Barns Bulletin #16: January
Welcome to our monthly roundup of all things Freestyle: highlights of people, whereabouts and work happening at our Warwickshire HQ, the Barns.
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At the beginning of July, a few Freestylers and some of our lovely clients headed over to the annual Henley Royal Regatta for an afternoon of fun in the sun. Dressed to the nines, the rowing event on the River Thames was the perfect, picturesque setting for a day of drinking Pimms and enjoying afternoon tea - sounds like the best way to enjoy the July sunshine (leaving those back at the office slightly jealous!).
Also in July, one of our Digital Execs, Jake, headed over to London to attend a one-day masterclass on effective user research and usability tests with Experience Haus. The day was a customer-focused, deep dive into everything from online surveys, to hour long interviews. After an intense morning and afternoon, Jake left the workshop feeling that his preconceived ideas of how interviews and usability tests should be run were challenged. The course highlighted that once you remove all the technical terms, recording equipment, and consent forms, a usability test is essentially just conversing with another person, trying to understand and observe their feelings about an experience they’re having. Sounds like an insightful day!
We saw our team packing up collateral and making their way to Windsor for the B2B Online Connect Conference. With the session up to full capacity, people were lucky to get standing-only places to our ThinkTank workshop: “Are you getting innovation wrong”. We heard some fantastic points of view about digital transformation and dived deep into the challenges enterprises face when it comes to innovation and its implementation.
We also did some top secret filming for our next B2B Spotlight! After the success of our third B2B Spotlight with Keith Reville from RUBIX , we couldn't wait to interview our next guest… All will be revealed soon, so keep your eyes peeled on our socials and website for your next dose of B2B action.
Head of Culture, Experience and People
We also had the pleasure of welcoming, Emma, who’s joined us as our new Head of Culture, Experience and People! Having previously worked as a Digital Recruitment Consultant, Emma discovered a passion for helping people thrive and develop professionally. Coupled with her approachable nature and genuine interest in workplace well-being, we’re super excited to have Emma on-board, and we can’t wait to see how she helps us be better than yesterday, everyday.
July saw another new face enter the Barn, as we welcomed sixth form student, Millie, for a week of work experience. We were all very impressed with Millie’s work - she provided some helpful social media research, wrote an insightful blog about Instagram vs. reality, and also became certified in Google’s course, the ‘Fundamentals of Marketing’. Well done Millie, and good luck with your exams next year!
July’s Sheepies meeting kicked off with a delicious breakfast spread of pastries, fruit and coffee - we heard some fabulous talks from our newest Freestyler, Emma, who talked us through her role and the plans she has to help improve life at Freestyle! We also heard from our Developer/Designer, Perry, who recently became our Mental Health First Aider! Perry shared his past struggles with mental health, and discussed the importance in seeking help when your mental health isn’t feeling tip-top. Lastly, the monthly Sheepies award was announced, and this time it went to our lovely Insights Manager, Becki! Becki's made a real impact on Freestyle since starting in January - she’s managed to make data fun, and continually goes above and beyond for our team, and for our clients. Great job, Becki!
We were thrilled to receive the news that Freestyle is part of the Top 25 SME Culture Leaders of 2019. In fact, we managed to get all the way to No. 3. Our culture is something we’ve always been proud of, and it’s great to see Freestyle amongst so many other deserving companies who made a choice to put people first. The judges highlighted our “top culture tip” to “be flexible” as one of the highest-scoring factors leading to our result. You can read a bit more about it here.
In July, we also celebrated the launch of one our client’s site! A year in the making, it was a massive team effort to build Practical Action’s new site, and we’re so proud of everyone’s hard work. It’s a great feeling when we succeed our clients expectations, and we’re very happy that they’re enjoying their new look so much! Here’s what they had to say about our work:
“New site felt lively, different and clarion clear messaging about people changing things through ingenuity, innovation and big change starts small.”
Here's a throwback to one of our first sessions with Practical Action...
AROUND THE WORLD IN 2 DAYS— Freestyle Agency (@freestyleint) May 17, 2018
As a truly international digital agency we get to work with amazing clients like @PracticalAction and run workshops with their teams in Kenya, Sudan, Zimbabwe, Senegal, Rwanda, India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Peru and Bolivia...all in the space of 48 hours. pic.twitter.com/fLWUqRHaS5