Tag: Future Forward


Future Forward, a look back…

Hi folks,

Its been a while since I last updated the Loft’s blog. It has been an incredibly busy time recently, mainly due to our Social Media Week event, Future Forward and the backlog of work afterwards. I wanted to take a little time to briefly reflect properly on our event, but above all else to look back at Social Media Week.

Future Forward

Social Media Week Glasgow

Taking part in ‘Future Forward’ was an incredible experience. The content of these blogs have seen us regularly discuss a profound change in branding communication and why an acceptance and astute use of social media is central to this change. The event was designed to communicate our own ideas that brands are built not solely on visual content but on actual actions. However, in keeping with the Social Media theme, we wanted ‘Future Forward’ to see if we could crowd source ideas and inspiration from an engaged global community for our client brand of the day ‘Glasgow Whisky Tours.’ Looking back, the concept for this kind of event was an incredibly ambitious one and thanks mainly to the hard work of many people, I think we just about pulled it off…

Glasgow Whisky Tours

Glasgow Whisky Tours from Ramsay MacFarlane on Vimeo.

Glasgow Whisky Tours were the perfect partner/client. We cannot thank Victor Brierley enough for his contribution. The ultimate Showman! Firstly, for stepping in at such short notice and grasping the concept of the event. It would have been ‘oh so easy’ to have been overly precious of the great brand work they have already done and pull their punches. But Victor did not. He was an absolutely incredible source of ideas. I have never seen one man able to source so many ideas in 1-2 hours. Funnily enough, while myself and the design team began brainstorming with Victor, and before the ‘digital conversation’ had even begun. We had about 5 pages full of great ideas. From a social media point of view, it kind of stunted our social media experiment, but why hang about. We had enough ideas to go forth and extra time to develop them. Thanks in a large part to Victor.

In the evening presentations, Victor also gave a tremendous presentation. As somebody who likes to stick to the script. I very much admired of Victor being able to give a knowledgeable, humorous and structured presentation of ‘Glasgow Whisky Tours’ with no notes. Furthermore, he was ably backed up by his partner Donald MacLellan, who likewise, presented his company in an exceptional manner with no notes. Finally we must thank them for the beautiful bottle of Bruichladdich 12 year old whisky they supplied for the after-party, which was also great fun. Overall, the perfect company to collaborate with.

Check out Glasgow Whisky Tours at http://glasgowwhiskytours.com/

Jim Henderson of Shirlaws

Jim Henderson made a fantastic contribution in each of the various parts of the event. Jim was the first person asked to come on-board and he ably demonstrated his ability in each of the various parts of the event. One of the reasons we so badly wanted Jim was his ability to take a complete step back from any business, analyse it in first principles and see the bigger picture as well as the future possibilities. His company Shirlaws are unique in their approach to not solely focus on ‘operational matters’ but on the ability to shape the company emotionally in the corrext context. They speak a lot about energy and rightly so. It is the invisible force that empowers any business’s number one resource, their staff. If we are designers of brand identity, Shirlaws assist in the designing of the business itself. In this role, Jim’s thoroughness and ability to coaxe the correct answers from Victor pre-event was vital. His line of questioning was critical in generating the correct brand analysis. In the evening, as expected, Jim gave an exceptional presentation on the importance of ‘positioning’ and why any company’s position should be effectively worked out before the beginning of any communications strategy. All the while, keeping the bigger picture in mind. A true pro and one of the favourites of the night.

You can find out more about Jim Henderson and Shirlaws on Twitter at @jimatshirlaws

Antonella and Ani

One of the best aspects of ‘Future Forward’ was the splendid contribution of the two London-based designers Antonella Bordone and Ani Passarelli. Victor was a little amused at the thought of two London designers, one with an Italian background and one from Guatemala re-designing such an authentically Scottish brand. However, they were both brilliant, and that is no over-statement. In the space of 6 hours, we had conducted a brand analysis, held a brainstorming session, generated numerous concepts and chosen three to develop. In the space of four hours, we were able to visualise three different concepts. A tremendous achievement for such a small space of time. None of this would have been possible, were it not for the incredible design skills of Antonella and Ani. They were able to grasp the concept, the Glasgow Whisky Tours brand identity and created close to 15 concept storyboards in the matter of hours. All with an exceptional use of the software and the correct level of brand sensitivity.

The results of which can all be found on our event infograph at https://theloft.co/our-work/future-forward/

On a personal note, it was just great to have them around and they made a lot of friends in Glasgow as we attended a number of the other events together..

Follow them on Twitter at…

Antonella Bordone @antolondon

Ani Passarelli @AniPassarelli

Hera Hussain

I must also thank Hera Hussain of Building Your Momentum and IA Cubed. Hera played a massive part in promoting the event and definitely brought much energy to all of the various proceedings. Her tweets, images and videos all played a great part in communicating the event to what seemed like all of Glasgow. We must thank her for this as well as giving a great presentation on the evening. The biggest compliment I can give is that ‘post-event.’ Hera Hussain was the name on a lot of people’s lips. And she was even able to attend pretty much every other event of Social Media Week and actively participated in several of her own..

Thanks to Hera and ‘Building Your Momentum,’ You can also see highlights of several of the speakers at…

Future Forward event clips from Building Your Momentum on Vimeo.

I am sure you know her already but in case you dont, you can follow Hera on Twitter at @herahussain


I would also like to thank The Go Group and IA Cubed for their roles in the day. Particularly Kirsta and Susan from ‘Business and Training’ at Go, who were very professional and courteous in their dealings. Above all else, I would like to thank you the people of Glasgow for giving us such a great turn-out. We know there was 50-60 people there on the night and it was one of the busiest events of the week. There was a great atmosphere on the night and it made what was a massive investment of time and energy into something that felt truly worthwhile. We have definitely looked at the merits of the event and we are eager to host another one in the future. I genuinely believe that the spirit of social media, ‘sharing of knowledge and ideas’ is one way that we can prosper together. We would like to push this concept further. We have been approached by several parties about doing it all again, perhaps sooner than possible, so watch this space…

And finally on a personal note, I must absolutely thank friends and family and you know who you all are. They all helped out massively with various parts of the event, and its true to say that the event wouldn’t have been possible without them. Thank you…

You can check out the official infograph for the event at…


Have a great week folks and keep an eye out for another post about the other events of Social Media Week…

Benedetto Bordone

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