Last night’s Dynamites15 was excellent. The banqueting hall in Newcastle Civic Centre was packed to the gunnels with a whole host of people interested in the tech industry across the North East. Every seat was sold which made it a bigger and better event than the first one we had last year. A huge amount of credit needs to go to the organisers within Dynamo North East and Beacon House Events who pulled it all together.
OK, so we didn’t win anything this time. We had such a good start last year when Digtial Durham won the Collaborator of the Year award but it was not to be this time. We did have entries in four categories yet only one was shortlisted and we were pipped to the post by our friends in Newcastle. They won with the very same project that they presented at the O2 Local Government Digital Fund event that I attended back in February 2014. It has moved on considerably since however. They beat me then as well.
Each of the shortlisted entries had a video to pitch their story. These ranged from high octane, professionally produced advertorials to some guy sitting in front of their smartphone. The quality did not detract from the content of the submission and every winner was well deserved.
Perhaps next year we need to focus on quality and less on quantity.
The real winner though was the tech industry. There is so much going on in within IT and the region from TechNorth and the Northern Powerhouse to local government devolution yet last night made it absolutely clear how strong and healthy the industry is. There were many faces and organisations that I recognised and there were many I didn’t. There were organisations that I’d never heard of. All facets were represented and the awards were spread across the private, public and voluntary sectors. It was a good mix.
One notable difference was that whereas last year there may have been one or two firms from each type of tech business, this year there were many more. There was more than one gaming company, more than one app development company and more than one public sector organisation. Revenues and Customs won a prize. I wonder how many forms they had to fill in to declare that one.
Before the presentations there was an opportunity for everyone to mix. There were so many people that I wanted to speak to and I only managed to get round a few. It was a fair few mind you. My path just didn’t cross with others. I ended up collecting a handful of business cards and making that shape with your hand and fingers, that is the international sign for ‘call me’. I even parked myself by the bar to catch the attention of those that I knew would eventually have to come that way. It was a successful strategy and I have a lot of meetings to arrange.
It was a great night. The location was great, the event was great and the company was great. The food was nice as well.
The North East really is the place for tech.