More than 300 IT and digital professionals from throughout the county gathered at Elland Road last week when the doors to the inaugural TechTrade Yorkshire event opened.
And a distinct theme of innovation and collaboration was apparent throughout the day, with exhibitors, delegates and speakers agreeing that the sector packs a punch when it comes to the economic growth of the region.
Search IT and Digital, IT solutions specialist C-Ways, document management experts Arena Group, technological architecture firm Riello UPS and software testing consultancy Ten10 were among the event’s key sponsors, joined by an equally impressive line-up of industry leading speakers.
James Akrigg, Microsoft’s head of technology for partners spoke about technology transforming the way businesses can work, for example, and Sue Daley from TechUK was joined by Andy Longshaw of LexisNexis for the Q&A-style cloud forum. Elsewhere David Warburton-Broadbent, CIO of Metronet UK shared his views on optimising digital communications infrastructures, and Vince Sparks, IT Director of Eddie Stobart touched upon the much-debated topic of security and business risk mitigation.
An event poll carried out on the day also revealed that 96% of attendees believe the tech sector could hold the key to greater economic prosperity in Yorkshire.
Commenting on the findings, and general feedback from the day, TechTrade’s founder Chrissie Gale said: “We hear lots of talk about the Northern Powerhouse, and I truly believe Yorkshire’s tech sector will prove crucial to that vision becoming a reality. We need to collaborate more effectively, as a region, to prevent valuable talent from being lost to Manchester or London. But the level of knowledge, dialogue and ambition within the room last week showed we can not only compete – we can lead the way.”
Less than six months ago, TechTrade Yorkshire was little more than an idea – the brainchild of Horbury-based business conference specialist Mooncas. But the concept proved to be incredibly popular, with exhibition booths sold out and target delegate numbers surpassed weeks before the event itself.
Chrissie concludes: “People came to exchange ideas, create partnerships and secure business. We couldn’t have asked for more. But, if the region’s tech sector is to live up to its potential, we need to make sure TechTrade Yorkshire 2017 is even bigger and better.”