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What a week! - Creative, Digital & IT Open Studios was another success!


We were thrilled to run the Creative, Digital & IT Open Studios Week this year as part of Brighton Digital Festival and it didn't disappoint! We saw 28 Wired Sussex member companies getting involved, together putting on a fantastic range of 37 events across the week.

[caption id="attachment_6814" align="alignright" width="250"] Open Studios flyer[/caption]

It has been a real testimony to the variety and strength that is the creative, digital and tech cluster in and around Brighton. We had companies ranging from Web and Games Developers, Animation, Graphic Design, Digital Marketing, SEO, Accounting, Strategy, Research & Development, Networking and more!

We had a few newbie's this year allowing the week to expand further than it has done before. We had tech and games company West Pier Studio hold an awesome social games and VR software evening for their Open Studio.

"This year was the first time we have taken part in Open Studios and we are really pleased to say it was a fantastic success! We had a brilliant turnout, lots of people interested in our work and culture, some of our visitors took to social media afterwards to thank and praise us for a great evening. See you same time next year!" - West Pier Studio

[caption id="attachment_6804" align="aligncenter" width="750"] West Pier Studio - photo by Light Trick Photography[/caption]

Whilst closing the Friday evening were Wolfcub Digital, a creative design and web development company plus some of their friends including another fellow Open Studio company, Buff Motion. They opened their doors for informal talks, interactive activities, music/design and beers - going into the early hours.

"At Wolfcub Digital we decided to put an event on as part of Open Studios 2016 to get involved with the local digital community, make new contacts and collaborate with other digital companies and individuals. The event went really well and the feedback we received couldn’t have been better. 2017 here we come!"- Wolfcub Digital

[caption id="attachment_6807" align="aligncenter" width="469"] Wolfcub Digital and Friends[/caption]

We had over 400 people attend the events, ranging from freelancers and students to industry professionals, all there for the same reason...their love of all things creative and digital, some even came away with new careers! Open Studios allowed individuals to delve pass just the reception desk at these companies. It gave them a chance to explore and quiz staff members on their roles and responsibilities - potentially giving them inspiration of new ideas for themselves.

With one of the most diverse line up of events ever, including building and racing your own Lego machine; hands-on sessions with VR; creative workshops to interactive/visual demonstrations and networking opportunities- we were spoilt for choice!

[caption id="attachment_6808" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Ithaca Audio/Pegasus/Asset Bank/Tilt[/caption]

Cogapp gave people the chance to snoop around their 'mini museum' and learn about some of their cutting edge projects and the digital experience they've been prototyping. Whilst parents wanting to inspire and entertain their children could go along to Plug-in Media for arts & crafts plus music and sing-alongs.

“Was good fun and entertaining for myself and my daughter.” – Attendee of Plug-in Media

[caption id="attachment_6806" align="aligncenter" width="775"] Cogapp and Plug-in Media - photos by Light Trick Photography[/caption]

Then there were also plenty of events, aimed at graduates and individuals wanting to learn more about the industry and the cool local companies that are creating fantastic digital experiences, such as the sunny afternoon spent at Clearleft's barbecue.

[caption id="attachment_6803" align="aligncenter" width="775"] Clearleft - photo by Light Trick Photography[/caption]

Brilliant Noise instead invited people into the 'world of data', to work out if we really know how to use it. Their team shed some light on the complex topic and discussed the behind-the-scenes aspect of data - and they had a full house!

"Partaking in Open Studios is a great way for us to showcase the work we do and services we offer, while also allowing us to give something back to the local digital community. A win-win situation!" - Martin Edwards, Brilliant Noise's senior technical consultant.

[caption id="attachment_6809" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Brilliant Noise - photo by Light Trick Photography[/caption]

We also had The Unit eager to share their story of their very own bot technology they have been developing. They held an early evening session of talks and debates looking into the influence that bots, messaging and AI are having on our industry.

[caption id="attachment_6810" align="aligncenter" width="600"] The Unit - photo taken by Light Trick Photography[/caption]

The Digital Catapult Centre Brighton showcased the residents of The FuseBox, where they were showing off their current projects. This included virtual reality experiences, and first hand understanding of app development plus more.

[caption id="attachment_6811" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Digital Catapult Centre Brighton[/caption]

Whilst Wired Sussex opened our doors on the Tuesday hosting an event with Gem Barton called 'Don't Get a Job...Make a Job.' that gave eager jobseekers some inspirational case studies and advice on how to forge a career in the digital sector. Do not worry if you missed it though - you are able to watch Gem Barton's talk right here through our Youtube channel.

[caption id="attachment_6813" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Wired Sussex - photo by Light Trick Photography[/caption]

Open Studios has been a fantastic opportunity for both the public and the companies taking part. Not only has it been a big supporter of the digital/creative community, getting great feedback about the content and useful 'takeaways' the events had to offer. It has also been a great excuse for companies to show the public how awesome they are and increasing brand awareness.

We have thoroughly enjoying putting on CDIT Open Studios 2016 and if you want to see more memories of the week or re-live it all again then have a look at our photos courtesy of Light Trick Photography on our Facebook page here!

This year has been truly fantastic and it just means that we are even more excited for the next time and trying to top it - even though that will be hard we all have faith: "Looking forward to 2017" - Persistent Peril ... "Let's see if we can better this year!" - Campus Plus.

Hungry for more?

Check out what other events are happening around Brighton and Sussex over on our community events calendar!

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