Digital Mission Case Studies: The Filter

The Filter

The Filterdmratthefilter [dot] com (David Maher-Roberts)

The Filter is a relevance and recommendation engine that specialises in video, music and movies. Originally devised by Grammy award winning artist Peter Gabriel, the company offers a service direct to consumers in addition to providing white label and co-branded solutions for content partners. 

CEO David Maher-Roberts was part of last year’s Webmission 2008 to San Francisco (organised by Oli Barrett and Polecat) and also applied and was accepted onto the Digital Mission to SXSWi.  

So the San Francisco trip was your first experience of a trade mission – how did you find it?

It was an extremely useful trip because for us, developing new partnerships are a key focus for the business and the way Webmission is organised means that it’s really easy to make the most of the time you are out there. I ended up having up a series of business meetings while I was out in San Francisco, many of which turned out to be really fruitful.

What made you apply for Digital Mission to SXSWi?

Obviously, for those in the tech and digital industries, SXSWi is one of the leading events in the year. We could have just gone out on our own but one of the big benefits of being part of Digital Mission is that it gives you a much higher profile and with that comes some great PR opportunities. We simply wouldn’t have had the level of interest that we did if I’d just attended as an individual.

Did you do any preparation before you went out?

Yes. In my opinion, preparation is the key to getting the most out of Digital Mission. If you’re going to take time out of the business to attend, then it makes sense to be sure you’re making the most out of being there. I started preparing about two months in advance including setting myself objectives, planning meetings in advance and identifying other individuals that I wanted to meet up with. And it’s worth remembering that the Digital Mission and UK Trade & Investment team can help you with advice and support.

Any tips for those considering applying for next year?

I’d say that if you are accepted be very clear about what you want to achieve – is it about securing specific deals? expanding your network? or a profile building exercise? It’s a fantastic opportunity but like most things in life, you get out of it what you put into it.

What was the biggest single benefit of taking part in Digital Mission?

We started some really useful business conversations at SXSWi that have subsequently had great results. I can’t go into detail about it but it was definitely worthwhile being involved.

It can’t all have been work, work, work?

One of the well-known characteristics of SXSWi is its social networking and that’s another reason why it’s such a brilliant event. The Digital Mission team did an amazing job ensuring that we all had a great time. I’d highly recommend it.