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Leeds Digital Festival Returns With a Record-Breaking 294 Events Streamed Online

· Ali Turner · Discussion

Techies rejoice because Leeds Digital Festival is back!

Leeds Digital Festival

294 events on everything digital, all streamed to your home-desk – yes please!

Over the last six months, hundreds of thousands of events have been cancelled or rescheduled – but not Leeds Digital Festival. They’re back for the second time this year with a 100% virtual line-up and it’s bigger than ever before. They have a record-breaking 294 events scheduled from Monday 21st September to Friday 2nd October 2020, so there’s something for absolutely everyone. The sheer number of events on offer here is enough to bamboozle your brain, so we’ve rounded up the best ones to help you make your shortlist and fill your diary.

Computer code

Code Club Light Night Challenge. Last year, they created a Micro:bit installation of hundreds of fireflies, this year, they’re inviting you to hack the code to create your own light show, which will go on display in Leeds Central Library for Light Night 2020. 9am to 5pm on Monday 21st September 2020. Free.

How to Create a Basic Podcast Online Workshop. Award-winning radio producer Callum Ronan is holding an interactive workshop to help you plan, create, edit and distribute your own podcasts. And you can start with your smartphone. 11am to 12:30pm on Monday 21st September 2020. £30.

Automation vs Human Touch. Just like humans, automation has its limits, so while it may be the future, Robert and Simon from Enjoy Digital would argue that automation is at its very best when it’s combined with human smarts. 6pm to 7pm on Monday 21st September 2020. Free.

Social Media

Social Media Strategy. Designed for small businesses and aspiring social media managers, this quick-fire workshop will teach you all the basics, including how to set brand guidelines and build a social media strategy for your business. 10.45am to 12pm on Tuesday 22nd September 2020. Free.

AI & Ethics. AI Tech North is the largest online AI community in the North and they’re going to discuss the ethics of artificial intelligence at Leeds Digital Festival. Their experts will chew the fat on moral behaviour, policy and accountability. 12pm to 1:30pm on Tuesday 22nd September 2020. Free.

How Big Data is Changing the Way We Do Business. Join the brains at Leeds Business School to explore the endless possibilities of big data, including how it’s changing the way we do business and the unique challenges that it presents. 1pm to 2pm on Tuesday 22nd September 2020. Free.


Unlocking Global Tech, From Yorkshire to the World. Starting a company is hard, but scaling it internationally is harder. This is your chance to hear from entrepreneurs who’ve been there and done that, with key lessons from the frontline. 10am to 11am on Wednesday 23rd September 2020. Free.

How to Implement Netflix Style Personalisation in Your Business. 91% of consumers are more likely to shop with brands who personalise their products, services and communications – this workshop will explore how you can do it. 1pm to 2pm on Wednesday 23rd September 2020. Free.

Business Builder ‘Writing a Great 60 Second Pitch’. Every business owner should have a 60 second pitch in their back pocket, so in this short workshop, you’ll learn all the tricks you need to write one. 10am to 11am on Wednesday 23rd September 2020. Free.

Young people

Be Digital. Whether you’re fresh out of uni, on furlough or just looking for a change, this is your chance to learn more about a career in tech. It kicks off with a keynote speech from Facebook’s Client Relationships Lead, but that’s just the beginning. 9am to 12pm on Thursday 24th September 2020. Free.

Funding for the Future. COVID-19 changed the world overnight, and this event will look at how it’s affected the investment landscape. Leaders and experts from the field will set the scene, share success stories and offer handy tips for the future. 3:30pm to 5pm on Thursday 24th September 2020. Free.

Digital Scran for Hungry Businesses. As SMEs grow, they inevitably find that the things that worked in the past are no longer effective. This event will offer 4 digital takeaways to help you predict and overcome these challenges. 10am to 11am on Thursday 24th September 2020. Free.

Martin Green Recording at Dawn

Credit Sandra Butler

Responsible AI – Where Should We Draw The Line? AI has the potential to change our lives in ways we can’t even imagine, but what are the consequences? This event will look at the hottest current technology and the ethical quandaries it brings. 9am to 11am on Friday 25th September 2020. Free.

Digital Government, In Lockdown, At Scale. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) was in high demand during the pandemic. This event will discuss how they responded to the crisis by evolving ways of working and focusing on wellbeing. 10am to 1pm on Friday 25th September 2020. Free.

Performing Arts and Digital Entrepreneurship. At this panel discussion, Opera North will be joined by some of the sector’s leading cultural organisations to discuss their digital response to lockdown as their entire event calendar was cancelled. 2pm to 4:30pm on Friday 25th September 2020. Free.


TikTok For Brands/Businesses. TikTok has taken the social media world by storm, but how can you use it to benefit your business? This event will give you the Gen-Z take on everything from its origins to the latest trends, so you can decide if it’s for you. 2pm to 3pm on Sunday 27th September 2020. Free.

Quantum Risk Analysis – The Steep Curve Ahead. Soon we’ll have machines that can solve problems that would take humans decades. For the insurance industry, that could be a game-changer, which is what Covea Digital will be discussing. 2pm to 3pm on Monday 28th September 2020. Free.

Digital Bootcamp – Introduction to HTML & CSS. Want to learn how to code? This is the perfect place to start as FDM introduce you to the the world of HTML and CSS. It’s the perfect opportunity to dip your toes in the water before you jump in. 3pm to 4pm on Monday 28th September 2020. Free.


Going Live! How Live Streaming is Changing the World and How You Can Use It. Live Streaming is the next big thing, but there are so many platforms to choose from that it’s hard to know where to start. This 1.5-hour live stream will help. 7pm to 8:30pm on Monday 28th September 2020. Free.

IT Directors Forum – How Has the Pandemic Driven Digital Transformation? This panel discussion will bring together a motley crew of IT directors to explore the impact of the pandemic on business as everyone clamoured to fast-track digital adoption. 10am to 11am on Tuesday 29th September 2020. Free.

Legal Tech & Innovation in the Leeds City Region. White Cap Consulting has been commissioned to produce a report on Legal Tech & Innovation in the Leeds City Region – this event will reveal their findings and discuss what it means. 10:30am to 12pm on Tuesday 29th September 2020. Free.

Leeds Digital Festival

Digital Leeds – Reframing the City’s Future. At this 1-hour event, Leeds City Council and EY will bring together stakeholders from across the city to discuss the “Digital Leeds Strategy” and open up a conversation about what we need to do next. 2pm to 3pm on Tuesday 29th September 2020. Free.

Digital Tech Founder Stories. This is your chance to find inspiration in the city’s entrepreneurs as they come together to tell their story. Expect candid conversations about success, failure and funding from well-respected tech founders. 9am to 10am on Wednesday 30th September 2020. Free.

Vision to Reality – The Retail Store of the Future. Bricks and mortar stores are competing with an onslaught of online competition, but can the very thing that’s threatening them, save them? Find out as Asda reveal the ‘tech store of the future’. 12pm to 1:15pm on Wednesday 30th September 2020. Free.

Temple Works

Credit: Simon Cliff

Arup & CEG’s Virtual Tour of Temple Works 2.0. This is your chance to delve into the history of the Grade I-listed Temple Works as Arup and CEG talk you through the challenges they’ve faced. Step inside on this virtual tour and explore. 11am to 12pm on Thursday 1st October 2020. Free.

Tech Innovation For Social Inclusion. Young people have been hit particularly hard by the pandemic. Schools have been closed, jobs are being lost, so how can they turn a growing problem into an opportunity to close the skills gap? 2pm to 3:40pm on Thursday 1st October 2020. Free.

Cyber Security Career Journey. It sounds seriously cool, but what does a career in cyber security really entail and how can you get into it? This event will give you a glimpse of the industry and let you in on all the secrets it holds. 12:30pm to 1:30pm on Thursday 1st October 2020. Free.

Not Everyone Benefits From the Same Management Style As You. No two people are the same, so what works for one person may not work for another. That’s the lesson at the heart of this management workshop with Spoyser Coaching. 11am to 12pm on Friday 2nd October 2020. Free.