The Bath Digital Festival 2017

The Bath Digital Festival produced a jam-packed week of digital events for all ages. Here's our higlights from this year!

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Jess Docherty

Festival Organiser

1st November 2017

Kicking off a week long celebration of tech in the South West

The Bath Digital Festival started with a bang on Monday 16 October with a launch party at the Holburne Museum. 

We welcomed over 150 leading digital technology organisations to kick-off the celebration of digital success in the South West - including Dyson, NatWest and Deep Blue Sky. 

Speakers included Jim Morrison (CEO of Deep Blue Sky and Director of BDF), Tim Warren (Leader of the Council), Jess Docherty (Festival Organiser) and Dave Kelly (BDF Director). All commented on the breadth of content at this year's festival, praised the success of local digital innovation and highlighted the importance of technology in Bath’s growth. 

Our hope is that the festival inspires another generation of digital experts and the city of Bath continues to grow its reputation, not just as a World Heritage City but a Future City too. 

Commenting on this year’s theme “Tech For Everyone”, CEO of Deep Blue Sky and Director of Bath Digital Festival, Jim Morrison explained: “We’re committed to digital inclusion and innovation. As technologies change and advance, everyone is impacted. So it’s extremely important to us that this is reflected in the content and line-up of Bath Digital Festival in 2017.”

Robo Jane, acoustic guitarist Henry Ray, The VR Chair from VRGO and the party highlight, spoken word artist Toby Thompson kept the audience entertained. 

The Bath Digital Festival in Full Swing 

A team of local volunteers helped bring 2000 people together at more than 80 events across 26 venues in Bath and the surrounding area. Each one sharing the festival theme “Tech For Everyone” and was split, by day, into themes including Digital Creativity, Digital Working, Digital for Good, Digital Intelligence, Digital Future and finally, at a Digital for all Family Day, Digital Lives. 

Companies and individuals from across the country poured into the city of Bath to explore the latest advances in digital technology. From digital marketing to programming, gaming to data, cyber security to diversity, digital art to careers in digital, there was an event for everyone. Here are some Festival highlights: 

Robots take over the Hub!

The Dyson 360 Eye™ robot vacuum stole the limelight at the Festival Hub. While Dyson’s Digital Team gave us a glimpse into the future with a showcase of their latest projects including voice and motion controlled applications. 

Raising Money and Awareness

Deep Blue Sky brought the best in tech together at The Abbey Hotel to consider how digital technology can be used to tackle homelessness in the City. A grand total of £2,000 was raised during the evening and donations were split between homeless charities Julian House and The Genesis Trust.

Cyber Crime Protection from NatWest

NatWest took attendees on a cyber security journey, helping businesses to understand their role and what they can do . The session analysed the major trends, challenges and responses to Cyber Crime.

Stepping into a Video Game

Alistair Aitcheson, an award-winning game designer, allowed audience members to step inside their very own arcade games at an interactive comedy show like no other! Players became human buttons, took on the Power Rangers, zapped each other with barcode scanners and solved cryptic codes. Pacman will never be viewed in the same way again. 

Learning with Google's Digital Garage 

Patrick Cutliffe, from Google's Digital Garage, shared knowledge with festival goers on how to reach new customers online, tell effective stories to generate new leads and gave us the lowdown on digital advertising. 

Developing a Better Web

Oliver Lindberg, Founder of Pixel Pioneers, welcomed developers and designers from across the City to explore a range of best practices and cutting-edge techniques, including how functional JavaScript may change the future of computing, how to create digital products for a myriad of devices and platforms, and how to focus on the user at all times to create inclusive experiences for all.

The Latest Self-driving Cars

Tesla and the amazing Model X electric car were quick off the line doing 0-60mph in 2.6 seconds. Paired with a session run by Pascal Loizeau, University of Bath, on the future of self-driving cars - there was a lot to get excited about!!

Coding for Kids

On Saturday, kids took over the Guild Co-working Hub. Taking part in coding sessions with John Reeves, they learned to make their own interactive Halloween themed digital stories and emojis.

Digital Families' Day 

Finally, families came together at Bath College on Sunday to see the delights of 3D printing, explore virtual reality with the O2 gurus, understood the importance of E-Safety with Angela Loveridge, learned about social media and relaxed with popcorn in front of the big screen with everyone’s favourite robot, WALL-E.

Thank you!

With tremendous support from headline sponsors BANES, Dyson, NatWest and Deep Blue Sky, category sponsors Bath College, Curo, EIP, Mayden Academy, ojo solutions, PixelPin, Storm, The Bath Magazine and University of Bath as well as print sponsor Minuteman Press and numerous Festival Supporters the festival has been a resounding success. 

Of course, work for the Festival team doesn’t stop here and plans for 2018 are already being conjured. If you’d like to be involved by running your own event, being a keynote speaker, volunteering your time and skills or if you’d like to sponsor Bath Digital Festival 2018 - please get in touch with the team and register your interest today.

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