03 Nov 2020

Introducing the Digital City Network

Martyn Collins, Festival Director - Digital City Festival
Introducing the Digital City Network
Digital City Festival 2020, back in March, was one of the last times many of us were able to be together at a business event. 

Officially launched in September 2019, the festival rapidly went from being an idea to a week-long, fully-fledged series of events that brought together digital enthusiasts from Manchester, across the North, and much further afield.

Working with partners across the city in both the public and private sector, the festival featured: 

  • 50+ events 

  • 100+ sponsors, exhibitors and partners 

  • 160+ inspiring speakers 

  • 4,300+ attendees at the inaugural Digital City Expo 

In such a short time, we were thrilled to establish a major event in the business calendar. Shortly after that, we hunkered down with the rest of the country to weather the coronavirus storm. 

By early September this year, we were eagerly preparing for the return of business events and were very excited to announce our plans to bring everyone together again, in-person, for DCF2021. 

Unfortunately, Covid-19 had other ideas. Following government announcements, it became clear that an in-person event of the same size and scale as last year’s festival would not be possible. After the fantastic success of DCF2020, this felt like a hammer blow. We were disappointed to miss out on the chance to bring so many wonderful people into one space together again. We were also worried about our own business, the events industry and our digital community. 

This was tough! But after a short period of despair, we realised that this difficult situation was pointing us towards a vital opportunity: an event that could still bring together our community was needed now more than ever. And so, Digital City Festival 2021 was reimagined as a truly digital event. What could be more fitting for a digital city, in a region of great digital businesses? 

What these new challenges have taught us is that today’s business events need to be adaptive and innovative. By offering a hybrid of live content, that is also available to access online at any time, attendees can join our event whenever, and from wherever, suits them. Manchester's opportunity to be positioned as a leading digital city region means it is vital we embrace new and enabling digital technology to become the epicentre of the global digital ecosystem.

Hybrid events are here to stay — we will embrace this as a tremendous opportunity, and we hope you’ll join us in being part of it.


You can find out more about what to expect from the all-new Digital City Network, where the 2021 festival will be hosted, here.
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