It was my first VentureFest and I wasn’t sure what to make of it. When I started out on my own, this was one of must attend events that everyone seemed to be talking about. It promised so much, it was at St James’ Park and it was free. What more could I ask?
I have entered a world that I was on the fringes of when working for the local authority. A world of business support, startups and scale-ups. It has been a fascinating voyage as I have delved deeper and deeper into these new experiences. Like Arne Saknussemm I have found new wonders and adventure along the way.
VentureFest North East promised to be the epicentre of this world. It is about innovation, competitiveness and profitability. It brings together people working to develop new ideas with those that can assist them.
It didn’t disappoint. There were hundreds of people there across three floors of the conference centre. In between breakout sessions (I went to one on ‘Prosecco versus Beer: Is unconscious bias stifling business’ and another on ‘Designing a successful business model’) there was ample time to visit the exhibition and meet up with people. After all, for me, that is its main point.
I had a long list of people I wanted to see. Not all were there but I was able to tick off most. I also got to speak to some people that I had not expected to see which was a welcome bonus. I even caught a glimpse of people I wanted to connect with but by the time I got free they were lost in the crowd.
This is the best thing about such events, the chance to catch up with acquaintances and to make new bonds. It is through social interaction that humans develop. It is through the exchange of ideas that businesses are developed.
VentureFest is going to be another fixed date in my calendar. Just like Dynamo and Thinking Digital, it is a must attend.