London's love byte
by Annie Byrne
More than 200 independently run events helped put London on the map as Europe’s leading technology hub during the inaugural London Technology Week.
Organised by UBM Live, London & Partners – the Mayor’s official organisation for London - Excel London, and Tech London Advocates, the festival took place across the UK capital from 16 to 20 June.
The city acted as a hotbed for innovative technologies and thriving clusters in fin-tech, med-tech, fashion tech, ad-tech, gaming and SaaS.
Even London’s sewer system served as one of the 100+ event venues, showcasing the fibre optic technology running under the city’s streets.
Sir Michael Mortiz, chairman of Sequoia Capital, Bebo co-founder Michael Birch, Expedia co-founder Simon Breakwell, and PRO Founders Captialco-founder Brent Hoberman were among the keynote speakers.
Major global brands including Yammer, Tesco, Samsung, Google and Microsoft, as well as home-grown London tech companies such as Makers Academy and Intent HQ, showcased London’s role as the digital capital of Europe.
Mayor of London Boris Johnson, who pushed Technology Week forward along with marketing agency London & Partners, said that the week had “exceeded all expectations” and brought much needed investment and attention to London’s tech sector.
The organisers reported an initial estimate of 40,000 visitors among the convergence of big brands and start-ups, funding, political backing and talent.
Programmers, data scientists, educational innovators, cutting edge creative thinkers, financiers and marketers attended from the USA, Canada, Europe, Mexico, China, Hong Kong and South Africa.
Russ Shaw, founder of Tech London Advocate said: “London Technology Week has surpassed expectations, not only in terms of attendees, but also the unprecedented platform it has given our capital’s burgeoning tech sector and pioneering tech companies. This has been a celebration of growth and an opportunity to focus on the work that still needs to be done.”
A TechFest Closeup
Event consultant and meeting designer firm Gallus Events welcomed more than 100 event professionals to Excel London during London Technology Week, for the third TechFest event.
Over 10 startup companies and 17 more established brands presented, networked and showcased their products and services to the audience.
“Our attendees really liked the curated nature of the suppliers as well as the level of the attendees,” said William Thomson, conference architect and event consultant at Gallus Events.
“But what excited and pleased me more was how engaged the audience was on the day. For a relatively small event we had a lot of amplification via social media. We put a lot of effort into having things that people would share.”
The team had retro floppy disc badges, personalised mugs and interactive low and high tech features across the space.
“While conducting event consultancy we found that almost 90 per cent of the time the first thing we would have to look at was the lack of event technology that organisers and organisations were (or weren’t) using.
“Many organisations were (and still are) not using event management platforms, bulk email marketing providers or other technology that helps them be more efficient.
“We also noticed that the types of technologies they were using at their events wasn’t adding much value and sometimes was costing them far too much money. We knew that we needed to fill a gap in the UK,” he added.
This was first published in the August issue of EN. Any comments? Email Annie Byrne