The Bristol and Bath tech cluster has more meetups per head than any technology cluster in the UK – we believe it’s that connectedness, that support and that level of knowledge-sharing that drives innovation, and makes our region the best place to work in tech. So we’ve decided to highlight the awesome groups keeping us connected.
This week we’re running our questions past S/W LIT.
South West Leaders In Tech (S/W LIT) – We also have a London version called London Leaders in Tech (LDN LIT)
2. Who’s it for?
S/W LIT is for those in leadership positions within tech-focused companies. It is a safe place for managers or heads of to be able to share their successes, failures and challenges with their peers allowing us to all grow and succeed together. We welcome people from any industry and have even been referred to as a support group for “tech leaders”.
3. Is there any criteria to join?
All we ask is that people match the above, from there everybody is welcome.
4. What’s the format of your event?
It varies from event to event; we always try to keep it fresh and engaging for our attendees. This year we’ve run typical speaker Q&A, panel discussions and fireside chats.
We’re excited to keep trying new things in 2020 and are always open to suggestions and new ideas! There is a networking opportunity for around half-hour at the beginning followed by a 45-minute session, 15-minute refreshment break and then the second 45-minute session. After the events, we usually head to a local bar/pub to continue the networking. We’ve seen some of the most interesting discussions take place here as it allows people to talk about the content and their opinions!
5. If you could invite anyone to your meet-up who would it be?
There is a great group of members within the group so I wouldn’t say there is one person that we would love to invite, just anybody who will get some real value from the evening and get involved with the discussions throughout the evening. We do often joke about getting Elon Musk involved though – that would be a treat!
6. How many members do you generally have at an event?
We typically aim for no more than 50 attendees. Through trial and error, we’ve found this is the sweet spot to allow open discussion and a space where people feel comfortable sharing. Because of this we usually limit events to 70 and account for a slight drop off due to last minute work or family commitments. This tends to end up with c 50 attendees which is our aim.
7. What are some of the typical subjects you discuss?
We have discussed a range of topics from Agile to On Premise Vs Cloud. We are member led when it comes to subjects as we want to make the group as relevant as possible for those attending. At the start of each event we encourage attendees to let us know what they want to hear about next, we then find speakers aligned with those verticals!
This year we have been very fortunate to have some amazing speakers from the local area and beyond, from people who have spoken at TEDx events to Gartner.
One person that we have had requests to bring back at some point though is Charles Ewen – Director of Technology – Met Office. The scale of technology and challenges that they face there is incredible, and we would love to hear more about it.
9. What’s the best thing about the Bristol & Bath tech cluster?
It is so diverse when it comes to tech, creativity, industries etc. but everybody still seems to know each other which has created a lovely community.
10. Where can we find out more about you?
Our meetup page gives you a bit more information about the group as well as letting you join https://www.meetup.com/S-W-LIT-South-West-Leaders-in-Tech Or reach out to us on Linkedin, we are always happy to discuss on there or over a coffee.
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