MAJOR REGIONAL FESTIVAL CELEBRATING TECH IS TO RETURN

AFTER an extremely successful inaugural year, a major regional festival promoting and celebrating the north east’s growing technology sector will return in 2024.

Organised by regional tech network Dynamo North East and its partner Sunderland Software City, and delivered by Newcastle based events agency BeaconHouse Events, the TechNExt Festival was held throughout the north east in June this year.

Now Dr David Dunn, CEO of both Sunderland Software City and Dynamo, has confirmed TechNExt will return next summer during the week commencing June 17.

He said: “We were thrilled with how well our first TechNExt Festival was received. The feedback we had from participants, attendees, sponsors and the sector generally has been hugely positive.

“It was always our intention for TechNExt to be an annual celebration of the sector, and we’re delighted to be able to confirm the dates for next year.

“Our aim last year was to bring at least 3,000 attendees together to showcase the vibrancy, excellence and ambition of the north east tech sector – and we did just that.

“Next year we want to build on that success by attracting more attendees, improving the profile of our sector even further and giving the region’s brilliant tech companies and people a wonderful platform to showcase their talents and successes.

“TechNExt 2024 will follow a similar format to this year’s festival – there will be fringe programme, a main stage conference, a tech talent fair, an industry dinner and a festival party.

“New for next year, we plan to include a schools challenge, working with regional schools to inspire students about tech and the fantastic opportunities it can offer them.

Sarah Thackray, a Director at Dynamo and BeaconHouse Events, added: “The inaugural festival was an incredible celebration of the thriving tech sector here in the north east. From curated showcases to community-led fringe events, TechNExt23 displayed the diversity, achievements, and innovation of the North East’s tech scene.

“We’ll be looking for even more impact for the sector with TechNExt24, and we’re keen to engage more businesses, particularly around the fringe programme which was such a success this year.

“More details, venues and dates will be confirmed later in the year, but we are looking at possibilities to enhance the festival’s impact in the region by extending its reach to families.

“A key aim for us this year was delivering the festival with a Good Festival Ambition, focusing on making the festival accessible, diverse, sustainable, and inclusive. There is always more we can do to improve and TechNExt24 will be bigger, bolder and even more ambitious in all areas.”

Anyone wanting to sponsor the Festival, suggest an idea or otherwise get involved should visit www.technext.co.uk to get in touch and sign up to the mailing list.

Last year’s headline sponsors were Sage, Digital Catapult, Opencast and Newcastle Strategic Solutions.

Dynamo North East is made up of tech organisations, large corporate employers in the region, consultants, technology hubs, education providers, local government and suppliers to the industry. Dynamo relies on the support of the region’s tech organisations to help achieve regional growth in the sector, promote the region externally, develop skills and education, and support regional research and development.

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