18th December 2016 | Leeds
The North Remembers.... 2016

This year we chalked up another 4 Glug events for the Leeds chapter. Looking back on another year of Glug Leeds feeling immensely proud of our community, finishing the year on our 7th Glug Leeds event to date. 

'What’s even better is that we’re feeling like we have so much more of the Leeds community to showcase and that is a testament our vibrant city right now...' Says Hannah O'Sullivan as she reminisces on the past year in Leeds.

The stand-out moments have to include our Double-Glug-Extravaganza for Leeds Digital Festival. LDF is a city wide festival celebrating digital culture in all its forms and we hosted 11 of the festivals 176 total speakers over 2 venues accumulating nearly 300 attendees across both events. 

Glug Leeds #4 – an awesome showcase of newbies to the Leeds scene; Leeds graduates and new kids on the block Oslo Agency and homegrown social enterprise East Street Arts presenting the UK’s first ‘Art Hostel’. 


Glug Leeds #5 – our second event of the week – looked at delivering new trends for the creative industry so we had to get the fastest growing influencer marketing agency along, cue Steve Bartlett of Social Chain. Indeed, a breath of fresh air and wise beyond the start-up agency’s mere 2 years. Our collective of speakers was great in illustrating the cross-over between creative, digital and tech in Leeds with further talks from M14 creator of the dating app for beards, Intermarketing and Hey!Stac ending on a bang with Chris Murphy’s take on the changing face of education.


Glug Leeds #6 – saw us return to our summer residence at Duke Studios for the ‘It’s not so Grim up North’ themed event. With a keynote talk from Sheffield lads Side by Side who took on a full branding and store fit-out for a lottery funded children’s literacy initiative, fronting as a magical apothecary in Rotherham – all free of charge. What was great was that all of our talks that night had to highlight an element of “why it’s so great to be up north”. I don’t know if it was the free beers and artisan burgers, or back to back DJ’s, but it seemed like there was a little bit of magic in the air that night.


'Our final Glug of the year was really about giving back to the community and offering some support and guidance to achieve a work life that fulfils your aspirations'

The 'Careers Clinic' was a first for us and it was totally overwhelming to see so many local professionals volunteering their time for our afternoon careers clinic. The industry professionals came in to talk to students and graduates and shared lots of ideas and advice from the inside of the industry and community. This was definitely the event we all laughed the hardest at – with so many entertaining speakers notably Alec Dudson of Intern magazine and Chris Kenworthy on his own Yorkshire brand of work experience advice!


Martin describes the main highlights as “It’s been said a few times what’s really stood out is that the best talks tend to be those from smaller agencies. Oslo def springs to mind (and Duke Studios before that). This, in turn, means that the larger agencies can’t just come in and be like “look at our awesome work”. People want more than just that. So the Intermarketing talk was really interesting in that way, as they talked about heroes & influencers. Michael C Place spoke about his past work and huge insight into his inspiration”.

We have to send huge thanks to a couple of people who’s support was essential to making Glug Leeds a success this year cheers to our beer sponsors - Parallax (Glug Leeds #6) and Beer Hawk and the University of Leeds (Glug Leeds #7). If you’re looking to raise your profile with the Leeds creative and digital community and would like to know more about sponsoring Glug Leeds drop us a line!

So what’s on the line up for 2017?

Well, we’re hoping to bring together Glug chapters from around the world for a Global Glug AGM housed at Duke Studios. Look forward to hearing about how the creative scene looks in other cities and welcoming back some of their best speakers. We’re also totally excited to be bringing The Tech Off to Leeds for the first time as a part of 2017 Leeds Digital Festival. Brace yourself for an intense evening of Coders and Creatives, locked in a battle to name the one team that parties the best. 

Words by: Glug Leeds' super-extraordinaire host Hannah O’Sullivan.

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