It’s that time of the year again – Leeds Digital Festival!

By: Richard Michie

Every year – Pandemic permitting – Leeds Digital Festival becomes the biggest tech festival in Europe, bringing together some of the most innovative minds and businesses together, in the great city of Leeds. This year the festival runs right across the city from 18th to 29th September.

The listing of events has just been published on the website and there are some really interesting things happening.

Here are my highlights for Leeds Digital Festival 2023.

Founder F*ck Ups – Prolific North

Scars and stories from founders trying to find funding and grow their business.

Founders are too often given conflicting advice from those who’ve never actually grown a company. Growing a business is hard, the Founder Fuck Ups event series is about bringing us back to reality.

Hear from founders who’ve been there before and learned their lessons the hard way. More importantly, listen to what advice they wish they had beforehand.

Founder F*ck Ups – Prolific North

Agile Yorkshire the Relaunch – NewRedo

After running almost every month for nearly ten years, Agile Yorkshire has been on a hiatus since shortly after the COVID-19 lockdown. Now it’s ready to relaunch!

They have an amazing speaker line up in Kieran Baker – Chief Digital and Information Head for South Yorkshire Integrated Care Board and Alan Raison – Principal Engineer for NewRedo. Between them, they have a smorgasbord of agile stories to tell, rooted in real world experience, from large scale delivery to the technicalities and economics of building developer environments efficiently, for effective and flexible delivery teams.

Agile Yorkshire the Relaunch – NewRedo

Leeds Digital Festival 2023


Is the Metaverse Dead? – Walker Morris LLP & BDO

The long-theorised concept of ‘the metaverse’ crashed in mainstream consciousness in 2021 when Mark Zuckerberg announced Facebook’s rebrand as Meta in a now infamous demonstration of a future virtual world where our digital avatar’s could play poker with robots on a spaceship whilst sharing IRL videos of their dogs.

Is the Metaverse Dead? – Walker Morris LLP & BDO

Let’s Fast Forward to a Store Operations Revolution – BJSS

See how John Lewis is reinventing its physical stores and how Microsoft is transforming the retailer operations process using data and AI.

Whether you’re a seasoned retail professional, a tech enthusiast, or simply curious about what’s to come, this should be a fun evening of talks and learning to inspire you to drive transformative change and enrich customer experiences using technology.

Discover how innovations such as ChatGPT, computer vision, deep learning and senor fusion are paving the way for more efficient operations, while seamlessly personalising and optimising the shopping experience.

Let’s Fast Forward to a Store Operations Revolution – BJSS

Get to the Point – The Marketing Optimist

Finally, I couldn’t miss off a plug for our own event at Leeds Digital Festival.

This year The Marketing Optimist is bringing back Get to the Point for its second year. Get to the Point is a night of PowerPoint presentations, where the speaker can talk on any topic they like, for 5 minutes. However, we introduce three specific rules, or restrictions, which make for a fun, fast paced and engaging format.

  1. 20 slides
  2. 15 seconds each slide, which change automatically on a timer

The event is on September 26th at Glean’s office space in Leeds Dock.

Get to the Point

Find the Leeds Digital Festival event to suit you

These are the events that really interest me, but there is so much going on at the festival that there’s no way to summarise them all here. Take a look at the full line-up on the Leeds Digital Festival Website and explore all the juicy stuff for yourself.

I might even bump into you there!

Interested in speaking to The Optimists?

Right from the beginning of our time working with The Marketing Optimist, they’ve taken the time and effort to get to understand Sharp Consultancy as a business and not just a client. We’ve seen a huge increase in the effectiveness of our social media strategy, particularly on Linkedin and we’re delighted with the impact it’s had on the business.

Jamie Caulfield

Regional Director, Sharp Consultancy

It was a pleasure to work with The Marketing Optimist on this project. It felt like a true collaborative effort on the day and they made the interviewee's feel at ease whilst talking about their journey on our RISE programme. The final video was professional and engaging, we have received great feedback around the quality and creativity of the case study. Including the video in our presentation made it come to life, with real humans sharing their stories, so thank you to the Marketing Optimist!

Hannah Prole

Impact Manager, Better Connect Limited

Case Studies


Marketing for Local Government

Moresby Hall Hotel

Hotel Rebranding

Sharp Consultancy

B2B Social Media for recruitment

The Edit LDN

Managing advanced eCommerce SEO

Better Connect

Digital PR and video production for events

Tango Networks

Marketing support for a global telecoms business

You may also like…

Using Generative AI is not a competitive advantage

Using Generative AI is not a competitive advantage

It's controversial but I firmly think that using AI is not a competitive advantage. I'm talking particularly about Generative AI such as ChatGTP, Midjourney and similar platforms that churn out creative copy, images and even video based on prompts. In this talk I gave...

SEO Manager – Remote/Hybrid

SEO Manager – Remote/Hybrid

We’re looking for an SEO Manager to join The Marketing Optimist. We’re growing fast and we’re looking to add a Search Engine Optimisation marketer who wants to expand their existing strategic marketing skills on some really interesting and diverse clients. You’ll need...

Here comes another Google Core Update

Here comes another Google Core Update

Google Core Updates come in waves. Each time one is announced, the SEO internet goes crazy. Rumours swirl around about how the changes will affect how websites rank. SEO’s on Twitter (sorry X), LinkedIn and now TikTok will begin sharing charts and graphs showing how...

Get to the Point 4th Edition

Get to the Point 4th Edition

While most people are slowing down, The Marketing Optimist are gearing up for 2024. So we are really pleased to announce the 4th Edition of Get to the Point will be held on 19th March Santander Work Cafe, Leeds! If you’ve not come across Get to the Point before, there...

Get to the Point Leeds Digital Festival 2023

Get to the Point Leeds Digital Festival 2023

In our second year of running Get to the Point at Leeds Digital Festival, we decided to step up our game a little and move to the offices of Glean at Leeds Dock. With improved tech and lovely surroundings, we brought nine great speakers to this year's Get to the...

The biggest trend in SEO

The biggest trend in SEO

The future of SEO is always a mystery, and those who try and predict how it’ll change are certain to be proved wrong. Regardless, I’m going to stick my neck out, and hope I’m wrong in my predictions. AI Generated content is going to be the biggest trend in SEO...