Summit 'bout digital

Adam Burt
Adam Burt
Senior Developer 13 Sep 20176 minutes read

Every Summer, we host our Summer Summit. It's a chance for us to get our friends and valued partners into a room for some free drinks, inspiring talks, and general fun. Like a party, but educational. And cooler than that sounds. Here's what we got up to this year.

Last Friday, the second ever Etch Summer Summit arrived in our offices with all the subtlety of a runaway freight train.

Clients and friends from across the country poured into our studio, loaded up on free drinks and settled in for an afternoon of mingling, inspiration and… Well, our own general brand of insanity.

A few hours later and it was all over, leaving just the leftover canapes and a very pleased team at Etch in its wake. We had a great time, and we hope our attendees did too. But if you missed it, or if you’re back at work and just wanted a reminder of the good times, then you’ve come to the right blog.

Let’s review, shall we?

Thumbs Up!

The event kicked off with yours truly, doing his best impression of someone who knows what’s going on. In addition to having the pleasure of introducing my colleagues, I had a couple of tricks up my sleeve, one of which was Emoji reactions. During each talk, our attendees could use their phones to send anonymous emoji representing how they felt or they thought about what they were seeing.

And it turns out, people had a lot to say.

A Foundation For Our Future

First up was Phil, our technical lead and all-round clever guy. 🤓

His presentation was all about Umbraco, our preferred content management system. He showed how it’s the ideal foundation for all kinds of projects, including some futuristic fun ones, like an eCommerce shop you can interact with using your voice (“Alexa, what’s the price of a Millennium Falcon?”)

“Never work with children, animals, or live tech demos”

Someone clever, probably

Part history lesson, part live demo, Phil’s talk really enlightened us all on where the projects here at Etch might be going in the years to come.

Emoji Reactions

👌, 👍, 👏 and a peculiarly high number of 🏊

How design projects can align with business objectives

Ross Chapman is handsome. This much is evident. If there was any objective doubt, our audience put it to rest by spamming my emoji database with over 3000 😍 - And a few other choice emoji too, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

Design is an enormous part of what we do here at Etch. Putting users first, and experimenting with rapid ideation, and all the other stuff I sometimes nod along to when I’m sat in a meeting. On behalf of the design team, Ross was talking about how to align your business with design principles and make your company design-led. I think it really resonated with a lot of people in the audience, and it was a great insight into the ways that design can really be a transformative investment in your company, even at the ground level.

But, you don’t need me to tell you. Ross is so bloody good he’s written up his own talk, and you can read all about it here.

Emoji Reactions

🏅, 💪, 👍, and the aforementioned 3967 😍’s

Supercharge Your Facebook Ads With Sequential Advertising

I have on occasion, been known to give talks myself. And every time I do, I find myself thinking about how good Tara is at giving them. She’s our Head of PPC at Etch and she has a real knack for taking complex subjects and turning them into beautiful little nuggets of actionable info. Y’know, the kind of tip or trick you can take back to your boss and say “See? It was worth it!” when they ask you why you spent your Friday down by the sea, knocking back prosecco.

Basically, she’s like those internet adverts which say “Make lots of money with this one simple tip!” except she’s actually legit. And she always has more than one simple tip to share.

At our latest Summit, she set her sights on Sequential Advertising, cutting through the jargon and explaining how to leverage the mighty power of Facebook’s omnipresence to get people to do stuff.

Emoji reactions

👏,💁, 😀 and for some reason a few hundred 🐱’s

Tim’s… Timness

It takes all sorts, doesn’t it?

Tim Drake is a designer at Etch and he also happens to be a beatboxing maestro. 🎼

So, when it came to the Summer Summit, he did what all good designers (and beatboxers) do. He mashed things up. Using the principles of experimentation which are so key to our design process, he created exquisite new music for us to enjoy, including a drum 'n' bass remix of a Gregorian chant, and his upcoming number one hit single, ‘Mingo (feat. Ross Chapman).

I have some experience with playing host to the weird and wonderful, but this was next level. What’s more, I was thrilled to see it because perhaps more than any other session, Tim managed to capture the zany, mildly anarchic vibe that makes Etch such a vibrant and exhilarating place to work.

Emoji reaction

Literally none. Everyone was too entranced.


I like to think that our attendees walked away with full notebooks and a head full of dreams. And I also hope that the spirit of Etch managed to excite you all, because it certainly excites us here in the studio. As we head into a busy winter season, there was no better way to send off the summer than to share the Etch passion with you guys. If you were there, thank you for coming. If you weren’t, better luck next time.

And either way, we’ll see you next year.