Have you ever wondered how YMS comes together each year, and who makes up the team behind this highlight of the youth marketing calendar? This is the first in a new series here on the Voxburner blog, introducing you to the talented, hard-working people behind it all.
First up is Olivia, our Head of Content, who is responsible for putting together a fresh, exciting agenda for each of our events around the world, and securing speakers from the biggest and best youth brands to grace the YMS stage.
What has been your proudest moment over the years working on YMS?
It’s been amazing to see how the event has grown from 150 people in a lecture theatre at City University all those years ago to a fully fledged youth marketing festival in four cities across the world. I love seeing representatives from the biggest brands in the world talk passionately about their work and of course giving a platform to the amazing young people we have on stage. Oh and introducing the team to the BEST barbecue restaurant in New York last year, which got me huge brownie points.
For someone who hasn’t attended before, can you sum up the atmosphere of YMS?
A festival with youth culture at the heart - it’s all about the content, but the snacks, street food festival, spoken-word poets, youth dance troupes, and post lunch yoga sessions are equally legendary!
What are the youth trends you’re excited about following in 2019?
It will be fascinating to see how the relationship between the online and offline worlds develop. Will we see more digital detoxes or more ways that technology makes the lives of young people better/easier? I’m always interested to see which tech innovations actually stick - will things like Alexa in the home actually develop or will it be a passing fad?
What’s life like in the Voxburner office?
We’re a hard-working, tight-knit team obsessed with pizza, the Hamilton soundtrack, tasty treats, office dogs and trying to put a mandate together to run YMS in the Maldives (or some other suitably tropical location).
What advice would you give to someone considering applying to a role at Voxburner?
Come and join the journey and you never know where it can take you!
And the questions we ask everyone:
What have you learned in your career that you wish you’d known when you started out?
Be open-minded about the path your career can take within your own organisation. Starting out in PR and marketing for Voxburner’s sister company Student Beans, I was doing more and more B2B-focused projects and, as a result, the Voxburner brand organically evolved. To be part of the launch and development of a new brand within a fast-growing startup was super exciting and not something that we could have predicted when I first joined The Beans Group.
What’s your favourite app at the moment?
I’m not sure I could choose between Whatsapp or Instagram as the apps I use the most. I’m also a big fan of Kidadl, an app that provides a ton of kid-friendly ideas for things to do/days out in and around London (oh how times have changed!).
What are you looking forward to at YMS19 LDN?
With (unfortunate) planning on my behalf, baby #2 is scheduled to arrive the same week as YMS, so it’s unlikely I’m going to be there in person to see it all come together on the day (if anyone can assist with live streaming to UCLH that would be marvellous!).
That being said, I could list so many speakers that are going to blow away the audience on stage. If I had to pick a select few, I can’t wait to hear from Liv Little at gal-dem, James Kirkham at COPA90, and Tom Caufield and James Whittle, best known as The Tempest Two, who will share their story of sailing 3000 miles across the Atlantic and how marketers can take inspiration from their sense of adventure.
What should we have asked you that we didn't?
What’s the biggest challenge in your role? Having to turn down or say no to people who want to speak. I’d love to say let’s make YMS a seven-day-long festival and showcase everyone who is making waves in our industry but alas we only have two days, and sometimes tough calls need to be made. I’m always working to invent more time to fit all the amazing content in!
Interested in joining the team behind the world’s leading youth marketing festival? Click here to find out more and get in touch today to discuss career opportunities at Voxburner.