Three logo taller revised2 Nov 2 copy

Digital Change: seizing the opportunity online


‘Digital Change: seizing the opportunity online’ is part of a series of events aimed at supporting the arts and culture sector to explore and respond to opportunities offered by digital technology. It focuses on how to reach and engage audiences via technology, and provides a platform to explore the issues and challenges inherent in this work.

Doing digital well is difficult. It takes skills that cultural organisations often don’t have in-house, it costs money we don’t have and it’s hard to measure if anything is really having an impact. It also flourishes in quick, agile environments where things can change easily, not usually what we find inside our theatres, museums, galleries and arts organisations.

Key topics covered during the day will be:

- Understanding YouTube through one of its superstars, Charlieissocoollike and his teenage audience

- A practical session with the Google Search Quality team looking webmaster tools and SEO tactics

- Using data analytics to build audiences online with case studies from the sector

- Feeding cultural content to other online channels and platforms

Location and Date

The third and final event takes place in Gateshead on Wednesday 25th March 2015 at  BALTIC – Centre for Contemporary Art –  9.30am to 6.30pm

This is an Arts Council event, supported by Google and curated and delivered by Culture24 and costs only £7 to attend. It has been curated to help you build your digital skills, promote a deeper understanding of a wide range of Google tools and nurture a more strategic approach to the use of digital tactics.

Read about the Birmingham Hippodrome event in December 2014 here.

Book your place now

You can book your place here.  


Programme for the day

9.30 Registration 

9.45 Welcome and keynote: Matt Locke ‘Digital after Digital: 5 ways your audience is changing that don’t mention technology’

10.05   Session 1: Feeding cultural content into other channels

In this session we will explore how a variety of cultural organisations are feeding content onto different channels and platforms. In particular:  how it can support their overall mission as an organisation; the challenges of working in new ways;  their definition of success and if it helps them to interact with audiences in new ways.

Chaired by:  Jane Finnis, Culture24


James Davis, Google Cultural Institute

Emma Pybus, TW Museums

Craig, BALTIC – Centre for Contemporary Art

Dawn James – Tricycle Theatre

Sarah Leech – Cornerhouse

11.15  Coffee Break

11.45   Session 2: Get found: a practical session with Google Search Quality team 

A practical session with a member of the Google Search Quality team, providing general advice on how to improve discoverability on search, focusing on areas for improvement and highlighting good examples from selection of websites submitted by delegates.

Sven Naumann, Google

13.00pm – 14.00  Lunch 

14.00 Presentation: Eddie Berg

14.15 Session 3:   What can your business learn from some young YouTuber? 

This session will explore the relationship between YouTubers and their audience by bringing together Charlie McDonnell with a panel of teenagers who will interview him. Reflection on this relationship will also come from YouTube itself and a cultural venue just starting out using video online.

Chaired by: Eddie Berg, Independent Consultant


Charlie McDonnell, Charlieissocoollike 

Kelly Greaves, YouTube

Teenage Panel: A Level students Jen Walton(18), Olivia Fryer (17) and Fintan Kealy (17)

15.30    Coffee 

16.00    Session 4: Using data analytics to build audiences online 

In this session several very different venues  will talk about different aspects of how they are using data analytics to understand the behaviours of audiences online and build impact and reach.

Chaired by: Sejul Malde, Culture24


John Benfield, RSC

Rhiannon Davies (Audience Agency)

Jen Chapman FACT

Joanna Jones, V&A

17.15 Wrap

Sej will provide delegates with practical advice about how to start making improvements to their organisations’ impact online

Matt Locke – thanks and goodbye

17:30   Networking drink – BALTIC Kitchen

18.30 Time to go home



Charlie light background

Charlie McDonnell

Charlie McDonnell is a film-maker, vlogger, and human being who has the ability to create words from his mouth. He uses this skill to participate in events such as this one.

View his YouTube channel here





Screenshot_2015-03-15-17-44-45-1[1]Fintan Kealy

I am a seventeen year old art and music enthusiast currently completing my final year of A Levels, studying music, art, history, and maths. Throughout my community I involve myself in a wide array musical events ranging from playing for amateur dramatics society shows, to competing in regional Jazz festivals, and from providing organ music for Sunday services to playing in my own ‘Ska-funk’ band. I’m looking towards studying for a degree in music and work in collaboration with artists and filmmakers in the future.



Jen WaltonJen Bio

I’m 18, a budding film composer and general sound maker. I study Music Technology and write music for apps, films and other formats. I also make experimental music under the name of “Buffys”. I love music, literature, art & the Internet. My work can be found at




Olivia Fryer

I am a 17 year old studying AS-Levels in Art, Product Design, Production Arts and Textiles! I do modelling within the North East and enjoy all things arty (I’m in BALTIC’s art group for teens Blah Blah Blah). I’m a budding arty designer human thing (or pop star if Simon Cowell gets in touch)! I’m also Charlie McDonnell’s new best friend (but he doesn’t know that yet)!




Culture 24

Matt Locke

Matt is the founder of Storythings, a company established to experiment with new ways of telling stories. Prior to this he was Head of Multiplatform Commissioning at Channel 4 where he was responsible for running the Multiplatform Commissioning team with a £7m budget for multi-platform projects around some of Channel 4′s biggest brands, including Million Pound Drop, Embarrassing Bodies, Skins, Misfits and Big Brother.




Jen Chapman

Jen Chapman

Jen is Head of Marketing & Communications at FACT (Foundation for Art & Creative Technology), and heads up a small but ambitious team of staff dedicated to promoting the organisation. In her eight years at FACT she has commissioned a refreshed brand, a new website (recently nominated for an award), an extensive audience research project and grown several successful social media channels.



Rhiannon DaviesRhiannon

Rhiannon is the regional manager for the West Midlands for the Audience Agency where she facilitates the Audience Finder and Visitor Finder clusters within the region as well as working with a range of organisations on their development needs, including the Barber Institute of Fine Arts and the Koestler Trust. She has a passion for exploring how organisations can effectively use the data that they collect about their audiences to inform development. Prior to joining the Audience Agency, she spent a number of years working for Arts Council England where she managed the Government Indemnity Scheme.


Joanna JonesCulture 24

Joanna manages the small and agile team of content editors within the Digital Media team at the V&A. She has worked at the V&A in a variety of digital roles for almost 10 years – always on the content side. During that time she has seen at least two website redesigns, the birth of Twitter and the upsurge of social spaces.



John Benfield


John Benfield

As User Experience Manager at the Royal Shakespeare Company, John maintains the theatre’s website in terms of how its audiences engage with an increasingly extensive digital offer.  He joined the RSC six years ago having previously worked at The Natural History Museum as the Creative Head of Interactive Media.  Since then the number of staff creating content directly for the RSC website has gone from one to over thirty, with content in support of theatrical productions increasing dramatically. In the last year its webpages have been viewed over 18 million times by over 2.2 million ‘users’

Eddie BergEddie Berg

Eddie is an independent consultant specialising in film and digital arts. From 2005 -2014 he worked at the BFI, firstly as Director of BFI Southbank (leading the transformation of the venue) and then as Director of Partnerships where he was responsible for leading the BFI’s lottery investment in film exhibition, education and skills across the UK. Eddie is also the Founder and former Director of the £11m FACT Centre in Liverpool which opened to popular and critical acclaim in 2003.




Kelly Greaves has worked as a video editor and producer in the traditional media space until switching over to online content 5 years ago. Her role at YouTube has been to discover new talent and exciting formats to develop on the platform. She opened the YouTube Space London and developed a YouTube partner curriculum for workshops aimed at building high quality content.




James DavisJames Davis cropped

James is Program Manager for the Google Cultural Institute, overseeing global operations with museum partners, managing product development and design for the public website, and helping drive the project’s strategic direction in the context of Google’s various cultural programs. Prior to this he spent seven years at the Tate in London, conceiving and rebuilding the new user-oriented online collection and delivering award-winning interactive interpretation for the galleries at Tate Britain. In the past he produced multiple video games for Nintendo and Sony consoles. James holds a Masters in Interaction Design from the RCA in London.


Emma_PybusEmma Pybus

Emma is Corporate Communications Officer, Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums. She has worked in PR and marketing for more than 12 years, spending nearly 10 of those in the cultural sector. She currently works across Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums’ nine venues, focusing on digital communications and overseeing the organisation’s work with Google’s Cultural Institute.



Sarah Leech picSarah Leech

Sarah is Digital Content Manager at Cornerhouse & HOME. In her 5 years at the organisation she has project managed two website redesigns, cultivated a collection of lively social media channels and managed over 50 volunteers on a unique scheme that provides support and training for individuals who want to broaden their skills and portfolio in digital media.




craig astleyCraig Astley
Craig is Marketing Manager at BALTIC. Craig manages marketing and developing audiences with a primary focus on all of BALTIC’s digital development including digital platforms, websites, e-communication and online presences for BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art and BALTIC 39.  He is also a member of The Late Shows steering group and is Chair of the Board for Skimstone Arts.


Dawn JamesDawn James

Dawn is the Marketing Manager of the Tricycle Theatre in North West London that aims to bring unheard voices to the stage. She is responsible for managing the marketing campaigns for the Tricycle’s theatre productions which includes digital, social & print marketing as well as audience development.  Dawn has taken part in Culture24’s Lets Get Real phase 2 and 3 and is a Culture Hive Digital Marketing Academy Fellow. Dawn has previously worked at Polka Theatre, Akademi South Asian Dance and Watermans Arts Centre.


sej_edited-1-237x169Sejul Malde

Sejul is Research Manager at Culture24, and works to help cultural organisations, and the wider sector, become better at understanding and engaging audiences digitally. He has significant experience in both the commercial and cultural sectors, and is interested in exploring opportunities for more meaningful audience engagement through cross sector learning and collaboration.



Useful links and suggested reading

We have created an overview of some of the good stuff that is out there and funded by the lovely people at Arts Council England, that helps cultural organisations deal with Digital Change. It is packed with links to some really useful free resources, links to projects that support cultural organisations, info on meets ups (real and virtual) and a blogroll of some of the best from the sector.


Watch the video from the London event