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This Year at Wired Sussex 2020

This Year at Wired Sussex

Thank you to all our members 

We know that 2020 has been a difficult year, we’re so proud of what our community and our members have accomplished in the face of it all, and we’d like to take a moment to reflect and thank you for your support.

This year we:

  • Welcomed 198 new members to Wired Sussex.
  • Ran over 60 events, helping members, collaborate, innovate and learn 
  • Helped member companies fill vacancies for 872 digital, media and tech roles through our Jobs site.
  • Created 12 Talent Talks with our members, offering insight into what it’s like to work for them.
  • Helped over 108 members to find paid work through our Commissions & Briefs board.
  • Supported over 55 different businesses use our collaborative R&D hub The FuseBox to innovate, all of them creating new digital products and services.

We couldn’t do all of this without our members’ support and positivity, your membership has made a huge impact on our sector and community. We’d also like to thank all of our partners this year, for their support and resilience.

Here’s a look back at some important moments from the year.

Positivity in the face of adversity 

We knew we had to deliver the right support to our members in this most difficult year. To help us best communicate the needs and challenges of those in our sector to the Government, we conducted a rapid response survey on how COVID-19 was impacting freelancers and businesses.

  • From these findings, we set up an open Slack group for those in the digital, media and tech sector (members and non-members) across Sussex, to help us all share relevant advice and expertise, and offer ways to support each other.
     
  • We pivoted our regular in-person events to virtual ones, experimenting with different platforms, and hosting our famous members’ meetups virtually. The FuseBox received funding from the government to support this move, with new equipment and technology for our studio space.
     
  • Our Events page is a great resource for finding digital, media and tech-related events taking place in Sussex. So we also updated our community calendar with a virtual events section, to help our community advertise and find relevant events and training online. 
     
  • Our members took on some incredible projects and collaborations over lockdown in support of the local community and helping Brighton steady its sails. From free apps for children in lockdown to helping market a ‘new normal’ for a tourism boost. Read more about some of what our members have been up to in their showcases.

Talent Fest 2020

Our week-long digital skills festival has grown over the last three years to be the largest in the South East. This April, with only a few weeks notice, we needed to pivot Talent Fest 2020 to a new virtual model. Thanks so much to our partners American Express for supporting the event this year, especially when our plans had to adapt.

Luckily, we’ve spent years working with innovators and startups, so we’re used to pivoting, rapid prototyping and experimenting. It certainly wasn’t easy, or what we were expecting, but we were able to reach new audiences, be more inclusive and bring people together at a time where community and support was needed more than ever. 

We learnt a lot, and are so proud of all we achieved, you can check out our highlights here, and stay tuned for Talent Fest 2021 in November!

Working Remotely

We’ve all had to adapt to working from home this year. From balancing homeschooling, to zoom backgrounds and meeting our colleagues’ furry friends, there’s certainly been ups and downs.

To support our members, we hosted a brand new series of Breakfast Sessions sponsored by Plus Accounting, focused on remote working, to tackle topics from whether your business should keep its offices, to your responsibilities to your employees’ home working environment and how to ensure your tech infrastructure is set up correctly.

You can catch up on all our discussions here, with a few more resources on remote working as we continue staying home in 2021.

Our Sussex Games Project

We’re proud of our work this year in partnership with First Base, the company behind the new Edward Street Quarter development, in support of our campaign to put Greater Brighton on the map as the best place in the UK for games production.

We hosted a series of Meet The Studio virtual events, featuring Games studios from across the region, alongside a research report which will be published in the new year, to explore the barriers to growth that games studios face and the support they need to overcome them. 

We said farewell to and welcomed team members

Gone but still very much part of the Wired Sussex family, we said a sad farewell to Rebecca Groves (Skills & Talent Lead) and Hannah Jackson (Membership Coordinator). We’d like to thank them all for their hard work and the contribution they’ve made to Wired Sussex and wish them all the best for their next steps.

We were also thrilled to welcome Anna Bagley (Digital Marketing Assistant), Rifa Thorpe-Tracey (Head of Events & Marketing) and Francesca Rowe (Membership Assistant), who’ve been brilliant new additions to the team.

We wish you a peaceful Christmas and we look forward to a better 2021.

About the author

Anna Bagley

Hi, I'm Wired Sussex's Events & Marketing Coordinator, I help to promote our range of services to support our members and the local digital sector, as well as helping to create inspiring events for the community.

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