Bristol Technology Festival unveils schedule for October showcase

Bristol Technology Festival, Engine Shed

Bristol Technology Festival has unveiled a packed schedule for its tech showcase event, taking place from October 11-15.

BTF, which is being sponsored by Marlow-based IT company Softcat, is an annual celebration bringing together events, people and communities to learn and explore technology developments in the South West region. Events will cover sectors from green and sustainable technology to legal and finance. 

This year’s schedule includes more than 50 event spread across five packed days.

The theme through the week is ‘changing the face of tech’, with the emphasis on taking tangible action beyond simply talking about a lack of diversity and inclusion. As well as demonstrating the best of what the area’s tech space has to offer, BTF 2021 aims to bring together like-minded organisations ready to inspire wide-reaching change. 

The event kicks off on Monday October 11th with

Rob Parkinson, CIO at Softcat, said: “The last 18 months have been tough for many industries, but technology has come through as an enabler and has made many re-think how they interact and do business. As the impact of technology continues to grow, forums like the Bristol Technology Festival have never been more important and we are pleased to be supporting it.”

Other sponsors include Deloitte which is sponsoring the Bristol Technology Festival Launch Event, on Thursday October 7 which will be held at Engine Shed.

The launch evening will be a chance for senior leaders and technology influencers from across the region to network, share ideas and see each other in person, with speaker contributions coming from the likes of Moneyhub, Deloitte and Softcat.

Among the many highlights of this year’s festival is a fireside keynote chat with Antonia Forster.

Antonia is a Unity/C# games and software developer, specialising in immersive experiences such as AR, VR and XR. In 2017, her record-breaking TEDxBristol talk was delivered to a live audience of 2,000 people and has since gained more than 92,000 views online.

A year later, Antonia was nominated and shortlisted for Nature’s John Maddox Prize, in recognition of her work as an LGBTQ+ speaker and activist. She has also been named one of Bristol’s Top Nine “Women to Watch” in STEM, and has appeared in numerous magazine, radio and television features.

The talk with Antonia is scheduled for Monday October 11, 12:00-14:00, at Engine Shed.

It is expected to be one of many events held throughout the week that inspire both more women to pursue careers in the tech sector, and organisations to provide greater opportunities and promote diversity.

A large group of volunteers are helping to coordinate the festival. Among them are representatives from Hargreaves Lansdown, Newicon, TechSPARK, and Engine Shed, with events throughout BTF being crowdsourced from organisations across the city of Bristol. 

These include tech companies, public bodies, schools, community interest groups and charities, with events open to a huge variety of guests – from tech professionals and businesses to individuals wanting to know more about the area’s digital industries.

Between us, a huge variety of discussions and other activities will be open to attendees:

  • TechSPARK, a not-for-profit network dedicated to connecting, educating, and strengthening the digi-tech cluster in the West, will be hosting its annual SPARKies awards. Now in its ninth year, the awards showcase the very best in people, products and companies that make up the tech sector in the region.
  • FinTech West will host its 2021 fintech summit, exploring the latest innovations and providing important networking opportunities for local industry stakeholders.
  • Alongside the launch event, key sponsor Deloitte is holding a number of talks throughout BTF 2021. This includes a talk on location intelligence, and how using geospatial data and services can transform day to day operations.

This year’s Bristol Technology Festival will also witness the launch of the Festival Community Partner initiative. Here, businesses have the opportunity to become one of 50 community partners, with all funds invested helping to secure the long-term future of the festival.