Every events manager has been there. You’ve put your heart and soul into an annual event. The buzz on the day was brilliant. The post-event feedback even better. The outcomes you hoped for exceeded. And those long hours, late nights and early mornings become distant memories as the feeling you get when things go just right have the effect of creating selective amnesia.
But then the big question hits. How do you make it even better next year?
I’ve been running Digital for four years now and, as we get close to sharing our agenda with the world, this year I think we might have just nailed the answer.
Since 2013, over two days each summer we’ve welcomed thousands of start-ups, scale-ups and big businesses to meet, talk tech and secure investment for ideas that might just change the world. We’ve had some brilliant success stories emerge from the event (like the recent example of Disberse, shared by my colleague Jo Golley recently here).
But we’re not resting on our laurels. The reality is, in the tech world, you can’t. Things change at lightning speed. When you’re asking entrepreneurs to take time away from their inboxes and innovations, you’d better make sure you blow them away with the experience and the outcomes.
While London might have Silicon Roundabout and some ace tech events (like Unbound, where our CEO David spoke recently), it’s not the be all and end all. We’ll be bringing innovators and investors the two hours from London to Cardiff and when they get here, they’re going to find something they can’t get anywhere else. Like finding out more about Wales’ progress in the cyber security and Fintech spaces (there’ll be chances to meet everyone from our headline sponsors Go Compare through to exciting up-and-comers like Wealthify and Delio).
You know you’re getting it right in the events industry when your phone won’t stop ringing. And that’s 100 per cent the case with this year’s Digital. Everyone from Tesla, London Stock Exchange, Tech UK, UKBAA (that’s the UK Business Angels Association), EdTech UK and Digital Catapult are keen beans. And just a few weeks ago a company from the Netherlands wanting to break the UK market got in touch. Winner.
We’ve listened to what the industry want to see- think more workshops, more opportunities for investors to meet innovators- and in September we’ll put on an event everyone can be proud of. If you’re a Digital regular (and 60 per cent of this year’s sign-ups so far are newbies!), you’ll clock we’ve moved the venue for 2017 to Tramshed.
We wanted to do something that’d never been seen before- and thanks to the forward thinkers at Tramshed Tech and Cardiff Council, we’ve managed it. Pendyris Street, the road outside the venue, will be closed to cars for the two days as 13 shipping containers take over for an expo like no other.
One thing I’ve learned from all my years in this game is that an event runs on its stomach. So we’ll have street food. And if you can grab a spot in them, workshops in Cardiff Bay. On a boat. Which is also a restaurant.
There’s seven weeks to go and we just can’t wait to share this event with you. And the good thing is, it’s still free to register http://digital-festival.co.uk/