Checking in with Something Digital


We all know 2020 has had a huge impact on so many aspects of our lives. We checked in with the team from Something Digital to ask how transforming an in-person festival to a hybrid one has gone, and what’s in store for this year’s festival.

Words by Something Digital.

It’s 2020. Things are a little bit different.

And whilst the world is figuring out how to get on with life, we have embraced the uncertainty and expanded the days, content and events surrounding Something Digital.

Crazy? Maybe. Time will tell.

However, digital innovation is simply too critical in today’s world, for us not to double down on a festival which is designed to strengthen Queensland’s digital ecosystem.

In fact, the 2020 festival has been dubbed ’The Rebel Edition’ because, right now, we need people that are willing to come together and push boundaries. To get out there, to collaborate and forge a path in this Brave New World.

And to take time to breathe, celebrate with people and build on strategies and outcomes for 2021!

This year’s program is our most ambitious yet. With over 88 speakers, 49 sessions, 8 masterclasses, 4 side events, 7 venues >> all showcasing the best that Queensland has to offer.

Whether it is managing a remote workforce; building trustworthy AI; the do's & don’ts of digital marketing in a pandemic; the future of living; supply chains; human centred design; digital transformation; there is something for anyone that is interested in leveraging digital innovation for personal or organisational growth.

When lockdown hit in March, we were faced with a number of choices. None really had any guarantees. So we took the opportunity to re-design Something Digital from the ground up landing on a hybrid festival model. Part in person. Part online.

It wasn’t simply a matter of working out what we could stream. Every single element of the event had to be re-examined.

What venues would we use, how long would sessions run for, how would the movement of people work, what fun stuff would we still be allowed to do? There were so many more questions than answers. But we were determined to make it work.

The hybrid element meant that if, like us, you are missing those chance encounters with people you haven’t seen for months, you can attend sessions and other activations in real life.

Or if you are not ready to break up with your Ugg boots yet (although it is getting a tad warm!) you can join us online through our virtual hub.

The program now looks like one of those ‘Choose your own adventure’ stories we used to read when we were kids. You get to pick what sessions blocks or side events to attend in real life, what to watch online or what to skip completely.

Of course, the in-person elements are all run to industry Covid Safe plans. Safety has to be a priority. Though working with said plans is interesting in itself and has led to many debates in the office as to what can or what can’t be done. When in doubt our focus has been to keep things simple and to over sanitise!

We are beyond excited with how the festival is shaping up and also by the enormous support from our digital community.

It is a beautiful collaborative effort. And whilst we have laid the foundations, it is Queensland’s digital & innovation community that is coming together and placing down the building blocks.

Our call today is for you to be Rebels in our Brave New World, to join us at Something Digital or to find your own creative ways to bring your fabulous communities together!


Something Digital is supported by the Queensland Government and will be running in Brisbane and online from the 20-23 October.

Join us to hear DSDTI’s Sarah Pearson talk about the unique opportunities for digital transformation in 2021 as well as our very own Leanne Kemp who will be moderating a number of session blocks.

Program | Speakers | Tickets