This week we gathered in #Digilounge to announce the dates for this year’s Digital Leaders Week. It’s going to be the 14-18 June. It will be the 4th DLWeek we have run and the second under Lockdown conditions. In the week that saw the TechNation Report launched it seems good timing to be announcing a week of digital transformation conferences, workshops and events that will help spread the digital skills and leadership knowledge we all need to help build the UK’s digital confidence.
For me personally it seems so odd that back in March 2020, when the first lockdown began, that we discussed with our Board whether we should pivot the DLWeek planned for June 2020 to being virtual, or whether they thought things would be back to normal by then. A year later and the Board, like us, feel certain that DLWeek 2021 will still be virtual.
On the plus side the opportunities of running virtual events well and our audiences abilities to engage and use virtual event technology is totally transformed and this was reflected in the way the launch went this week in #Digilounge. It felt like a normal way to announce something as important as the dates of DLWeek 2021 online. Just a year ago, when we did the same event, in the glamorous surroundings of One Whitehall Place, it would have been unthinkable.
I should add that for those of you who know #Digilounge it’s a great virtual space for delivering content and networking in equal measure and perfect for such an announcement event. For those who have yet to experience it, do please head over and take a look at it at Shoreditchvirtual.com
We were joined for the launch this week by many of our DLWeek Ambassadors. Numbering 100 they are taken from our Board, DL100 winners and our partners across all sectors.
Our headline partner for the Week is SAGE supported by AWS and Nominet and we heard from them all, but also from our partners in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as well as Dynamo in the North of England. We are really pleased that Dynamo’s brilliant annual conference will be the headline event on the Thursday of the Week, but we also heard plans for a headline event in Belfast and the return for a second year of TechFest running all week in Cardiff.
Direct events during the week run by the Digital Leaders ourselves will include the Launch event from all four capital cities in the UK on the Monday morning, the 16th National Digital Conference, an event that has truly tracked and reflected the Digital transformation journey of the UK; and the 4th Impact Awards, which will honour those who are delivering Tech for Good, which has been so important these past 12 months. Honouring our 36 finalists for 12 awards in mid-June will be perfect timing.
There was also an opportunity for people to jump up on our digital stage with the brilliant Louise Stokes who hosted a Q&A with the audience.
Maggie Pihlbin talked about why she took part in the week saying “DLWeek enables you to connect with people outside your own sector” and Stuart Clarke creator of the Leeds Digital Festival spoke for many when he said he “admired DLWeek’s dedication to having a true UK wide event and audience and it not just being Londoners and London speakers”.
We also heard from the DWP who have events planned and Wolverhampton University’s new Cyber centre who will be running events around the latest thinking and services for business in cyberspace.
The call to action of the event was to run an event yourself. So if you are a leader in the UK’s digital transformation place for ideas, initiatives and services then this digital week 14-18 June is your chance to demonstrate. You will be joining others like you, who are driving forward digital transformation in the UK and helping us build back better, by sharing the very best practice, showcasing their services and developing ideas together that are practical and real.
I do hope you will join in. Click below to find out how you can run an online event, amplify your brand and raise awareness of your skills as a leader to our audience of over 150,000 digital leaders.