It’s a common trait that most ‘Regional’ areas in Australia get tarred with the same brush. Lack of infrastructure, facilities and opportunities means that you’re not on the same playing field as the big cities that dominate the landscape. But let’s not forget Newcastle while technically ‘regional’ is not only Australia’s 7th largest in population, it’s a thriving city. Newcastle has most big city amenities, major infrastructure plans underway and fosters a collective mentality of innovation that is much like your large Metro cities just without the long commutes and stress of big city living. However, one thing Novocastrians aren’t so good at is telling people about the innovation, creativity and their big thinking and experience in all of this.

The ever-changing Newcastle, now home to some of the most innovative creative talents and thought leaders in Australia is currently seeing a wave of people moving from all over the country to one of the most livable cities on the planet.

I’m one of these people, having spent six years in London and ten more in Sydney before recently moving up to Newcastle. In my first three months, here having been involved in multiple creative workshops, presentations, innovation hubs and even brand summits, it’s apparent that there’s a thriving creative industry here. You probably already knew that, right? But what you may not be aware of is the mix of skill sets and the depth of experience from people that have travelled around the world to hone their skills.

Many have worked in different spaces, places and for companies big and small but have now come back home and are seeking to impart their skills and knowledge back into the local market. There’s so much opportunity in the Hunter and Newcastle region for brands, so it’s an exciting time where local marketers no longer need to rely on Sydney to get their creative and marketing fix. It’s a great time to embrace this phase of change and innovation in Newcastle and open up even more possibilities.

The Brand Pool along with a host of other creative agency folks here in Newcastle were invited to a ‘Creative Jam’ session organised by Newcastle City Council recently – Beers + Ideas. The event was designed to bring together the creative minds of Newcastle to help solve the problem –

How do we get better at telling the world about the amazing, creative and innovative things happening right now in Newcastle?

What was apparent from that evening and the following sessions and presentations, was that there was a vast amount of knowledge, collaboration and experience sat right there in the room. We all understood the problem at hand, came to the table with innovative and compelling narratives to help share Newcastle’s story that culminated in creative pitch presentations at the iQ Ignite event. The presentations were full of smart, intelligently crafted ideas that delighted the packed crowd and importantly delivered on the brief.

In the past, there seems to be a lack of confidence attached to Newcastle creative agencies, where there really shouldn’t be. In researching before moving and in my relatively short time here, I’ve been amazed at the level of work being conceived here in Newcastle and therefore see the opportunity for more local brands to take advantage of this. Large agencies don’t necessarily always guarantee you success, and as such, smaller creative agencies are now becoming the driving force behind large-scale clients. Brands are increasingly looking for a more personal approach to telling their stories whilst needing to adapt and be nimble to an ever-changing landscape that is demanding and ever challenging.

Newcastle has been designated a ‘smart city,’ so let’s embrace these challenges and reach out to ‘big city’ thinking – in Newcastle.

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