Director shares ambitions for next year's Digital City Festival

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The Director of the recently announced Digital City Festival, a week-long gathering of the digital community in March next year, has shared his ambitions for the festival. 

Martyn Collins, who has been intrinsic to previous expo events like eCommerce Show North and Marketing Show North, will oversee the planning for Digital City Festival (DCF), which takes place across Manchester. 

There will be a free-to-attend launch party at Manchester's Chamber of Commerce on September 26th which will provide a great opportunity for attendees to meet new contacts and be part of the upcoming Digital City Festival. 

With industry masterclasses and leading keynote speakers, Digital City Festival will set the agenda for 2020 in the North - celebrating the digital economy and asking the big questions about the opportunities and challenges that face it.

Martyn Collins, Digital City Festival Director

We sat down with Martyn to find out more about his ambitions for the festival...

Why is now a good time to host DCF?

"Despite all the uncertainties caused by Brexit, politics nationally and globally, currency fluctuation and so on, the Digital sector is doing amazingly. Everyone is embracing digital methods and adopting new technology. This talent, drive and optimism should be brought together so we can celebrate it, and we can all benefit in some way or another."

Why is Manchester the ideal location for DCF?

"Manchester has always been at the forefront of revolutions, technologies and movements. Right from the first industrial revolution, the train and canal networks and the suffragette movement all the way through to today's Industry 4.0. 

"Manchester sets the pace and creates the environment and dynamic for this newest revolution enabling the digital sector to innovate, flourish and succeed. The recent report from Tech Nation showed how the city has cemented itself as a tech powerhouse and the amount of VC investment it's had so far this year."

What are the three main things you want to achieve with DCF?

"There are three core things we believe Digital City Festival will provide for companies and attendees.

"Firstly, the ability to connect. In this post GDPR world, nothing is now more important than real human connections. Digital City Festival will provide an abundance of opportunities in various settings for people to network and develop new partnerships. 

"Secondly, the opportunity to innovate. Innovation is core to a Digital City and digital transformation is one of the biggest challenges facing businesses today. Attendees will be able to witness companies demonstrating new technologies, and hear from speakers providing thought leadership.

"And thirdly, the chance to grow. We know the digital sectors are growing but by coming together during the festival, we'll create many more opportunities for all types of organisations to access new technologies, services and people that will help them become more effective, profitable and grow more quickly."

What can companies get out of hosting a fringe event?

"Hosting an event as part of the festival fringe will not only provide companies with the chance to engage with the industry in whichever way they want, but we'll help promote the event via press, social media, email marketing and more. Fringe events will be featured as part of the Festival’s ‘What’s On’ listing.

"We want the city of Manchester to be bustling with digital events and activities."

Why have you decided to co-locate eCSN, MSN and TSN?

"The main challenges facing businesses that are looking to scale will include tech, marketing and eCommerce - so why have three separate events to deal with each? Bringing them together under one roof enables more opportunities for business owners to find the answers to the problems they need the most help with.

"The expo will be a unique opportunity to access skills, advice and expertise across the full spectrum of tech, marketing, eCommerce and media."

What do you believe DCF can do for the city and for the North in general?

"Digital City Festival will put Manchester and the North on the global map as the centre of digital excellence and innovation, a significant economic driver and job creator. We believe the city is a thought leader in the future of tech, business and society."

Want to find out more about DCF?

Visit the official Digital City Festival website to find out more about getting involved in the week-long event.