5 Great Things About Digital Festival 2017
21 September 2017
Last week I participated in my first ever Digital Festival. Having previously exhibited and attended as a delegate, it was great to get involved as a speaker. More so, having attended the last three annual Digital events, there was something very exciting about this year’s event. It had a very different look and feel which lent to a more exciting and collaborative vibe.  
What is Digital Festival?
The Digital Festival is an annual event, held over two days, and now in its fifth year. Having previously been held at the Celtic Manor conference centre on the outskirts of Newport, this year it was hosted by the Tramshed live music venue and Tramshed Tech, a co-working space that’s home to a number of promising Welsh start-ups, giving it a very different look and feel. With the busy road closed off, exhibitors were placed in industrial shipping containers along the street, that lead to an array of street food stalls for a relaxed lunch & networking vibe. 
Supported by a range of high-profile companies and organisations, including Microsoft, GoCompare, London Stock Exchange, Accenture, Lexon and techUK, this festival certainly had something for everyone. The delegates were a great mix of innovators, investors and tech enthusiasts. The aim of the event is to bring together the business community across Wales and to showcase our offering to the wider world. And I have to say, this was very much achieved – as soon as you walked through the door, you sensed the open and inviting atmosphere.
With something for everyone, the venue had a main stage for the keynote speakers hosting up to 550 delegates, complemented by small workshop rooms for between 30 and 100 people. The sessions covered hot topics like IoT, Security, Talent, 5G and Investment on an interactive basis, bringing the business community together to share knowledge and ideas.
So, why we think Digital Festival 2017 was so great:
Putting Welsh tech on the Map
Hosting this popular nationwide event in the Welsh capital, gave the opportunity to put Welsh tech on the map. The region’s growing innovative environment has thrived over the past 10-15 years and has given birth to a city which holds all the knowledge and skill set needed to be at the forefront of the coming digital revolution. The new home of tech presents an exciting and innovative place to work, grow and live.
Bringing the digital community together
In its fifth year, the event is one of the main digital headlines of the year. Along with some of the leading tech companies like GoCompare and Cisco, there was also a gathering of leading tech individuals. Bringing a community like this together prompts important discussions surrounding current services and future innovations. Allowing a place where creative juices can flow and new digital skills to be shared and learned, this can only be a good thing.
Showcasing fantastic start-ups
The event allowed for many fantastic start-ups in the area to showcase themselves. The stalls, demos and talks were full of new Welsh start-ups, which was great to see. With hundreds of could be investors in attendance, it delivered the opportunity for these companies to promote their business and skills with the exciting prospect of fresh investment from all around the UK.
Location, location, location
Moving the event from last year’s Celtic Manor into the new, innovative and modern Tramshed gave the event the breath of fresh air it needed. A building colliding tech with art, vibrant colour with festival street food – the Tramshed provided the perfect place for an event so full of energy. Its city center location, also made it the desirable place for easier transport links in and out of the city for attendees from across the UK.
DMSG Professional Services involvement
Yes, this may be a little bias. However, the event was also made great by being invited to present a panel discussion on attracting and retaining staff in a world where employee engagement is vital to a successful business. We were privileged to be accompanied by Sorenson Media, Alert Logic and Sonovate, three tech-centric companies based in Cardiff, who provided a detailed and informative insight into the three key organisational design elements; physical space, technology and culture. We hope we provided a lot of advice and tips to improve the overall culture and environment of your organisation.
Till next year…..
For me, this years’ Digital event is its best yet and a great foundation to build on for next year. As a huge advocate of growing the business community in Wales, I think this has been the perfect opportunity to showcase our offering to the wider world and has brought our business community closer together. 
Author - Victoria Wood
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