Why Exactly Do I Need To Go To THINK.Cloud On March 22nd?

Feb 23, 2016

Next month sees the fifth annual THINK.Cloud For Government event in London, the UK’s biggest and best one-day conference and expo for all things G-Cloud - only, this year there’s an interesting evolution of the show; now it’s THINK.Cloud For Digital Government. Why?

We asked one of the main drivers of the show, Lucy Brown, Managing Director of the company putting it on, Eventcentre UK, for more context

Thanks for agreeing to talk to us, Lucy. Can we start by understanding a bit more about you and your company?

Of course. I personally have a lot of experience in the public sector events market, putting on conferences and serving this community, in many areas apart from IT, incidentally. In 2010, it started to become more obvious to me that G-Cloud was going to be a major route of travel for the whole of the sector. We decided to support it from very early on, as we knew all about the highly-saturated government IT market and the overwhelming role of bigger suppliers.

Is there a particular 'USP' or philosophy that informs how you guys do conferences?

It may sound old hat, but we absolutely do think we have a USP. We just don't tolerate boring presentations! People just don't want to take time out of their hectic schedules to watch someone walk through a massive sales PowerPoint deck. It doesn't add value, and delegates just get turned off by it. It's much better for both presenter and audience if it's a much more dynamic experience, so we favour panel discussions, live interviewing with informed third parties - any way that we can look to spark some real, fresh debate. I am glad to say we've had a lot of feedback - consistent feedback - that says delegates agree that's a better approach. And why so many come back, i suppose!

Thanks, that really is a nice change from a lot of tech conferences these days. Let's go back to THINK and what you've been trying to there, then.

As I said, we saw G-Cloud as an important cause we wanted to support and help educate public sector ICT professionals in. To do that, we struck some good relationships very early to support G-Cloud, especially with key influencers in central government like Chris Chant and others around the team that became GDS in the Cabinet Office. Remember, it was a very small team, the G-Cloud team - I remember when it was only six people! But we all knew this was an incredibly important initiative, especially around the first version of the CloudStore, the forerunner of the Digital Marketplace of today, of course. I'm glad to say those relationships and our close links with GDS and the Crown Commerical Service have lasted, and that they are still supporters of the THINK events G-Cloud programme.

What did that programme start out like - these THINK.Cloud events?

That kicked off in October 2012, so THINK.Cloud For Digital Government is in its fifth successive year. All the way through that progression, we've had a lot of help and guidance from Stuart Lauchlan, who's really helped consistently build an agenda for us (see more here).

Yes, we spoke to Stuart and there's this interesting evolution this year, where it's not just about Cloud, but 'Digital' Government?

Stuart and the Eventcentre UK team talked a lot about that. We still absolutely see the Marketplace as being the foundation, but to deliver truly digital, 21st century, public services, we know IT leaders in not just Whitehall but the whole public sector are looking to draw in mobile and other technologies to help do that. In response, we've evolved our agenda to reflect this emerging reality, and I think we've got some really important themes and case studies 24n readers can learn a lot from to these questions. It's all about content, in fact great content.

That's very promising, Lucy. Can you sum up with a final thought on why our readers should go along to the QE II Centre on March 22nd, then?

We know you're busy. But this is a once a year opportunity to take one day out and get real insights from the main players in G-Cloud, plus get some reality checks on what they've got to say with your peers - the rest of the audience. The emphasis is always on the practical with THINK Events... and though I say so myself, it's always been the best place to understand UK G-Cloud - and, I think, will continue to be.

Thanks so much for your time, Lucy - and good luck for next month!

24n.biz is a media partner of THINK.Cloud For Digital Government, which is on March 22nd at The QE II conference centre in Westminster

Don't forget to book your free place at the event, if you are a qualified public sector professional, here

(c) 2016 24n.biz

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