Calamu: The Next Generation of Data Protection
October 2021 marked the annual cybersecurity awareness month campaign, but for EM360, this period also held an additional purpose. On October 21st, EM360 partnered with and exhibited at The Digital Transformation Conference London. Run by Roar Media, this was our first non-virtual event stand of the year, so we were thrilled to be able to get back on the road and engage with the tech community. From speakers to attendees, we spoke to a range of technologists, but one key person was missing - the creator and founder of it all, Chris Towers! In this week’s Q&A, we catch up with Chris to discuss B2B tech events, Roar Media, and the trending buzzword, digital transformation.
How have B2B tech events evolved since you first started out in the industry?
Business to business conferences have always been a place where enterprise leaders from a variety of industries can come together to ideate and cross-collaborate on ideas and challenges in and around enterprise technology. They welcome an array of vendor organisations tasked with developing solutions faced to an abundance of industries coming to grips with enterprise tech. Events, over time, have evolved to become hives of activity both from a content and business development perspective, making them beneficial for those seeking out new ideas and solutions. Tech events themselves have changed in many different ways as the technology landscape has boomed. Throughout my time working in the tech event industry and in terms of content, we have seen an accelerated drive within SaaS and the understanding of such, as well as emerging technology solutions in and around data, analytics, and AI. The way in which events are delivered now varies, with focus on creating innovative environments in which delegates attending events can feel invigorated and immersing themselves within a conference that offers practical ideas and thinking in which they can apply upon returning to the office.
What is the formula for curating successful events for senior-level technology executives?
It’s important to strike a balance between real business cases and vendor solutions sitting within an agenda – i.e. it’s important to always focus on the delegate experience in terms of what will be most relevant to their learning and development; offering key takeaways that can be implemented straight away; offering solutions from event sponsors that can be considered and thought about upon reflection. I believe in creating an agenda that features around 70-80% enterprise speakers and then 20-30% sitting within the solutions and services side. In my opinion, this formula creates impactful agendas that will appeal to executives keen on understanding the landscape in its entirety.
On your LinkedIn profile, it says that you founded Roar Media with “the vision of creating the best platform to connect like-minded technologists through the power of events”. What was your reason for making The Global Digital Transformation Conference Series the meat of the brand and centring your business model on the topic of digital transformation?
Enterprise digital transformation has always been a fascinating area of business and is something that has been in play way before it was a business buzzword. In fact, it will always continue to thrive as a focus area for business. Digital transformation has no real endpoint. We have been ‘transforming’, evolving, changing and adapting since the beginning of business and digital is now the all-encompassing focus; whether within people, technology or process - digital underpins everything. A business strategy is now usually a digital strategy and aligning people and technology will often determine the success of the inner workings of any organisation. It’s for that reason we have a passion for delivering content around the many facets of digital transformation and bringing together large communities all seeking out development within this area.
In a recent opinion piece on ‘Workplace Transformation: Championing New Approaches’, Roar Media explores the role of hybrid work in the digital workplace, highlighting that “One of the main areas of focus for hybrid working is inclusion, how to ensure all parties feel involved and valued within a conversation regardless of place. Having a workplace where your voice can be heard whether you are in the office with your colleagues or on a video call is a complicated conundrum.” How can organisations tackle this issue and achieve hybrid work inclusion?
Hybrid work and the future of work is going to be an unavoidable board-level discussion moving forward into 2022 and beyond and particularly as we learn new patterns of working that have been accelerated due to the pandemic. Hybrid work inclusion is deep-rooted and not always sitting at the feet of business executives – I personally think countries' governments also have a duty of responsibility to provide infrastructures to support inclusivity and this includes addressing internet connectivity for all, building 5G etc. Organisations then have to develop solutions that are more personalised for their workers and each organisation should operate differently depending on their workforce. It’s critical to set up feedback loops in these initial implementation stages to see what is working well for employees and potentially what is a challenge. As hybrid work is in its infancy, there is much testing and learning to take place over the next few years.
In line with Roar’s slogan, why do you think it is so important for organisations to ‘give a human voice to technology’?
Technology is a wonderful asset to any organisation but it’s one of the most complex ecosystems to understand and, as a business, find value in. At Roar, we think it’s important to bring leaders and practitioners together to share their narrative on what works well for them, the challenges that they face and the successes gained from such. Learning from others and how they collaborate is how any organisation or society can advance, so it’s important to bring together those working with technology to offer learnings to like-minded peers.
To close, can you tell us about some of the upcoming Roar Media events that are not to be missed? Will the Tech Tribe and Tech for Good Summit be returning in 2022?
Our Digital Transformation Conference Series has returned back to its global format with events taking place across the UK, Europe, North America and Asia, with full focus on a return to its in-person format with the benefit of hybrid technology for those unable to make the event physically. I’m particularly excited for this event series as we will be welcoming many organisations and professionals that we have only worked with in a ‘virtual’ capacity. We are looking at making announcements for our H2 calendar in the coming months which will feature the return of such events as Tech Tribe and Tech for Good. Our calendar of events will always be live and updated here.