Sheffield is a city going through a number of significant changes as it moves away from the heavy industry of the past towards a future where technology, advanced manufacturing and digital industries are key sectors in the city’s varied landscape.
The recent openings of the Sheffield Technology Park and the Advanced Manufacturing Park in Catcliffe alongside the developments in the old Castle Market building, where tech businesses are locating alongside local businesses such as cafes and specialist retailers, creates community spaces where digital startups will be supported and nurtured and big tech businesses can provide much needed jobs and apprenticeships in this sector.
As more of these creative businesses and innovative industries base themselves in the city, there are becoming more opportunities to create networks, outside of traditional networking circles, which allow these businesses to contribute to the digital community in Sheffield and encourage collaborative practices across the city.
For digital and tech professionals, meetups have become essential for providing an environment to learn new skills, meet new people, understand the scope of the industry in the city and have a place to discuss thoughts, issues and ideas freely with like-minded professionals. All of which has a positive impact on the businesses who can reap the rewards of this collaboration of skills, knowledge and expertise with others in the sector.
Thanks to the number of tech businesses moving here or choosing to start up in Sheffield, there are now a number of interesting tech and digital meetups regularly taking place across the city. From AgileSheffield to dotnetsheff, ShfWIT (Sheffield Women in Tech) and a more recent addition, SheffieldDM, a network for digital marketing professionals in Sheffield and the surrounding area to connect and learn from their roster of speakers.
At the end of January, I attended their latest event which focused on creating an effortless service culture to increase customer loyalty with a chat from Andy Naylor, Customer Service Manager at Raleigh UK.
As a marketeer working at The Floow, it was great to attend this event and understand how other marketeers, based across a number of different industries, are making use of digital tools and innovative techniques to ensure their business fulfils customer needs by creating great experiences whilst allowing marketing teams to deliver on business objectives and strategies.
For companies such as The Floow, these meetups provide our team with the opportunity to network with like-minded professionals working in similar roles across the city. With our recent move to Agile methodology, the AgileSheffield meetups (another one I’ve previously attended) have been particularly helpful allowing us to understand more about working in this mindset and how other companies are making it work for them. The opportunity to discuss ideas and work with those outside the office can provide insights and viewpoints which may not have been considered before and may not be considered otherwise.
Over the last year, The Floow has also hosted a number of tech meetups in our basement for groups including DevOpsSheff providing our team with the opportunity to get involved with the tech community in Sheffield and share their skills and knowledge in a collaborative way.
At The Floow, we are encouraged to think creatively using our company values of innovation and ambition as starting points for doing things differently and it provides us with the space to be open and share our ideas and opinions in an environment which is supportive.
This culture, which has been the core of the business since inception in 2012, remains today and is actively championed by everyone across the company. This results in initiatives such as our monthly Innovation Days and a culture where we fail fast in order to learn from our mistakes and continue innovating in future.
With these meetups taking place across the city, it is the perfect opportunity for The Floow’s team as well as companies across Sheffield and the surrounding area to work together to create a strong network and ensure the tech and digital industries continue to grow from strength to strength.
To find out more about meetups in Sheffield, visit the Sheffield Digital website.
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