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Explore the Metaverse, AI, NFTs and more at this year’s Digital City Expo


Delve into the evolving world of emerging technologies and hear from industry leaders such as Rise at Seven’s Carrie Rose at this year’s Digital City Expo.

An exciting line-up of leading digital companies and thought leaders will take to the stage on the 9th and 10th March at Digital City Expo, Digital City Festival’s main event, held at Manchester Central.

From making sense of the metaverse down to how to build your personal brand and reputation from industry names at Flight Story, Great Influence, Fearless Adventures, Rise at Seven and The Manc Group – the expo is not one to be missed this year.

It is free to attend the two-day expo, where thousands of attendees will be able to network and collaborate whilst hearing all about the latest in digital and tech. 


The expo forms part of the week-long Digital City Festival which takes place across Manchester from March 7th to March 11th. The wider Digital City Festival includes a wide range of unmissable events including awards, partner events and networking opportunities. 

Digital City Expo will feature keynotes, Q&As and masterclasses across numerous stages around the venue. Below is just a flavour of some of the innovative sessions and keynotes taking place this year.

Digital City Expo
Digital City Expo in 2020.

The GM AI Foundry: a model for AI based SME innovation

This session in the Digital Masterclass Theatre at the Expo will explore how the Greater Manchester AI Foundry, which comprises four universities supporting Greater Manchester SMEs, is taking AI university research to SMEs to support their growth. 

The panel will feature a number of speakers including Sara Boswell, Enterprise Fellow at Manchester Metropolitan University; Alex Sharp, UK Director at Rutterkey Solutions; and Keith Miller of GM AI Foundry/Manchester Metropolitan University.

They will take to the stage on March 9th at 2:10pm to also discuss a recent transportation challenge developed with Transport for Greater Manchester. Rutterkey Solutions, which won the challenge, will present its innovation solution created in support of Greater Manchester’s wider transportation strategy. 

Personal branding and online reputation

Featuring a panel of industry leaders, this session will delve into building personal branding and online reputation on Thursday March 10th at 10am in the Keynote Theatre.

Carrie Rose, co-founder and CEO of Sheffield-headquartered creative agency Rise at Seven will be appearing on the panel. Rose has built a name for herself and the agency since its launch in 2019, with the agency expanding with offices across the UK and US.

Also appearing is Ash Jones, the founder of personal branding specialist Great Influence. Prior to launching Great Influence, he previously worked in marketing at Social Chain and helped to support its co-founder, Steven Bartlett, in building his personal brand.  

Dominic McGregor, Founding Partner and Investor at Fearless Adventures, will also be joining the session. He is the co-founder and former COO at Social Chain and helped grow the marketing company to a $200m turnover business before he left in 2020. He is also an operational partner at Manchester-based venture capital investor Praetura Ventures.

As well as the above, Anna Gledson, the Managing Director at digital publisher The Manc Group, will be appearing on the panel. The Manc positions itself as a platform focused on everything around Greater Manchester and beyond and has over 1.7 million followers across social media.

How to apply AI strategically and ethically

Hosted by Sherin Mathew, AI Tech North’s founder and CEO, this Digital Masterclass session will explore the AI myths, reality and how to break the barriers.

During the session on Thursday March 10th at 10:50am, Mathew will address the pressing questions on how to get started with AI and how to build your business with AI ethically.

Panel session on neurodiversity in tech

As Neurodiversity Celebration Week approaches later in March, a panel session on neurodiversity in tech will be held in the Keynote Theatre on March 10th at 12pm.

This insightful session will feature Ellie Middleton, Personal Brand Manager at Great Influence; Rachel Morgan-Trimmer, Neurodiversity Consultant at Sparkle Class; and Kate Jones, Chief Communications Officer at NeuroClastic.

WTF R NFTs? Making sense of the metaverse

If you still might be wondering what NFTs are, or want to make more sense of them, this session in the Keynote Theatre at the expo is one not to be missed. 

Mike Blake-Crawford, the Chief Strategy Officer at social media company Flight Story – co-founded by Steven Bartlett in 2021 – will take to the stage on Thursday March 10th at 1pm to explore NFTs and the metaverse. 

Esports 2.0: The Future of Phygital

This session, led by Professor Andy Miah from the University of Salford, examines how AI, immersive technologies and the creative media industries are reimagining esports for a future that is physical, imaginative, and connected.

Held in the Keynote Theatre on March 10th at 3pm, the session will also be exploring themes around the metaverse, social responsibility, and learning through esports.

As Deputy Editor of the International Journal of Esports, Professor Miah has been at the forefront of esports for a decade.


The full agenda for Digital City Expo, which includes a wide range of tech, digital, ecommerce and media sessions can be found here – along with further details about all the upcoming partner events taking place during Digital City Festival.

You can attend all of the above sessions for free, by registering here.

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