Network profile: The Oxford Digital Workers’ Union

 2 mins | By Gill Oliver
 | Network profile | Sep 22nd 2019

The Oxford Digital Workers’ Union is a meetup in the city centre, which brings together Oxford’s digital marketing community. With 400 members and growing, it was started by Aisha Kellaway and Charlie Williams. Both are deeply entrenched in the digital marketing community – Williams has worked in digital marketing for more than a decade and Kellaway since 2013. They met three years ago, while working at a local SEO agency and have both spoken at and attended multiple conferences around the UK and abroad.

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Kellaway, founder of brand, social media and content agency Scarlet Roo, says: “The demand and interest in ODWU shows our community is really keen to keep learning and improving but in Oxford we don’t have any relevant, higher-level events available, without attendees needing to make a huge investment in either travel, time or ticket costs.”

Charlie Williams co-runs ODWU. Pic: Charlie Williams

Kellaway and Williams, who runs SEO and content consultancy Chopped, decided to organise and run their own event, Unboxed. Aimed at digital marketers from Oxford and the wider Thames Valley region, it features an impressive line-up of speakers including Kevin Gibbons from Re:Signal, Dr Jon Dodd of Bunnyfoot, Sam Marsden from DeepCrawl and Lisa Myers from Verve Search.

Kellaway explains: “We agreed if we put something on for the Oxford community, we wanted to do something different. Unlike other conferences that tend to either take a mass approach to topics and leave you with a couple of highlights, or multi-day, high-end conferences whose price-points mean they exclude a huge portion of the industry, we’ve opted for a ‘less but done better’ approach, offering maximum bang for your buck.

“Essentially, we’ve tried to put on a conference focused on helping digital marketers with the issues they are facing right now, through a collection of curated talks from subject matter experts that will leave them inspired, or with new tactics to try when they get back to the office.”

She adds: “It’s also in an intimate atmosphere that brings you closer to the experts, makes chatting with the community less intimidating and has the biggest screens we could find. You could say we’re putting on the conference that we wished we could attend locally.”

The Unboxed lineup:

  • What I’ve learned in 16 years of working in SEO: Kevin Gibbons from Re:Signal.
  • Ask Me Anything about building links with content in 2019: Gisele Navarro from NeoMam Studios.
  • How to spot good from bad research for marketing, UX and any customer interaction: Dr Jon Dodd of Bunnyfoot.
  • SERP-rising tips for driving meaningful clicks: Izzi Smith, formerly from Sixt Rent a Car.
  • A digital marketer’s guide to uncovering hidden insights with Data Studio: Sam Marsden from DeepCrawl.
  • How to build and develop amazing digital teams: Lisa Myers from Verve Search.

Unboxed is on October 16 and runs from 1pm-6pm at the Oxford Curzon cinema at The Westgate, Oxford, OX1 1NZ. Tickets cost £139. For information, or to book, see:

About the Author

Gill Oliver

Gill Oliver is a professionally trained journalist who’s written for The New Statesman, The Bureau for Investigative Journalism, The Daily Mail’s business section This is Money, The Press Association, The Huffington Post plus a host of national magazines, news agencies and trade and industry journals. She’s also spent nine years reporting on the Oxfordshire business and tech scene for The Oxford Times and The Oxford Mail.

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