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Aligning the UK Govt agenda with Big Data LDN 2018

Written by Elliot Harrison

Since November 2016, London’s Kensington Olympia has hosted Big Data LDN; the world’s largest gathering of data experts.

The yearly event has over 100 vendors showcasing the latest and greatest tech in the Big Data space. Well trodden by thousands of attendees, the event focuses on the ways in which data leaders can build dynamic, data-driven enterprises.

Positive has worked on this event since its creation, three years ago. This year, the event was bigger and better than ever. Here’s how we helped make it a success.

Big Data LDN 2018 – The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) report

Like all large industry events, the amount of opportunities to speak to interesting thought leaders at big-name vendors is hard to cut through. However, Big Data LDN had its own news for the event, too. The Fourth Industrial Revolution 2018 Report, in its second year.

Having worked on the report in 2017, Positive’s brief was to make this year’s report more impactful and relevant than before. Underpinned by research conducted by an independent research house and conforming to Market Research Council guidelines, the research surveyed 500 UK Data Leaders working in large enterprises, across ten different sectors.

The report, written by Positive, designed alongside the Big Data LDN team and sponsored by the awesome team at Domo, revealed that thriving in the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) is no mean feat. The report looked at a broad range of topics from the cost of UK data initiatives, the skills needed by UK data leaders to thrive in the 4IR, and the dichotomy between data privacy and ethics. In addition, the report revealed what data leaders think will happen to the UK’s place as a 4IR leader after Brexit.

Alan Mak MP

Alan Mak MP, speaking at Big Data LDN 2018

In addition to developing the narrative and design for the report, Positive also gained endorsement from a member of the UK Parliament, Alan Mak, MP for Havant and Founder of the All Party Parliamentary Committee for the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The findings from the report were announced to press on the first day of the event and then presented to a packed audience of media and attendees in the Data Driven LDN theatre. For this session, Positive organised a keynote speech from Alan Mak MP, which discussed the UK Government’s plans to ensure the UK remains at the forefront of technology and the use of data globally. Following the keynote from Alan Mak, Positive founder, Paul Maher, debated the findings of the report with a panel of data experts.

Data Driven LDN panel debate

Data Driven LDN panel debate

At the event: PR, press office and boosting vendor content

To ensure the event went smoothly, the Positive team set up a formal press office and reached out to all exhibitors and core media ahead of the event to ensure a sensible process for media relations was in place. The process, essentially, had three parts:

  • Make sure core media knows about the event: the main thing which attracts technology journalists to Big Data LDN is its ability to provide a host of thought leadership and vendor news under one roof. For this year’s event, Positive began reaching out to target media two months in advance of the event. By event day, Positive had confirmed 25 media for attendance across a broad range of media, from national newspapers to technology titles.
  • Make sure the exhibitors have a chance to speak with the media: It’s no mean feat to provide the chance for over 100 thought leaders, each from different vendors, to speak with the media coming to the event. Again, as early as a month before the event, Positive reached out to all of the vendors to let them know the process for media relations at the event and gave them an opportunity to share their news and thought leadership in the press office and on the Big Data LDN blog.
  • Make sure the event runs well from a media relations perspective: Part of what makes a strong PR team for an event is its ability to actually turn up on the day. It might sound obvious, but too often agencies get this wrong. Throughout the event this year, team Positive manned the press office, ensuring all vendors with booked media briefings had a place to sit and have a conversation. It might sound trite, but it’s the small things that matter.

Taking learnings into 2019

As with all professional PR and marketing work, every day is a school day and our hard-working team learned some valuable lessons for carrying out media relations for large conferences in the modern world. The team did a great job, and the event has been a success. Now it’s time for the hard working Big Data LDN team to take a rest and get geared up for a bigger and better Big Data LDN 2019.