We came, we saw, we anti-conferenced
With just 8 weeks to go, CWLEP Growth Hub challenged us to get over 100 local businesses together. The purpose? To talk tech.
The brief was short: to host the pinnacle event of the Coventry and Warwickshire Business Festival. An event where key players could share tech knowledge, strengthen business relationships and learn.
At this stage, the Growth Hub had already secured a fantastic venue. FANUC are world leaders in automation solutions. And we had their UK headquarters to play with for the day. But the rest was up to us. Taking inspiration from the tech industry’s current challenges we developed the concept: ‘The Fourth Industrial Revolution: why should you care?’
A conference alternative
From the outset, we had an idea of what was needed – an ‘anti-conference’: an alternative to the run-of-the-mill symposium. Especially as more engaging formats give better results. We didn’t want to see glazed eyes on bored faces; or hear shoes shuffling as people sat in their seats. We wanted everyone’s attention. And we were aiming to keep the energy levels at a constant high. Definitely no afternoon dips, not on our watch!
A dynamic programme
We designed a dynamic programme. Importantly, nobody sat in the same room for more than 30 minutes. There were interactive case studies: a wandering robot serving sweets; 5 minute ‘soapbox’ style speakers; a and a storytelling workshop from Quidem Digital. We even had Warwickshire’s answer to Graham Norton to host our panel discussion.
Plus, coffee cups were adorned with the four key questions we wanted participants to consider during the day:
- What are the opportunities of the Fourth Industrial Revolution?
- Will my investments into technology be future proof?
- Which technology is right for my business?
- How will the Fourth Industrial Revolution impact my customer’s expectations?
In short, the Warwick Events team gave a full event service. This included the event concept creation; event theming design; graphic design services; guest invitation management; venue liaison; speaker management; AV; furniture hire and on-site event co-ordination.
Indeed the support from local businesses was astonishing. Altogether we had over 15 companies presenting their story; exhibit their products and bringing their own customers. Furthermore we had a wide range if technology companies. These included innovative product design; autonomous vehicles; automation; energy solutions and virtual reality specialists.
To sum up, we smashed the original target of 100 participants. Despite the horrendous wet weather, we welcomed 135 on the day. New connections were made. We had great feedback on learning and sharing. As well as that, a very large deal was struck!