The exciting line-up of names speaking in the Keynote Theatre at Manchester's Digital City Expo

Charlie Spargo's picture
by Charlie Spargo

The Keynote Theatre will sit at the heart of Digital City Expo at Manchester Central on March 11th and 12th, with influential speakers from leading companies taking to the stage.

The full line-up has now been revealed, so you can plan your visit to the expo, which will also feature the opportunity to meet innovative exhibitors from across marketing, tech, eCommerce and media. If you register for a free ticket to the two-day event, you’ll get access to all of this - and more. You may also buy a priority pass, providing guaranteed access to the Keynote Theatre as well as a queue jump.

Next week's expo is a large part of the wider Digital City Festival, a city-wide celebration of the digital sector across five days (March 9th - 13th). 

Digital City Expo will throw the doors open at 9am on March 11th, welcoming delegates from across the country to the event, which features eight stages of content, unmissable networking opportunities, and spaces for collaboration and socialising.

The Keynote Theatre is welcoming international names from across digital, with sessions hosted by some of the world’s most interesting companies.

Day One 

The first session of the expo will be ‘AI and Data: The driver of zero carbon?’, hosted by MIDAS and GMCA (10am). The panel is made up of Joseph Dutton from E3G; Mark Atherton of GMCA; Anna Craciun of TfGM; Chair of Green Party NW, Gina Dowding; Jonathan Kini of TalkTalk Business; Vijay Natarajan of Qbots Energy; Dr Tim Whitley of Arup; and Ellen Wilson of Microsoft. They will discuss the environmental and economic opportunities that can come from leveraging tech to achieve green objectives.

This is followed by a Keynote Session sponsored by Adzooma, starting at 11am. Richard Gregory will provide the introduction to the session, after which Ben Irons, UK Sales Director at Microsoft Advertising, will talk on ‘Marketing for everyone’ (11:10am). Then, Adzooma’s Sal Mohammed will tackle using digital to work smarter, not harder (11:35am).

The next session is sponsored by Adyen, whose SVP Business Development, Colin Neil, will speak at 12pm on the ways payments can be a tool to drive change. Andy Burton, CTO at The Very Group will speak next (12:10pm), covering what it really means to be agile and providing advice to retailers hoping for greater agility. To round off the session, Adam Warne, CIO of N Brown, will discuss ‘Managing change in a different way’ (12:35pm).

At 1pm, Alan Cross, Regional Ambassador at session sponsor European Space Agency Business Applications will explain how data gathered from space can be used to access new commercial markets. He will then welcome Richard Flemmings from 4 Earth Intelligence and David Watson from National Museums Liverpool to the stage to discuss the use of data to tackle climate change (1:10pm). After that, Capita Consulting Lead Patrick Gormley will be on-stage (1:35pm), telling you why real digital change is more important than ever, and how to deliver it more effectively.

In an EY-sponsored session taking place in the Keynote Theatre at 2pm, a panel called ‘Ambition Unlocked’ will be on. Ehsan Ashraf and Louise Leung from EY, Graham Donoghue from Sykes Cottages, Martin Balaam from Pimberly, Susanna Lawson from Onefile, and Hayley Roberts from Distology will talk about how they unlocked their potential and achieved sustainable growth.

Another session sponsored by MIDAS and GMCA takes place next (3pm), with opening remarks from Cllr Elise Wilson and GM Cyber Foundry’s Brian Higgins. They will then be joined by Saskia Coplans of Digital Interruption, Darren Earnshaw of Barclays Ventures, and Rob Sedman of IBM to chat about the ways in which Greater Manchester is positioning itself at the epicentre of cyber security in the UK and internationally (3:10pm).

Day Two

Thursday’s initial session will be sponsored by LiveArea, with their Director Mark Bodoano providing the introduction at 10am. At 10:10am, Bodoano will speak alongside Rob Wood from The Entertainer on the latest agile strategies for an evolving eCommerce industry. And after this, Chris Conway and Caroline Beesley of the Co-op will talk together on the retailer’s successful expansion into online selling (10:35am).

Alexis Rose from Accenture will introduce the 11am session, which is sponsored by the professional services firm. At 11:10am, the much-anticipated diversity in tech panel discussion will take place - chaired by Liz Scott from Tech Nation and featuring cybersecurity leader Noha Amin; LinkedIn Learning’s Namrata Murlidhar Anand; Annette Joseph of the Co-op and Diverse & Equal; and Accenture’s Amanda Newman.

The 12pm Keynote Session is sponsored by Klaviyo. Rich Gardner will introduce the session, before YuMOVE’s Rebecca Newton presents her findings on increasing your email revenue fivefold (12:10pm). The session concludes with Channel 4’s David Amodio exploring how the broadcaster is deploying a brand-new data targeting product ideal for brands and marketers (12:35pm).

The next session, sponsored by Zenloop, kicks off at 1pm - with an introduction from Craig Griffiths. Next, Chrissie Auton of Sparck and Tom Griffiths from ITV will investigate the ways ITV is looking to the future of TV and staying ahead of the game (1:10pm), before Claire Hennah of Unilever speaks on sustainable eCommerce strategies (1:35pm).

Imtiaz Adam of Deep Learn Strategies takes to the stage at 2:10pm, with a talk titled ‘AI for future digital innovations’. After that, the BBC’s Gem Hill will tackle the timely issue of mental health and self-care, discussing why it’s so important and how to look after ourselves (2:35pm).

The final Keynote Session of the whole expo takes place at 3pm, sponsored by Dept. The global agency’s Jake Welsh will start proceedings, speaking about the redefinition of creativity for digital consumers, and how data is used to shape it. And our final speaker will be Social Chain Managing Director, Katy Leeson, looking at utilising psychology to break through the noise on social and hack the algorithm (3:25pm).

Click here to register for Digital City Expo, and get access to all these Keynote Theatre talks, and much more.

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