CyberFest at last


In the end I need not have worried about people turning up at our first CyberNorth event, part of CyberFest. I had been kept awake worrying about it for several weeks yet people started arriving and checking in even before the doors had officially opened.

A colleague of mine had said that anything into three figures would have been an achievement and when everything was counted there were just shy of one hundred and fifty visitors. For a first stab, I am going to take this as a hit. It was a great team effort all round.

It wasn’t just IT people either, with representatives from many different professions and trades. The venue at Northumbria University’s Business School looked full, with lots of engagement and conversations, both with the sponsors and between the delegates.

That is the first week over then, with two more to go. The Northumbria University event was billed to be the biggest and this week our focus turns to Teesside on Thursday at Teesside University and Northumberland on the Friday at the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult building in Blyth. Dynamo North East has never had events in either of these areas and so these are another couple of firsts.

What then have I learned from putting on these events (with the help of my colleagues)?

  • They are not easy things to arrange, getting speakers to confirm and gathering all of the information takes effort.
  • Getting people to turn up is not just a question of putting on a show, you need almost constant promotion using whatever mechanism is to hand. My Twitter account was overloaded with related tweets.
  • I worried an awful lot and would wake up regularly in the middle of the night in a cold sweat, thinking of all the things I had to do and in fear of nobody coming along.
  • There are people who are very experienced in doing this sort of thing and they can be relied upon to help you through.

The vibe this week was certainly good and a lot of people asked if this would be a regular event. Let’s see how we all feel once the dust has settled.

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