From the 9th to the 13th March 2020, Manchester will be hosting Digital City Festival, a celebration of the booming digital economy in the North and beyond, and an opportunity for globally focused organisations to connect, innovate and collaborate. The festival comprises a wide range of events including a landmark expo, as well as masterclasses, networking opportunities, workshops and much more – covering the worlds of creative, marketing and technology – featuring industry leaders like Google, Boohoo, IBM, Unilever, The Very Group, the Co-op and Social Chain.
The festival will begin with the official launch event on the morning of 9th March, with a keynote speech from Greater Manchester Mayor, Andy Burnham, accompanied by Jo Graham, CIO from launch event host Boohoo, and Patrick Gormley, Lead for the festival’s Headline Partner, Capita Consulting. This will kick off five engaging days of events, including:
- Digital City Expo, a free-to-attend showcase of the latest in marketing, eCommerce, tech and media, where delegates will meet leading exhibitors and attend keynotes, masterclasses and panel discussions across eight stages – held at Manchester Central (11th-12th March).
- Fringe events all around Greater Manchester from the likes of Tech Nation, Hootsuite, BJSS and The Growth Company, where visitors can learn about specific topics affecting their industries.
- Social spaces in which to relax and network, such as the Digital City Expo Meeting Place and Recharge Lounge, sponsored by Channel 4.
- The city leaders’ reception at Cloud 23 on March 10th, where decision-makers and international guests will gather to celebrate the digital sector regionally, nationally and internationally. International delegates will hear about Manchester’s strengths as a tech cluster and destination for business.
- An official expo after party hosted by international agency and Digital City Champion, Dept, at newly opened venue Viadux (11th March).
- The Digital City Awards (12th March, Albert Hall).
One of Europe’s largest creative, digital and technology hubs, Manchester is the home of tech unicorns like The Hut Group, Boohoo and AO.com, and it’s where global powerhouses like the BBC, WPP and Amazon are relocating major resources. Digital City Festival will provide a platform to celebrate the region’s success and bring a diverse range of expertise, talent and innovation together.
Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, states: “It’s fantastic that Manchester has been chosen to host the first Digital City Festival. Events of this kind are key to delivering our ambition to be recognised as a world-leading digital city region and more importantly will unite the digital sector, create new partnerships and celebrate the people, businesses and organisations so instrumental to growing our influence on the world stage.”
Jo Graham, Chief Information Officer at Boohoo, follows on with: “As a pure play digital fashion brand based in the centre of this amazing city, boohoo is delighted to be part of this first digital showcase… The ambition, determination and talent within this city makes it the perfect home for forward thinking global businesses like ours, and we are excited to be involved in an event that showcases what the city has to offer… Finally, the great work and success that has been going on for years moves to the limelight!”