Digital City Festival round-up: Everything happening so far

Charlie Spargo's picture
by Charlie Spargo

Digital City Festival was officially announced last year, growing rapidly over the course of the last few months. The five-day festival landing in Manchester in March is set to be an unmissable point in the digital professional’s calendar.

The long-awaited Digital City Festival starts in Manchester on March 9th, and will feature a host of events with a digital focus. It promises to bring together thousands of regional, national and international partners from the thriving digital sector, with an interest in collaborating and networking.

All levels of specialist will be there, as well as influential figures from outside the sector.

A recent survey of marketers from TopLine Comms found that Digital City Festival was one of the main shows outside London which marketers were excited to attend. 

The cornerstone event will be Digital City Expo at the landmark Manchester Central. This part-exhibition, part-conference takes place on March 11th and 12th offering the chance to meet and hear from figures across marketing, tech, eCommerce, media and more - promising to be the place to be for London-based businesses too. Registration is open now - so book your free place today.

A significant range of companies will be exhibiting there, many of which haven’t yet exhibited outside London. Partners hailing from the USA, Europe and India - like Capita Consulting, Adyen, Klaviyo, and PwC to name a few - will be there, as well as UK companies with a global outlook including BJSS, Force24 and many more.

Split into four zones, Digital City Festival brings together Marketing Show North, Tech Show North, and eCommerce Show North - each one recognised as the leading exhibition of their type outside London. The fourth zone will be the all-new Media Zone, designed to celebrate media companies, startups, scale-ups and boutique agencies. 

The week also includes the Digital City Awards, which will celebrate the finest innovations in digital and those making a real difference across the country.

There’s still a lot of exciting announcements to come - including more industry-leading speakers, fringe events throughout the week, and exhibitors for Digital City Expo.

Manchester Central will host Digital City Expo

Sponsors and partners

We’re pleased to have announced that the Headline Partner for Digital City Festival will be Capita Consulting. Capita’s James Hall, speaking at the time of announcement, said: "Sponsoring Digital City Festival is a great opportunity... as it will bring together creators, leaders and change-makers who are shaping the future of digital.”

The Lead Tech Sponsor at Digital City Festival will be leading IT and business consultancy BJSS; Lead Marketing Sponsor has been confirmed as specialist development agency Silverchip; the Lead eCommerce Sponsor will be dotdigital, the marketing automation platform; and the Media Zone Lead Sponsor is marketing intelligence specialist MiQ.

We can also reveal some of the event partners for Digital City Expo - Adyen, Pimento, Sync and Vaimo.

Digital City Expo will offer eight stages of content, providing inspiring speakers, industry masterclasses and sector specialist talks for all delegates. Over the course of just two days, there’ll be nearly 100 separate sessions on offer alongside the main floor of the expo.

More big names are still set to be announced for Digital City Expo, but some leading national figures have already been revealed as taking to one of the event’s stages:

  • Katy Leeson, MD of Social Chain - who is also a member of the Festival steering panel - will be discussing the psychology behind what makes great content.
  • Natasha Kosoglov, Google Mobile Performance Lead, will speak on the topic of 'The Need For Speed: How To Win the Race’, focusing on mobile optimisation.
  • The Co-op’s Head of eCommerce, Chris Conway, and its Head of Digital Marketing, Caroline Beesley, will cover rapid delivery and e-convenience at the Co-op during their keynote session.
  • A diversity-themed panel during Digital City Expo will feature Annette Joseph, also of the Co-op as well as being the founder of Diverse & Equal, a dedicated conference for diversity in tech.
  • Gem Hill, the BBC’s Senior Tester for Voice & AI and a keen mental health advocate, will talk on the importance of self-care at the expo.
  • Claire Hennah, Unilever’s Global eCommerce Director for Beauty and Personal Care, is set to share insights into the FMCG giant’s global eCommerce strategy.
  • Sherin Mathew, Microsoft Analytics & AI Lead at IBM, and Founder of AI Tech North, will give a talk on the “disruption of AI disruption”.
  • Microsoft Advertising’s UK Sales Director, Ben Irons, is focusing on Microsoft Advertising's aim to include everyone’s thoughts and opinions in business, and how to make diversity and inclusion real for a business.
  • And more…

Registration is open right now for Digital City Expo, and it’s totally free. One ticket gives you entry to the whole event, including all four zones and the theatres.

A range of fringe events are also planned for Digital City Festival week - those already announced include the Smart Cities Manchester event, as well as ‘Transforming training and learning with AR/VR’ from EON Reality. Many of the fringe events will be free, although some may charge a fee.

Over the course of the past few months, we’ve confirmed a wide range of exhibitors from marketing, tech, eCommerce and media. 


Digital City Festival, and its component events, are set to bring a huge variety of people to Manchester, where they can network and work together in one place. Make sure you don’t miss this week of engaging events and unmissable opportunities.

Opportunities to sponsor and exhibit at Digital City Expo are available now. Find out more here, or contact Becky Mellor on, or 0161 533 0681.

Digital City Festival Sponsors