Guestblog: How To ‘Do’ Brighton Fringe

An event as large as Brighton Fringe can seem rather overwhelming (well, it IS England’s largest arts festival, with over 1000 separate events) so here are our PLATF9RM Member, Steve Bustin's thoughts on how you can have your best Fringe EVER!

The First Steps...

Get tooled up. Pick up a copy of the Brighton Fringe brochure, the family brochure (if you’ve got kids), download the app and log into the website. Set up an account on the app or site so you can store your favourites. The app and website will also have listings for hundreds of shows that didn’t make it into the brochure, so it’s worth looking online as well as offline. All the large venues also publish their own brochures, with more space for each show so they can be slightly easier to peruse than the main brochure, but you can book tickets for all shows at all venues in one place.

Think about becoming a Friend of Brighton Fringe to access 2-for-1 ticket deals on hundreds of shows (which will cover your membership almost immediately), no booking fees, invites to Friends events and a range of discounts and special offers all year across the city.


Explore Some ‘Cross Sections’ Through The Brochure

OK, we know the Brighton Fringe brochure can be a little overwhelming with so much to choose from and so many listings. The trick is to take some ‘cross sections’ through the brochure, looking at smaller groups of shows and events so you can ‘see the wood for the trees’. Here are some ideas how:

  • The Seasons. This year the Fringe includes a Dutch & Flemish season, a Finnish season, The Freedom season and the arts industry focused ‘Window’ season of shows that are ready to tour nationally and internationally. Each has its own page at the front of the brochure and on the website. Check them out to catch some of the best international shows.
  • The award and bursary winners. You’ll also find these at the front of the brochure – shows, performers and companies that have won awards or bursaries in the last year, often at Brighton Fringe or other fringe festivals around the world. Catch an award-winning show or see if you can spot this year’s winner.
  • On the website or the app, simply do some keyword searches for things you like. For instance, I love Stephen Sondheim’s work so I always search for ‘Sondheim’ - and hey presto, this year there are two shows featuring his work. You could search for anything from ‘puppets’ to ‘Black lives matter’ to ‘Donald Trump’ to find anything from drama to satire.
  • Keep an eye out for previews and reviews. All the local print, broadcast and online media will be previewing shows and then reviewing hundreds of shows afterwards. I particularly like Broadway Baby and Fringe Guru.
  • Many of the major venues run ‘Pick of the Fringe’ or ‘Heart of the Fringe’ shows, especially The Speigeltent and The Warren. These shows are a great chance to see a selection of excerpts from shows you might want to catch later in the month.
  • Take a punt. Pick up a flyer and give the show a try. Stay at a venue after your show has ended – and try the next show too. Go to visit the fab pop-up bars but catch a show while you’re there. Take a risk and see something you might not normally have chosen – you might be pleasantly surprised, and if you’re not, you’ve only spent about a tenner on a ticket. Share the shows you’ve discovered with your friends and ask if they can do likewise.

Here’s What I’m Hoping to See or Recommend Catching

These are very much my taste but you might see a few things here that appeal to you too!

  • Bourgeois and Maurice, Style over substance, Spiegeltent, Fri 4th & Sat 5th May 9pm – dark, twisted humour from this brilliant cabaret duo – not for the easily offended.
  • La Clique, Sabai Pavilion, every night of the Fringe, 9pm – cabaret/vaudeville/burlesque show.
  • Ida Barr, Granarchist, Spiegeltent, 1-3 June, 6.30pm – hilarious character comedy with this rapping music hall star. There will be bingo, there will be community singing and there may well be a hokey-cokey
  • Abstraction Park 7090: Preparing for Take Off, FREE – 31 May – 03 June. Fabulously surreal playground full of music, films and installations. Likely to be totally bonkers, but in a good way.
  • Warmth – pop-up sauna on Brighton Brach – every weekend throughout May. £10 per ticket. Enjoy a performance as well as a real sauna.
  • The OS Map Fan Club – The Dukebox, 14-20 May, 18.15, £9. This is my ‘take a punt’ show – I like maps, I like theatre, so thought I’d give this is a go, despite knowing very little about it.
  • Brighton Food Tours – Fri & Sat in May, 11am. 3 hour walking tour of some of the lesser known independent Brighton food and drink makers and sellers. £40 including all food and drink!
  • Geoffrey Mead’s London Road Tour – Fri, Sat & Sundays throughout May, 5pm. £8. This was one of the highlight of the Fringe for me last year. If you think London Road is a down-at-heel, low rent shopping drag, think again. This fascinating tour takes in history, geography, sociology and architecture.
  • Take Shelter – 12&13 May, 19&20 May, Downs Junior School. Step back to the 1940s when visiting the original WW2 Air Raid Shelter under the playground. £5.
  • Wind in the Willows, by Box Tale Soup – The Warren, 27&28 May, 2 June, 4.15pm. £10. My tolerance for puppets is VERY low but Box Tale Soup are the exception to the rule. Their adaptations of classics are beautifully done, using homemade puppets and a cast of just 3. Definitely not just for children.
So, you may well not want to see ANY of the above shows and events but don’t let that put you off. Dive in. Take a punt. Have fun. Have a great Fringe!

Guestblog: How To Be A Star @ GDPR

GDPR is coming, whether you’re ready or not. We asked Samantha Oakley from SO Law to write a blog that cuts through the jargon and explains what’s happening, and how PLATF9RM members can ensure they’re compliant by 25 May.

*Samantha is giving a talk called ‘Be A Star @ GDPR’ on 14 March at PLATF9RM Tower Point. It’s sure to be an educational morning and we suggest you attend, whatever the size of your business.

Why be a Star @ GDPR?

It’s pretty simple. Failure to comply with GDPR could see you facing fines of up to €20 million, whilst suffering damage to your company’s reputation that could lead to the loss of customer confidence in your products and services.

Data protection laws don’t just apply to marketing and big data businesses; GDPR actually specifies that it applies to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises.


What is GDPR?

GDPR are the new data protection regulations that are being implemented to tighten up the protection of personal data. They come into force on the 25th May 2018.

They state that data protection now needs to be implemented by design and default. This means that it needs to be at the heart of decision-making processes that involve any personal data and that such decisions need to be documented.


GDPR states that you need to implement appropriate technical and organisational measures such as pseudonymisation (i.e. ensuring that information for attributing personal data to an individual is kept separate).

It is also necessary to have sufficient cybersecurity to protect an individual’s personal data.

Under GDPR, personal data now includes anything that makes an individual identifiable. So, as well as the obvious things likes name and address it also includes things such as location data, IP address, cookie identifiers, photos, genetic material or cultural and social identifiers.

This covers everything from email lists and CRM (Customer Relationship Management) databases to images and videos you post on social media. It also includes the systematic monitoring of a publicly accessible area such as CCTV.

And yes, I know that’s a lot!


What Do I Need To Know About GDPR?

There are 6 legal bases on which personal data can be processed:

  • Consent;
  • Necessary for the performance of a contract;
  • Complience with a legal obligation;
  • Protect the vital interests of the individual;
  • Performance of a task carried out in the public interest; or
  • Legitimate interests.

GDPR emphases protecting an individual’s rights and freedoms in relation to the personal data, so in order to process personal data you must first choose one of these bases.

In addition, personal data can only be collected for specified and legitimate purposes and limited to data that is adequate and necessary for the specified purpose. You also can’t keep it for longer than necessary. In layman’s terms: this means you can’t just collect and keep individuals’ personal data on the off-chance it will be useful in the future.

One of the most common bases for processing personal data is consent, however GDPR makes it clear that consent must be via an affirmative action (e.g. ticking an opt-in button) and it must be (i) freely given; (ii) specific; (iii) informed; and (iv) unambiguous. In other words you need to tell individuals exactly what data you will be collecting and what you will do with that data. This includes informing individuals about any other companies that you will give the data to.

If you are processing data of a child (anyone under 16 years of age) then you need to get parental consent.

If you are processing personal data of employees, then the UK government could bring in additional requirement so you may need to seek advice with regard to this.


What Rights Do Individuals Have Over the Processing of Their Personal Data?

As already mentioned, individuals have enhanced rights with regard to the processing of their data ie:-

  • Access their data in an easily accessible form;
  • Request confirmation as to wether or not their personal data is being processed;
  • Rectify any inaccurate data;
  • Erasure of any of their personal data (aka the Right to be Forgotten);
  • Restrict the processing of their personal data;
  • Object to the processing of their data;
  • Withdraw their consent to you processing their data at any time;
  • Portability of their data; and
  • Not have a decision made about them based solely on automated processing (aka profiling).

An individual can exercise these rights by submitting a request in writing (aka a Subject Access Request or SAR).

You have to respond to such SARs using clear and plain language without undue delay (and in any event within one month) and this now has to be done free of charge.

If you don’t comply with any of these requests an individual has the right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioners Office (ICO).

An individual also has the right to seek a judicial remedy (i.e. sue your company) separate to making a complaint to the ICO. This means that an individual can get damages (monetary compensation) from you, as well as you receiving a fine from the ICO.


What Do I Have To Do?

You need to implement appropriate technical and organisational measures in order to show compliance with GDPR and be able to demonstrate that the processing of personal data is done in accordance with GDPR.

You need to make sure that you have appropriate data protection policies in place.

You need to ensure that any third parties that process personal data on your behalf also comply with GDPR. This includes any software service provider that carries out certain functions on your behalf (e.g. payroll).

You need to notify the ICO asap in the event of a personal data breach and not later than within 72 of becoming aware of it. If the breach is likely to result in high risk to the rights and freedoms of an individual then you also have to notify them asap.

You need to carry out a Data Protection Impact Assessment if the processing is likely to result in high risk to the rights and freedoms of individuals (e.g. large scale processing, profiling, processing sensitive personal data). This must be done before the processing takes place.

You need to appoint a Data Protection Officer if you carry out regular and systematic monitoring of data subjects on a large scale, or large scale processing of special categories of data.

You need to comply with additional provisions if you are going to transfer data outside of the EU/EEA. It is not clear how this will apply to the UK post Brexit.


What Next?

Still confused? Don’t worry, it’s not too late! If you want to learn more about GDPR come to our talk on 14th March.

This blog is a general summary of the law. It should not replace legal advice tailored to your specific circumstances.

© SO Law 2018

Guestblog: 5 PLATF9RM Members Tell Us The Most Inspirational Women In Their Lives

International Women’s Day has been a celebration of all things feminine for over a century but it’s never felt more vital. To celebrate this year’s event, we’ve asked five of PLATF9RM’s gal members to tell us about the most inspirational women in their lives. They’ve came back with some beautiful, impassioned words that demonstrate how inspiration can come in many forms.

We love these so please @ the writers if you do too...

Michelle Taylor - Invona


During the time of apartheid in South Africa a widowed single mum, Mabel Fielding, stood in opposition to the cruelty of the times by fighting for, and protecting, Evelyn her black African housekeeper.

Mabel was kind, gentle, strong and determined. She welcomed Evelyn as a part of the family. Evelyn had many battles to fight but she no longer fought them alone. Mabel fought to give Evie a better life. Yes she was the housekeeper but, more importantly, she became part of the family. Evie’s children and Mabel’s children would play together every day. They were raised together. Mabel helped protect Evie from her abusive husband. She helped her to escape and set up a safe place for her in her own house.

She made sure Evie and her children would have a better future by helping put Evie’s children through school and devoted a good portion of her income to a retirement policy for Evelyn. This later enabled Evie to retire comfortably. And once apartheid was over, Evie was even able to buy and build her own house with this money. This is something she never thought possible.

Sadly Mabel never got to see it because she passed away at 61 due to a stroke. By then her daughter had grown up, gotten married and had two children and those children played with Evie’s grandchildren.

Mabel Fielding was my gran. I lost her when I was six years old. But I cherish her legacy of love and fighting for what was right even when the trend of the time says otherwise. Evie became my gran. She played a huge role in raising me to be the person I am today. We love spending time together sharing stories of my gran and her friend, Mabel.


Lana Burgess, freelance writer and content strategist. Director of Brighton Digital Women.


On a warm August evening in 2015, I was absent-mindedly scrolling through Twitter when a retweet grabbed my attention. A lone in-house digital marketer, Rachel Finch, was calling out for local women to meet up and get geeky about all things digital. I’d never met Rachel but a quick online stalk got me sufficiently intrigued. A week later, I showed up at the North Laine Brewhouse to meet her and the other women who’d answered her call. This was the start of Brighton Digital Women. Fast forward two and a half years and we’re a thriving event-led not-for-profit that’s helping make the digital industry more inclusive. We’re women-led but our events welcome all genders. Rachel inspired me to take action to increase diversity in our industry and enrich my own career along the way.


I've always been inspired by women who take a leap into the unknown, and take on immensely adventurous challenges while also learning about the world and the people who live in it. I'm currently reading Rosie Swale Pope's book, Just a little Run around the World, which details her five year journey running the world in which she camped out in minus 45 degree temperatures in Siberia. I was also lucky enough to interview the adventurer, Anna McNuff for a GRTW podcast who ran the length of New Zealand. They follow in a long line of women who've long inspired me to be courageous and follow my own path, from journalist Kate Adie to travel writer Dervla Murphy, who cycled to India in 1965 and continues to write about unexplored parts of the world in her 70s.


Alice Roberts – Head of content and activation – The Drop Digital


My mum is the kindest, strongest and most selfless woman I know. She wasn’t given the fairest deal in life, but has managed to absolutely smash everything and anything she’s ever done. When I was little my mum retrained as a nurse. I remember her spending hours studying, whilst juggling taking care of me and my sister and working on top of that. She’s now the highest ranking nurse in her area and still studying at every opportunity she gets. She’s a massive inspiration to me; pretty much every good quality I possess I have her to thank for.


Katie Briggs – Artist and Founder of Textile Review


Dame Ellen MacArthur recounts how her epic, record breaking planet-circumnavigating sailing venture changed her life and shifted its commitments. She tells us how that isolated experience on a sailboat brought her a vivid realisation and understanding to the brutal meaning of ‘finite’ to define earth’s resources. Subsequently, she set up The Ellen MacArthur Foundation to encourage and support the exchange of linear consumer economies for truly sustainable circular ones. Ellen's inspiration and learnings serve me with purpose for my own venture; working for the good of the environment is a spiritually lifting, empowering feeling of determination and resilience.

Guestblog: 6 Dynamite Business Hacks You Need For 2018

Hello, I’m Snorkel. (But most people call me Dom.)

Of late, there has been much (deserved) fanfare for the infamous Simon Sinek quote: “People don’t buy what you do they buy why you do it”. This sentiment in business has never felt more alive and relevant.

What’s my Why? I set up Snorkel just over a year ago to fundamentally help, support, guide, energise, impassion and unlock the superpowers of talented business people (just like the lovely PLATF9RM members). It’s my goal to help mission-driven entrepreneurs & founders grow their income, scale their impact and expand their influence. Simple as that.

So how can I help you?

Drawing on my experience of running Snorkel, producing the Virgin StartUp MeetUps, mentoring for Virgin and proudly being a PLATF9RM-er, I have put together six dynamite hacks that will make your business soar in 2018. Good luck! I’m rooting for you.

1 - Out & inbound strategy AKA: Please God, have a sales strategy

It’s far from an exact science but a principle part of building any successful and profitable business is your sales strategy. Much has been spoken of the death of outbound (traditional interruptive sales and marketing) but when working with my clients I’ve learnt that the balance of your outbound vs. inbound (attracting prospects through content and interactions that are relevant and value driven) wins you the most business.

2 - Defining sales collateral AKA: Branding is key! Be consistent, always.

You’d be surprised by how many businesses lack consistency across their messaging. Their ‘shop front’ can appear messy and confusing. Make sure that ALL of your sales collateral is as persuasive and engaging as possible as well as being uniform. Audit your site, credentials decks, email copy, social channels, physical assets etc., making sure that all of your potential prospecting touch points are amplifying your services, products and telling your story in the most persuasive way.


3 - Quantify your fears not goals AKA: Stuff will scare you and that’s okay. Write that sh*t down

Jay Baer, The New York Times best-selling author of Youtility highlighted that we are constantly encouraged to write down our goals but this can be pretty limiting and two-dimensional. Instead, go ahead and write down your fears. Give them a voice; give them context, a stage to yell from! This way they don’t appear so overwhelming and scary and you can get some much need perspective and resolve on your business challenges.

4 - Qualifying new business AKA: Don’t say yes to every new job!

It’s tempting, particularly for early stage businesses to take whatever comes our way. I’ve been there! But it’s super important to know when to say NO. Develop a qualification process so you can hold a potential lead or prospective project up against some carefully thought through criteria. Some examples might be: budget constraints; unrealistic timelines; is it a portfolio piece, moral conflicts or even, simply, are you going to enjoy the job?

5 - Healthy mind, healthy business AKA: Uhm, healthy mind, healthy business

I’m a huge evangelist for the healthy mind, healthy business approach. Easier said than done right? I hear you. It’s not easy to be present amongst the ongoing chaos and noise of running a business and general day to day living. But there are some quick wins that can help keep you focused and match fit. First: breathing. So many of us shallow breathe, often not getting sufficient oxygen to our grey matter, which we need to be our best selves. Take time out to incorporate a few simple exercises, which can help you feel more centered and able to get perspective on your business. Journaling is another great therapeutic intervention. Use at the end of each day, answering a few simple questions such as ‘three amazing things that happened today’ or ‘how could I have made today better?’ Again, a very liberating and calming way of processing the noise.

6 - Tools of titans AKA Get organized!

Below I’ve listed a few of my favourite tools that help me and my clients be more effective and efficient in our work. Remember, it’s not just about having them; it’s about how you bake them into your day to day.

Make sure you have a CRM that works hard for you and your business. There are some great free and low cost options out there. I use Hubspot but Pipedrive, Capsule and Insightly are also strong.

Any effective inbound campaign needs an effective social scheduler. Buffer is great but Hootsuite is also very good and offers chunkier analytics.

Trello is a super smart collaboration tool that gives you a visual overview of what is being worked on, who is working on it, and how far you’ve gotten.

If you are looking for cool free stock imagery then you could do a lot worse than make a B-line for Unsplash. Wicked super high res pics to make your business collateral purr!

I mentioned earlier the importance of being present in business, well here’s the app to help you. Headspace, one of the world’s best guided-meditation apps, is just like a Snorkel. It helps you breath in business!

Check out Snorkel here. And read other brilliant guestblogs here.