Bath Digital Festival Returns for 2019

By Anita Jaynes on 11 March, 2019

 

Returning for its 7th year, Bath Digital Festival is back for 2019 from 22nd – 26th October. 

This week-long celebration brings people and technology together. It allows everyone to explore the thriving digital scene here in Bath and get hands on experience with the latest technological advances.

Whether you fancy trying your hand at coding, joining an interactive workshop or just want to get your hands on the latest tech, there will be plenty for everyone to take part in and enjoy.

We met with Jim Morrison, Director of Bath Digital Festival and CEO of digital agency Deep Blue Sky to find more about this year’s series of events.

What can people expect from Bath Digital Festival 2019?

That there’s something just right for them – something that will blow their mind. Each year we field over 100 speakers across over 80 events and cover so many topics and different levels there’s something to fascinate every enquiring mind.

What are the key aims this year?

To reach the audiences that are harder to reach; particularly we want to inspire youngsters from the less affluent areas of Bath. The festival exists to re-ignite the creativity in everyone; especially the next generation.

What are the themes?

We cover five themes each year; creativity, work, tech for good, high-tech and kid’s tech. This allows us to cover everything from social media marketing to AI and ethics. 

How can people and businesses get involved?

The festival is a fantastic opportunity for businesses to align their brand with their specific audience. The festival only runs with the support of local businesses so we work really hard to make sure their sponsorship delivers great value for money.  

Are you looking for any specific support?

Yes. The two challenges we always have are finding local businesses with the foresight to get involved to promote themselves and reaching schools, teachers and parents who can see the benefits of getting their kids involved.

How is the festival changing for 2019?

The biggest change this year is that we’re now in the process of formally registering as a charity. This is part of the festival growing up. After two huge years we are now keen to ensure the sustainability of the festival for the years to come. We’ve always been not-for-profit so this is a natural next step.

What most excites you about the festival?

The unexpected. Every day of the festival I hear new stories of people who’ve taken the path less travelled and discovered something magical. Hearing that we discovered people to reset their career expectations and watching their personal growth makes it all worthwhile.

How many people attend BDF events each year?

We had around 2,500 attendances in 2018, but we sold out quite a few events a couple of months before the festival so I couldn’t predict where we’ll get to this year. 

How are you looking to grow the audience? 

To be honest, it comes down to the early commitment of local companies to sponsor the festival. Their commitment allows us to book bigger venues earlier; venues we often know we can fill. 

Why did you get involved in the festival?

We’ve always had a couple of digital businesses in Bath and the festival was started by Dave and Katrina Kelly at Storm as a collaboration between like-minded local digital businesses. We got more involved in 2017 because we saw the potential to grow the festival into something of great long-term value for the whole of the local community and economy.

To find out more about Bath Digital Festival visit: www.bathdigitalfestival.co.uk

Pictured above: Jim Morrison, Director of Bath Digital Festival and CEO of digital agency Deep Blue Sky