THINK Vendors 2016: A Quick Preview

Apr 01, 2016

Later this month (April 26) delegates will be arriving for THINK Digital Vendors 2016, a special event to help the vendor side of the UK public sector ICT market better examine what opportunitues there may be for them in The Digital Marketplace. is a media supporter of the show, which takes place in London - please go here to secure your place nice and early!

We spoke with one of the first firms to sign up to the event, which will take place 9 to 15.45 followed by a special networking session and is at the Canary Wharf offices of Silicon Roundabout accelerator Level 39: tech PR leaders Mantis. Why did a pubic relations firm want to be at this vendor event, we wondered?

Hi, can you tell us about your firm first and what it is you do?

We help technology firms increase their awareness and set their reputation, helping our clients influence government policy and set the technology agenda. We write compelling customer references; thought leadership articles and channel communications - and ensure that content is going to be read by your customers, targets and prospects. Our campaigns are backed up by unrivalled market intelligence, ensuring your lead generation activity is relevant and focused. We are the UK’s only PR agency dedicated to supporting technology companies that sell into the UK public sector.

The whole Mantis team are technology and public sector PR specialists, with large agency backgrounds, so we’ve taken the very best working practices and attitudes to public relations, and distilled it into our own brand of sector-specific working. We know the technology media, and they know us, but we work particularly closely with the journalists and influencers that cover the public sector and its tech and digital spend, trade and national media. We work on a high level with organisations such as the Cabinet Office, GDS & CCS, to ensure we can deliver value to our clients.   

Basically, it's our job to create a public relations and influencer strategy that ensures a client’s goals are met, whether that be in terms of creating awareness, increasing sales, or understanding an area of the public sector in greater depth.

Fascinating, thanks. Why Digital Vendors 2016? There are lots of shows, surely, guys like you should be at - why this one?

There are very few shows that are so closely aligned to the public sector’s overall agenda than the THINK series of events. And from a buy-side perspective, the THINK shows are very well supported. If you are a technology vendor it’s a great place to speak directly to your customers and prospects.

THINK events have always been a great opportunity for like-minded companies to connect, to collaborate and to further our collective understanding of the sector that we choose to focus on. We're also fascinated by what this first digital vendor show might have up its sleeve for us all!

Is there anything you are announcing or showcasing at the event we should know about?

Absolutely. At the show, we will be offering all attending vendors a free 60-minute consultation on their current PR activity. We will review the success or otherwise of their campaigns to date; make recommendations for the types of strategy and deliverables they need to be looking to develop that will support all areas of the business – management, marketing and sales.

What is your view on the current state of G-Cloud, based on your industry experience and what clients are saying?

We think G-cloud has, on the whole, been great for widening the portfolio of suppliers that government engages with. It was announced earlier this month that sales through G-cloud have now reached the £1bn pound mark and whilst many commentators decry G-cloud because the majority of spend continues to be with a handful of vendors, there are 137 vendors doing between £1m and £10m worth of business with the sector. Would they be doing that business if G-cloud was not there? Sixty nine per cent of spend is with SMEs and that is something to shout about.

Central Government continues to dominate G-cloud spend - £30m in November alone though. And this is one of G-cloud’s major failings – a lack of awareness of it or a reluctance to engage with it by the wider public sector.  Considering the transformation pressures local government and health continue to face spend is minimal and addressing this has to be one of the priorities of the new look GDS.

For many vendors – there are some that have not traded at all and others that have literally won tens of pounds – G-cloud might seem like a whole lot of effort and not a great amount of return. However, many of these vendors wrongly make the assumption that once they get onto G-cloud they need to sit and wait for the business to start flowing. Wrong….G-cloud is little more than a fulfilment engine – most buyers engage vendors they already know, understand or have a relationship with. G-cloud has made the sector more competitive, therefore, it is paramount that your potential buyers know who you are and what you do, if they don’t there is slim chance of them discovering you through G-cloud.

Great answers! Thanks, guys. How can anyone connect with you at the show?

Just pop across to our stand and come and introduce yourself.

If you want to find out more about THINK Digital Vendors 2016, go here

(c) 2016

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