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A Message From Jim Mawdsley: Member Meetups, End of Summer Party, And More

To kick things off, I’m really looking forward to seeing many of you at the End of Summer Party on Wednesday 18th September at Banyan in Newcastle.

Both last year’s bash at the Town Wall and the Christmas Do at Stack were great fun and a real hoot. It’s always great to get together and have a few drinks, and with these events added to the Drinks with DU evenings we’ve been hosting, we are getting more opportunities to meet up.

Speaking of meeting up, we are now getting into the swing of 2 regular Meetups that are proving to be really popular and useful to Members. The HR meet up (the next of which takes place on Tuesday morning 17th at Zerolight on Newcastle’s Quayside) is really helping with talent recruitment and spotting issues that are prevalent throughout the sector. Just as importantly, they are a further opportunity for us to gather information and views that are helping with our work with Digital Union’s University and College partners to see how we can engage more to produce the right talent in the region and from the region.

As part of this drive, we recently teamed up with DU friend Zenith People to produce a questionnaire looking at apprentices and to see how many people are engaging with apprentices at all levels up to degree apprentices, and if people aren’t working to develop their own talent in this way, why not?

This will be a really useful insight for us going forward as it will help inform how we develop strategies to help with talent development, so if you haven’t filled it out yet please do so here – it will only take you 5 minutes – promise.

The other Meetup we’ve been cracking on with is the Digital Marketing Meetup, which again, is proving very popular. This is an opportunity for Members to show and tell what they are doing as well as discussing issues, learning from each other, exploring potential collaborations and, as one member remarked to me recently, “It’s good for finding talent.”

We are also currently in discussion with NICD (National Innovation Centre for Data) about having some events and meetings with them to explore the opportunities this new amazing facility can offer, and we hope to be announcing the first of these in the next couple of weeks.

The purpose of all this is obviously to increase engagement with those subscribing to Digital Union and give more back for that subscription, but also for us to encourage what we feel Digital Union is all about – the spirit of community.

For me, the main purpose of having Digital Union is that we can have a community of businesses and like-minded people that can exchange information, help each other out and collaborate on projects. We see our job as facilitating that while representing the members and ensuring we can raise the profile of the sector and work out ways we can reduce the barriers to growth in such things as growing the talent pool.

But all of this can only happen if everyone is on board. What we’ve learned is that the old adage is true: ‘You get out what you put in’ – and those putting the most in are getting the most out. So if you are already involved with DU and subscribe, get involved in the Meetups or the Task Groups and if you aren’t a member and want to take part in what we are doing while joining an amazing community of businesses, you know where we are.

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