August in Edinburgh not only brings the Fringe Festival but also the Turing Festival, a gathering of Scottish superstars and world famous tech entrepreneurs, organised by Codebase.
The first day of the weekend Full Stack Marketing #FullStack15 was billed as ‘Scotland’s best marketing event’ and didn’t disappoint. With speakers from leading SEO, content creation and product marketing companies, the crowd were treated to the complete digital marketing experience.
Director of Product Marketing for Cambridge based video hosting platform Wistia, Phil Nottingham, provided in depth statistically driven guidance on successful and unsuccessful approaches to video content. Attendees were treated to a great deck from Mike McGrail, founder of local digital marketing consultancy Velocity Digital, on the changing face of social media – you can check out his ‘Pay to Play or Fade Away‘ deck online.
Following in depth presentations on optimisation from Kirsty Hulse of Lindex and Stacey McNaught of Tecmark, Dynamo PR Head of Digital, Lexi Mills gave an expert run through of the complicated history between SEO and PR.
Later in the day the Turing festival crowd heard from an SEO celebrity, Rand Fishkin via video link, followed by his colleague, Cyrus Shepherd in person. With Oli Gardner of Unbounce wrapping up the first day by comparing landing pages to the characters of Trainspotting in ‘The Four Corners of Conversion‘, it was fair to say the debut events had it all.
Day 2 had a very different feel to the first, with billion dollar scale-ups the them. What was evident from the beginning of the festival is that FanDuel and Skyscanner are both very much still immersed in the grassroots tech scene, despite having workforces deep into the hundreds, valuations over a billion and huge user bases (Skyscanner has 48m+ unique visitors per month and FanDuel has over 1.1m paying customers). Edinburgh is one of the few UK cities to have produced two unicorns.
Co-founders of both companies gave talks and participated in panels, not to mention providing sponsorship money to fund the event. Joining them on stage was another Edinburgh based founder & CEO, FreeAgent‘s Ed Molyneux, who shared 10 great tips for creating a profitable business. In addition to huge Scottish tech companies, attendees heard from Zendesk co-founder, Morten Primdahl; SimilarWeb co-founder & CEO, Or Offer; and DueDil co-founder & CEO, Damian Kimmelman.
With fintech highlighted as a notable sector in the first Tech Nation report, Jamie Coleman, Founding Director of the Festival and Managing Director of Codebase, gave an in depth presentation on the growth of financial technology, which provided an opportunity for him to receive a well deserved rapturous round of applause for organising the festival.
After such a strong weekend, with a great mix of content and world class speakers, we’ll definitely be attending next year. If you’d like to do the same, sign up for early bird tickets.
To find out more about the origins of the Turing Festival, check out this blog.