Case Studies

Communicate IT event management: Canterbury Software Summit 2011-2013

The Canterbury Software Cluster is the region’s leading ICT industry organisation and holds its annual Software Summit to inform, inspire and encourage networking and collaboration among its members.  While the Summit has had a steady 10 year history of attracting Christchurch’s best and brightest, since Communicate IT took over the event management in 2011, it has moved into another stratosphere.

Objectives: The Committee’s primary objectives for the annual Summit were to run a smooth and enjoyable event with up to 350 registrations, and provide value for sponsors and exhibitors.  The event needed senior level speakers with experience on the global stage to deliver topical and engaging presentations.

Results: Communicate IT worked closely with the Cluster Committee and sponsors to deliver a compelling event which attracted nearly 500 registrations in 2011, 528 in 2012 and 521 in 2013.  The events generated extremely positive feedback from delegates, sponsors, exhibitors and speakers, and also received coverage in The Press, TechDay, Computerworld, the National Business Review and Idealog.

How we did it: Communicate IT’s project management encompassed a move to a new venue at Addington Events Centre, coordination of audio visual requirements across three floors – including setting up live videoconference links to the US, managing multiple presentation streams and making content available online post-event.  Speakers at the events included senior leaders from Google, Commonwealth Bank, Group Commerce, Icehouse, Wynyard Group, Tait Communications, Trigger Happy, VoucherMob, GreenButton, Xero, Orion Health, Vend, Carnival Labs, and more, as well as the Hon Steven Joyce, Minister of Science and Innovation.

A media relations campaign, website content with online registration (using Eventbrite) and several waves of email invitations were features of the promotional campaign, as well as regular social media updates (LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter).

Ben Reid, Chair of the Canterbury Software Cluster said in 2012, “The Canterbury Software Cluster has engaged the team at Communicate IT as our event managers for the Canterbury Software Summit for the last few years and they have been instrumental in ensuring that the event has been a success each time. Shelley and Shannon’s commitment to achieving goals, ensuring good communication and sheer attention to detail have delivered what is probably the largest tech event in the South Island. I recommend them highly!”

David Johnstone, Chair of the Canterbury Software Cluster in 2011 said, “The Summit was a polished, captivating event which has elevated the Canterbury Software Cluster to another level. When you attend an event like this you don’t always appreciate the planning and the myriad of details that need to happen behind the scenes.  The Cluster Committee was able to set the high level requirements based on a tried and tested formulae and delegate the finer details; speaker, sponsor and venue management.  As a volunteer committee we would have struggled handling an event of this size – Communicate IT were key to helping us deliver fantastic results.”

For John Duncan, UCONZ coordinator and University of Canterbury Business Development Manager, the event was a major step forward in achieving their objectives of getting more connected and engaged with industry.  “The Summit was a unique opportunity for the universities to showcase our achievements and abilities in front of hundreds of Canterbury technology businesses in one go,” he said. “We were impressed with the scale and professional quality of the event; we’ll definitely consider being part of next year’s event, and look forward to working with Communicate IT again.”

2013 Media coverage:

The Press: One step at a time for Kiwi ‘software hero
The Press: Software Summit aims to boost industry
B2B: Software heroes to present at Canterbury Software Summit
TechDay: Behind the mask: Software Heroes tell all at local Summit
Computerworld: Tech contributes 6% of Christchurch GDP, and that’s just the beginning

2012 Media coverage:

The Press: NZ tech sector can shine brightly (4/10)
The Press: Discipline a key factor in success (5/10)
The Press: Software Summit may be largest ever
Computerworld: Canterbury challenges
National Business Review: High-tech buzz, speakers galore for computer summit
Idealog: Vend, Xero, Carnival Labs and more at Canterbury Software Summit

2011 Media coverage:

The Press: Keep it simple and think big: Google exec
The Press: Software conference boost for city
Computerworld: Canterbury’s ICT scene is red hot
National Business Review: Google engineer to give keynote at tech summit
Idealog: Tech cred overflows at Canterbury Software Summit