London, UK. (26 November, 2020) – Last week, Network Group (NG), the UK’s leading technology community, hosted it’s second virtual event series in 2020, bringing together it’s 80+ members and preferred partners and creating a forum to learn, network and have some fun.   The event, which took place between 16th – 20th November provided a mix of content, from traditional vendor-led workshops, exciting panel discussions to a team networking murder mystery and a timely keynote from leading mental health campaigner, Ruby Wax OBE.

The event was originally due to take place in Brighton, as part of NGs quarterly engagement program which is built around a physical, in-person community. Covid-19 meant this was quickly moved online – and in doing so NG have found new ways to grow and even thrive as a community.

One of the most powerful tools the group provides is a facilitated forum and structure, for peer knowledge exchange and support.  In running the event it was important to ensure that the culture that’s been fostered in the Group within its physical space translated to a virtual environment.

There were plenty of opportunities for NG members to learn throughout the week.  Alongside vendor-focussed content, delivered as both in-depth sessions and short-form ‘speed pitches’, the schedule provided opportunities to focus on business improvement and peer learning.  An example of this was a successful panel discussion about Mergers & Acquisitions where NG member Andrew Rosamond from CARA Technology said “It’s hard to imagine how any of our members individually would have access to such expertise, demonstrating the value of strength in numbers”

Another example was a roundtable discussion hosted by Jamie Warner from Invarosoft which covered a wide array of topics relating to Innovation and Customer Experience (CX).  Jamie, based in Australia (where we don’t typically run events!) was able to join us online – in a physical world, we wouldn’t have immediate access to him.  Chris Blunt from brokenStones said “This was one of the best sessions NG has ever run – CX is such a relevant topic at the moment and Jamie is full of so much good content”

One of the highlights of the week was the NG ‘Gala & Awards Ceremony’ a red-carpet themed interactive murder mystery dubbed ‘Red Carpet Revenge’.  Having fun and celebrating has always been a hugely important part of the NG events and this year was no different.  We couldn’t host a gala dinner this year or personally hand out trophies to the winners, but we did provide an exciting experience for our members and partners which enabled the community to meet, chat and make introductions. People were able to make relevant connections and we’ve even seen business won off the back of the event.  Feedback from Oscar Barrientos, Director of Technical Sales at ConnectWise said “Fantastic idea to have members randomly placed into rooms for finite amount of time – great way to network and talk to people you may not have spoken to in the past. Great event!”

Thank you to our sponsoring partners AppRiver, Liongard and Terra for bringing this event to life and to all partners and members who volunteered to play a character role in the performance.  A full list of our award winners can be found here.

Perhaps THE highlight of the week was our closing keynote from Ruby Wax.  Many will know Ruby as a comedian, writer and performer, but she has also been an advocate for mental health for years and is the founder of Frazzled Cafe, our chosen charity partner for our November event.   Frazzled Cafe provides a safe and confidential space where people who are feeling frazzled can meet to talk and share their personal stories. Their sessions are designed not just for the one-in-four Britons who will suffer a mental illness at some point, but for the four-in-four who are feeling frazzled and overwhelmed by the stresses of modern life.  Their purpose is to provide a space where people can talk openly – a place where it’s ok to not be ok.

In a Network Group first, we extended an invitation the wider MSP community to join this important session – we all took part in some mindfulness and learned how we can better understand and nurture our mental health and about the importance of community.  One such attendee was Rachel McGuiness from Wake up with Zest, “The Ruby event was great, very interesting. Looking after both our physical and mental health at the moment is so important.”  Whilst Jason Carlton from member company Uptech said “Great session Ruby, NG good to have another non tech session” and Mostyn Thomas from member company Astrix Integrated Systems echoed many saying “Brilliant session to top off a superb week!”.

David Tulip, Managing Director of Network Group & Technology To Go said “to see what has been delivered is testament to the hard work of my team; I have witnessed first-hand the anxiety that has gone into exceeding our Member and Partner expectations yet again!  In hindsight we need not have worried because what lies at the heart of Network Group is a strong and authentic community like no other in the UK IT Channel”.

Network Group would like to extend a huge thank you to all of our speakers and sponsoring vendors: AppRiver, Avast, ConnectWise, CyberSmart, Datto, Fujitsu, Inbay, Ingram Micro, Invarosoft, Keeper, KnowBe4, Liongard, Terra and WatchGuard.


For more information or images, please contact:

Marie Devlin – Head of Marketing, Network Group

m.devlin@nbg.co.uk

About Network Group
Network Group is a community of ambitious Managed Service Providers (MSPs), VARs and IT retailers made up of over 80 resellers across the UK, Ireland, Channel Islands, Belgium and Gibraltar. Owned by the members for the members, we help business owners grow and scale their business via collaboration, learning and the sharing of best practice – everyone in our network benefits from the accumulated knowledge of other members.  We support our members to buy better and increase profits, and we work with vendors and distributors to open up advantageous routes to market.

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