving the social communications landscape, and where we are heading as a result. After this, we will ‘run headfirst into the firehose of alcohol’ – Will McInnes.


02.57pm – Panel: Now and Next

Some of the key themes emerging are the difficulties within tracking emojis, the evolution of sentiment analysis and the move to more private social, such as WhatsApp and conversations taking place on the dark web.

We published a blog on the contextual difficulties of emojis if you’d like some further reading: https://www.brandwatch.com/2016/04/context-of-emojis/.


02.47pm – Panel: Now and Next

Next up on stage we have a panel discussion on what’s next for social listening.

Traditional social listening started with keyword searches. In a richer, more visual and incredibly fast-moving global social landscape, we need to go beyond. Today and in the future we need to cover not just text analytics, but image analytics, and peer into the world of social through multiple lenses: visual, audiences, location and beyond.

We have Bian Salins of TSB Bank, Fernando of Good Rebels, and our own Agata Dec talking about what’s next with Will McInnes.

We’re learning what the group think on what the big shifts in what’s coming are, and the themes they’re seeing for the future of social data.

02.35pm – The Technology of Terminator

I just had to stop typing for a bit because I was laughing so much.

This is certainly one of the more creative presentations of the two days. Leila is currently comparing Skynet to Dropbox. Please watch the Periscope.

So what can Terminator teach us? “That the antidote to destruction is always creativity.” Everything can be changed if we prepare and take action.

We have the power to change the future, but we can’t change the past. It’s never been easier to bring brand new ideas into the world and keep creating.

02.16pm – The Technology of Terminator

Leila’s talk is exploring how Terminator is actually an amazing marketer. He’s undergone weathering rebranding strategies! He gets on the phone! Skynet is a mysterious paradox!

There is a slide at the moment saying ‘the kyle reese time travelling sperm paradox.’

This is where I confess I don’t think I’ve ever watched Terminator but I’m loving this talk. You can watch it on Periscope, remember!

02.10pm – The Technology of Terminator

With bellies full and having been caffeinated once again we are now listening to Leila Johnston, writer and digital artist, talk us though this mind-bending topic:

Predestination paradoxes, lock-picking, and really, Sarah, Kyle Reese? This whistle-stop tour around some of the weirder stuff in James Cameron’s naked time-travelling sex films will address the pressing technical questions, including who invented Skynet, how can someone as cool as Sarah Connor could possibly have produced such an awful son, and what does the gibberish on the T-800’s heads-up display really say?

This playful but informative talk also looks at how some of the realities of robotics, machine intelligence, nuclear defence and quantum computing in 2016 match up to the ideas explored in the Terminator universe almost 30 years ago.


“The thing about the Terminator is that he’s an amazing marketer – he’s the marketing for the SkyNet brand!”

12.50pm – Lunch

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been up since 4am. I am running on biscuits, coffee and ENGAGING PRESENTATIONS.

We’ll reconvene this afternoon for three talks on the future of social intelligence.

Before I go, though, two things.

One: we have a competition running.

Two: Here’s another tweet about Seth Rogen’s doppelgänger…if Dr Paul gets tired of whipping a crowd into a frenzy talking about influence and networks, perhaps a career beckons in whipping a crowd into a frenzy as a lookalike?

12.30pm –  Human and Machines Working Together in Harmony

As Kantar Media’s Gaelle Bertrand takes to the stage, I’ve just been told that our hashtag is being spammed!


Get involved (not in the spam) over at #NYKConf. Anyway. Back to the talk.

Gaelle is taking us on a journey through social media, via human and machine. NLP is always a hot topic in the social data world, so Gaelle will be exploring this a little later in the talk.

The talk is touching on the myriad ways humans and machines can work together to create important work. How do machines help humans? And how do humans help machines?

12.19pm – Panel: Social Intelligence Today

“We’ve launched products based off of our social data.”

Katie Scott, Unilever

To wrap this one up – what a powerful quote. It’s been a whip-smart half-hour.

12.03pm – Panel: Social Intelligence Today

Tim Liew of 3M is discussing the customer journey and, despite falling marketing budgets, the importance of insights in 3M and how Brandwatch helps gather these.

He also dropped in a massive stat – they’ve been deploying social listening across almost 20 countries.

There’s a lot going on, so double screen it and watch over on the live stream to keep up! Also my fingers are tired.

Following this fab panel we have a talk on the relationships between humans and machines.

11.52am – Panel: Social Intelligence Today

Next up we have four brilliant friends of Brandwatch sitting on a panel. Here’s the snippet from the agenda:

screen-shot-2016-10-20-at-11-49-47 screen-shot-2016-10-20-at-11-51-44

Katie of Unilever is talking about blending data. Her favourite combination is Social, Search and Sales. “The Triple S.”

Vikki says she loves the hunger for data – “but not just data for data’s sake.” She says what they’re seeing at H+K is a real requirement of audience mapping – following on nicely from the previous talk.

11.45am – The Science of Influence and Networks

Paul has been showing us networks he has created using social data. It shows how, despite fame and fortune, Leonardo DiCaprio is less influential on climate change issues than a small Nigerian news outlet.

And how Justin Bieber probably isn’t the right choice as an ‘influencer’ if you’re working in hedge funds.


We’ve now moved on to how to actually use networks, and grow them.

First, figure out how this information has come to happen in the first place. Learn. Second step, segment. Understand how the conversation is organised. How is the information spreading through the groups?

When you put this together you get a pretty compelling story.

“The real message is that nowadays, with the popularity of social media, people think they’re in contol of a conversation – when they are barely even participants.”

11.33am – The Science of Influence and Networks

Seth Rogen, sorry, Dr Paul Siegel, is talking us though how great mathematicians of the past solved issues by making maps and networks.

Covering the pioneering work of Leonhard Euler and Andrey Markov, Paul is now explaining how Google was created based on algorithms and networks.

“[Google’s] Brin and Page hit on the concept of influence. When they rank a web page higher than another, they are creating influence.”

He says how trendy buzzwords and phrases have somewhat diluted what influence truly is.

“I am influential only if I cause you to reach out and engage with me…Influence should really mean ‘the capacity to affect behavior’.”

11.15am – The Science of Influence and Networks

“Between now and lunch we have three very different brain tickling talks,” explains Will.

First up we have Dr Paul Siegel. Before Brandwatch he was Professor of Math at Columbia University in NY. “He is brainier than all of you!” Thanks Will!

At NYK in Chicago Paul was the highest rated speaker. Lots to live up to. He is here to tell you how he has come to think about social data. “Basically I just want to show you what’s going on in my head and hopefully it’ll be useful.”

He also sounds exactly like Seth Rogen.

11.00am – Coffee break

After a solid couple of hours of brain fuel, everyone’s recharging with coffee and biscuits.

I can confirm the oat and raisin cookies are well worth your time. Update: Ginger Snaps also solid.


If you’re here and have a spare few minutes and a burning question, don’t forget to visit our experts in their special booths.

10.36am – How Hidden Needs Can Become Magical Changes

Clara showed us how her team created new tech for the older customer, and is now talking to us about magic.

At Special Projects they always want to infuse a little bit of magic in what they create. Clara’s husband and co-founder is even a member of the Magic Circle. True facts!

The talk has been an inspiring, creative and, dare I say it, magical, half hour. You can check out the work they do at http://specialprojects.studio.


10.26am – How Hidden Needs Can Become Magical Changes

Clara is talking to us about context, empathy, needs and technology.

“Empathy is the key to meaningful innovation.”

Her company, Special Projects, has created a number of innovative works for clients such as the BBC, Samsung, and Google.

Her presentation is touching on how they designed technology for older customers. Banana phones, anyone?

10.15am – Main Room: Clara Gaggero Westaway

Following Mike Brackpool giving a sneak peek of what’s to come with Vizia, we have Italian inventor, designer, researcher and all-round creative powerhouse, Clara Gaggero Westaway.

Her resume is legit.


10.05am – Main Room: Bex Carson on Audiences

Our Head of Research Services, Bex, has been giving a brilliant presentation on methodologies and representative data.

I expect we have plenty of analysts in the room today who will be very interested in the work the Audiences team has been doing on making sure all of our data is robust.

“We want a world where anyone can find and define an audience.”

09:56am – Main Room: Mark Rogers on Images and Analytics

Amy has handed over to Mark Rogers, our Product Manager for Analytics. He essentially wants to make every one of our customers a ‘power user’.

“We want to get the beginner to get to the data more quickly,” he says about the Query Wizard. “With the Query Wizard we can get beginners to results in less than 60 seconds.”

Mark is explaining how his team has made it easier for the every day user to highlight what matters, and access insights in a far simpler way.

Up next, after Head of Research Bex Carson talks to us about Audiences, we have our Keynote, Clara Gaggero Westaway.


09.45am – Main Room: Amy Collins on Data

Amy is covering our huge investment in infrastructure in the past months. 40 people and £1m+ means Brandwatch is running 50 times faster than last year.

Mega events. Real-time. No lag. Seriously quick stuff.

“I’m really proud of what the Engineering team has achieved, after the challenge we threw at them.”

The crowd seem happy with our upcoming releases and rollouts…

09.20am – Main Room: Product Roadmap

After a rousing kick-off from Will, CEO Giles is introducing the Product team and sharing secrets of the roadmap.


Markus Smet, Head of Product, is giving an overview of what you can expect from Brandwatch in the coming months. I can’t tell you this, because if I did I’d be in big trouble.

I can tell you that he’s sharing some awesome customer and market insights from one of our biggest customers.

Amy Collins, VP of Data is now taking to the floor to give an overview on where we stand in regards to data.

08.55am – Main Room: Introduction

The pastries have been eaten, coffee enjoyed and the main room is starting to fill up ready for the first talk.

First up on the agenda is Brandwatch CMO and wearer of navy shirts, Will McInnes. He’ll be welcoming us and getting us PUMPED.

In the meantime, here are a few of the #NYKConf tweets coming in.


Special mention to @DannoCaley for this exceptional gif use.


08.24am – Registration and breakfast

Morning! The Brandwatchers were picked up in a coach at 5am but do not fear! They are raring to go. Here’s Roxy and Cherry, ready to greet you.

We’ve got a packed agenda today. If you’re following along from home or the office, here it is. Along with a glowing ball. More of those to come.

If you’re here with us, don’t forget to have a go on our InSight photo booth. Because I write this blog I can unapologetically shoehorn photos of myself into it so here is a gif Hannah Tregear and I made earlier. I make the rules!

Updates to follow – check back for more and follow @Brandwatch and the #NYKCONF hashtag on Twitter and Instagram

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