It was that time of year when over 1500 teachers and students travelled to Disneyland Paris to take part in the Live! conferences on Monday 2nd March 2015! The Gaumont Cinema was packed out with eager pupils from all over the UK ready to hear from some of the most respected professionals in their industries.
Chairing our events across the day was media journalist and gaming enthusiast Kate Russell, lending her extensive range of knowledge and skills in business management, the media and journalism and technology.
At Business Live! we met Andrew McMillan, former Head of Customer Service at John Lewis, who now uses his customer experience philosophy to consult for businesses throughout the world. He explained about the importance of giving the customer the intangible extra that sets you apart from the competition, leading with examples from companies like Disney, Virgin Atlantic and of course John Lewis.
Joe McEwan is Head of Digital & Communities at popular smoothie brand innocent drinks, showing the students how the company was "social before there was social media" and showing some (extremely funny) examples of how you can combine customer service, marketing and advertising through a couple of tweets and Facebook banter.
We also had Mark Heapes, Sales and Transport Manager across the Disneyland Resorts, Disney Cruises Line and other properties worldwide. Mark focuses on the importance of the travel and tourism market at Disney, what they've done to change their messaging over the last 5-10 years and some advice to anyone interested in working in the industry.
Media Live! kicked off soon after with Wayne Garvie, formerly of the BBC and current Chief Creative Officer for Sony Pictures Television. Wayne gave sound advice on how to make it in the television industry, where his own journey in the industry has brought him and a sneak peak into some shows that may be frequenting our shores in the months to come.
Head of Education at the British Board of Film Classification (and former Rawlins Academy pupil - who were in attendance) Lucy Brett spoke on the divisive job the film ratings board have when looking at age appropriate content, especially in an age where content is becoming more and more available through the interest and streaming services.
Speaking on the evolving landscape of journalism was Bafta-winning Andy McKenzie from LiveWireSport, who highlighted the dramatic change in the last 50 years of the industry whilst giving clues about where journalism could be in the future.
We also had the Media Live! competition where Hannah Smith from South Essex College won for her Reading Festival advert web advertisement and Ryan Priest and Joe Weaver from Stourbridge College won for their Zombie Repellent video, both winning Amazon vouchers for their colleges! Congratulations!
ICT Live! rounded off the day in style, with Joe McEwan back to speak about social media and how important the IT infrastructure at innocent is to maintaining the excellent award winning service they give.
Clive Beale, Head of the Education Team at the Raspberry Pi Foundation introduced their newest product, the Raspberry Pi 2 and looked at the (absolutely amazing) achievements that have been accomplished by pupils around the UK with the credit card sized device.
Kate Russell ended the day going further into why they should get into coding: showing the ever-increasing needs for computer science in businesses, offering the career opportunities and progression that could be achieved as well as some examples of what young people have done (and the millions they've made) with apps and technologies they've designed in their own homes.
We wanted to thank Kate for being such a gracious host for the entire day, our guest speakers Andrew, Joe, Mark, Wayne, Lucy, Andy and Clive and of course all of the students and teachers who came out to Disneyland Paris for the weekend!
Dates for next year's Live! - 29th February & 7 March 2016!
Starting next year, our Live! conferences will take over Disneyland Paris across two weeks with even more subjects catered for.
Find out more by subscribing to our mailing list.
Check out all the photos from Live! on our gallery or Facebook and search Twitter using the #BusinessLive, #ICTLive or #MediaLive hashtags for all the photos and comments from the day!