On an important day in Voxburner history, we hand over to our General Manager Richard Jackson to share the history of YMS and why it has grown to become the world’s biggest, and best loved, Youth Marketing Festival.
8 years ago Voxburner hosted a one day conference to share its insights and research into the most important demographic around, 16-24s. This event was called Youth Marketing Strategy, or YMS.
Let’s fast forward to this afternoon: 4pm, 31st Jan 2018 and we have just pressed ’go’ on YMS San Francisco, which becomes our fourth annual YMS event.
The Voxburner team are made up of forward-thinking, brave and fearless people who are passionate about making a change not only to the culture and environment in which they are surrounded by and work in, but to disrupt the way people learn and understand the young people of today.
YMS looks to bring the youth marketing world together, including brands, agencies and media. Why do I think YMS has become such a tour de force? Why is the smallest startup emerging from a We Work or Tech City, to one of the largest online retailers in the world, equally excited to join us? I believe it's because the work my team produces allows them to capture a moment in time for our audience and readers. Our work strives to connect with our clients/readers/audience on a human level, reminding them of how they felt when they were part of this ‘club’ (16-24s), or if they are lucky enough to be in this age group now, how unbelievably exciting that is in today’s world of limitless possibilities.
Curating the YMS festival, whether it is London, Berlin, New York or San Fran, takes my whole team on a journey. We research pre-event what the hot topics are in the industry, which brands are being disruptive and which agencies are doing the most innovative work. We look to our advisory board, made up of industry experts and young people, and put together a story to tell for our audience.
Our YMS story will equip the audience with essential tools to develop their marketing strategy. But perhaps most importantly, and the reason for Voxburner’s growing success, is we put real issues affecting young people unashamedly slap bang on our main stage to ensure we can connect with our audience on an emotional level. 2016 saw us explore young people and suicide, and in 2017 for the first time we openly talked about drugs: how they are consumed, what's ‘popular’ and what's not. This opens up topics to our audience they just would not be exposed to at any other marketing festival. Moving to 2018, young people’s habits and attitudes towards sex will be addressed. It is with great pride that Voxburner aligns itself to this level of work and encourages its audience to address these issues.
Last year Voxburner launched our weekly Youth Trends newsletter, a snapshot of our blog, which has at times taken a back seat to our work on the YMS events. We felt that now was the time for this to step forward. Youth Trends Update is a weekly snapshot of our industry and firmly cements Voxburner as thought leaders in our space.
YMS18 LDN takes place on March 21st-22nd and is a true testament to hard work, persistence and ambition. I truly urge you to take a look over our agenda for 2018 and see the wealth of topics and diversity presented across our two days. From our panel of kids that are changing the world to the most influential business leaders talking about their key challenges, I dare you not to be excited, but most importantly inspired.