How to make the most of the Women in Tech Festival

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How to make the most of the Women in Tech Festival

Squeeze every last drop out of your ticket

You've got your ticket, cleared your diary for 17 September and arranged your transport. Now what?

Well, you could just turn up on the day and take it as it comes. Or you could do a bit of planning to make sure you meet the people you want to meet, hear the panels and talks that interest you and come away feeling like you ticked everything off. Here's how.

Who do you want to hear from?

As with any conference, there are lots of amazing people speaking at the Women in Tech Festival, both giving talks and participating in panels. And some of them are on at the same time.

You can't be in two places at once (maybe at the Women in Tech Festival 2050…!), but you can plan your route through the festival to make sure you're in the right place at the right time.

For instance, at 11.40am, there are three panels taking place: Balancing the scales of life; Millennials: what, where, why, how? and Ready, set, start-up! 

If you quite fancy both the millennial and the work-life balance one, but you're planning to be at the Tech Team Diversity roundtable at 12.25, it makes sense to go to the millennial panel, since they're both on the same stage and you can keep your seat.

Working this stuff out beforehand can save you racing up and down the stairs or having to stand through a session.

Who do you want to meet?

Our mentoring session in the afternoon will be led by some incredible talent, including Cassandra Glavin, head of IT business management at Thames Water, and Nic Bellingham, head of IT infrastructure and operations at the Met Office.

Just like a contestant going on Dragon's Den, think about which mentor can add the most value to your career and make a beeline for them.

It also helps to have your mentoring questions prepared ahead of time. You don't need to go in with an interview list, but a general idea of what you'd like to come away with will give you a good steer on the day, even if your mind goes blank.

Don't forget the fringe events

OK, you're already pretty overloaded with amazing talks and panels, but don't forget to take time out for the less frenetic parts of the day too.

We've got yoga and nutrition sessions lined up to feed your mind and body, there's a mindfulness zone and zen den you can visit anytime to have a break (I can hear the introverts sighing with relief!)

Our fringe events also include some low-pressure workshops on topics such as maximising your confidence and building a personal brand you can live by.

And there'll be networking and refreshments breaks throughout the day even if you cram your schedule to the brim. We're all about balance.

Come for the networking, stay for the entertainment

When the programme for the day wraps up at 4.30, there'll be a drinks reception (and no, it's not all alcoholic - we have opinions on this!) followed by surprise entertainment.

Whether you're in the mood to party or not (Tuesday is totally the new Friday, though), this will be a golden opportunity to chat to some of the cool people you've met throughout the day, or didn't get a chance to talk to. And unlike some events, we're not starting the networking at 7pm or 8pm, so you can have a good session and still get home before dark.

Haven't got your tickets yet? There's not long to go - grab yours now and we'll see you on the 17th. 

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