Help and support
Innovation Festival 2021 - COVID measures
We are very much looking forward to welcoming you back, in-person to Northumbrian Water’s Innovation Festival.


We have evaluated our covid policy in line with government guidance and the venue’s requirements and as a result we have put plans in place to ensure as safe an environment as possible, while still providing a great experience to all our attendees.


For the comfort and confidence of all attendees and staff, we will be making use of the NHS COVID Pass at the event.


Below are the entry requirements which must be met by all Innovation Festival attendees and staff.


It is an expectation that all attendees:
  • provide evidence of having completed a course of vaccination, with the final dose administered at least 14 days prior to the event. (Covid pass)


  • provide evidence of a negative lateral flow test taken within 24 hours of your visit.


Agree that if you, or a member of your household, or person for whom you have caring responsibilities; has been classified by the Government as high risk due to pre-existing medical conditions you will review government and/or medical guidelines prior to visiting the event.


Please do not attend if:

You, or any member of your household, are experiencing any covid-19 symptoms (A high temperature, Continuous cough, Loss of taste and/or smell) or have tested positive.


You have been in close contact (less than 2m, more than 15 mins) with anyone with covid-19 symptoms in the last 7 days.

You, or any member of your household, are awaiting the results of a PCR covid test.

You’ve been told to self-isolate following contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 Other safety measures.


We will be making sure that extra hygiene measures are in place:
  • Hand sanitiser around the venue
  • Extra cleaning in the venue
  • You will be required to wear a facemask during your visit when not sitting down at the venue and to maintain social distancing wherever possible.
  • Please bring your own pen and notebooks to the event and avoid sharing any stationery items provided with others.
  • Please make regular use of the hand sanitiser available and follow the government guidelines when washing your hands.

I hope that our efforts will give you some reassurances for what promises to be a long-awaited return to connecting. We look forward to seeing you soon!


If you have any questions about our Covid measure for this event, please contact the Innovation Festival Team at 

Addresses for our in-person Hubs

The Common Room

Westgate Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 1SE


Northern Design Centre

Abbots Hill, Gateshead, NE8 3DF


Orbit, Netpark

Joseph Swan Road, Sedgefield, Durham, TS21 3FB


Crimdon Dunes

Crimdon Dunes (a new café / centre not yet open to the public)
Crimdon Dene / Coast Road, Hartlepool, TS27 4BL
Just before Crimdon Pony Club - Tel: 07825 202580 if you need directions.


Aiimi Offices

100 Avebury Blvd, Milton Keynes, MK9 1FH


Sandon Valley House

Canon Barns Rd, East Hanningfield, West Hanningfield, Chelmsford, CM3 8BD


CK Delta

Unit 5b, Albion Riverside Building, 8 Hester Road Battersea, London, SW11 4AX

Is NWG’s Innovation Festival 2021 - The Brilliant Get Together for me?

Do you enjoy working on challenges with others? Do you want to collaborate with a diverse global audience virtually or in-person? Do you get satisfaction from working on a challenge and seeing it through to fruition? Are you thinking about your future career path If you answered yes to any of these questions, Innovation Festival 2021 - The Brilliant Get Together is made for you.


The Festival is open to all who wish to join — no matter your expertise or experience. With a plethora of Sprints, YWWIW, Hacks and Daily Dashes to take part in, speakers to inspire you, opportunities to network with a global audience and the chance to receive expert career advice in our class of 2021, Innovation Festival 2021 could be the catalyst that inspires you and creates the next big global solution.

How much does the event cost to join?

We’re happy to be able to offer Innovation Festival 2021 - The Brilliant Get Together free to all attendees globally.

How can I find out what has been happening in the challenges?

You can join our daily jam sessions at 4.15pm each day. You can book them in Hey Summit here.

Where do I go for help during the Innovation Festival?

You can access the information point on our Interactive map on the homepage of our website or contact us at 

How can I find the right links to the activity I want to take part in?

If you are taking part in a sprint your sprint lead will send you a link to join. You can access all other areas of the Innovation Festival by using the interactive map on the website homepage 

Do I need to download or use any browser to take part in the digital Innovation Festival?

Google Chrome is the recommended browser for all activities. Please check it’s available for you to use on your devices before the festival begins. Check that you already have access to Zoom or Teams or request your organisation enables it for you to use during the Innovation Festival. 

What is the dress code for the Innovation Festival?

The dress code is casual, no suits allowed! 

What do I do on Monday morning when it begins?

You can access the morning Welcome session on Monday morning online through ("My Schedule" on Hey Summit).

I've registered and I’ve missed Monday morning, can I just join in now?

Yes, you can register for any of the available festival sessions at any time. You can add sessions to "My schedule" in your Hey Summit account and can watch those you have missed at a later date.

Can I access the event using Internet Explorer?

No, You will need a modern web browser – we recommend using Google Chrome.

Can I join an online sprint using my smart phone?

You’ll be participating in group activities using an online whiteboard so you should join via a laptop or desktop computer – you can’t join by smartphone. You also need a modern web browser – Google Chrome is recommended.

Do I need to register for the Innovation Festival to access the event?

Yes please, you can sign up here!


You will need to register before being able to access the content and live sessions. If you are taking part in a sprint, YWWIW, Dash or Hack, please only choose one topic to take part in and remember to register for that topic for all the days you are attending.

I have signed up for a few sprints because I couldn’t decide what I wanted to take part in, is this ok?

The Innovation Festival is all about choosing one challenge (Sprint, YWWIW, Dash or and Hack) that interests you and then actively participating and working online with others throughout the week to solve a particular problem. It's not possible to attend all of the sessions for all of the challenges available as they all require live participation and will not be recorded for playback.


Please access 'My Schedule' in your Hey Summit account and remove all the sessions from your schedule that you will not be attending, leaving only one challenge or topic you are interested in working on for each of the days you will be attending. For example, if you will be taking part in the Environment Agency sprint for all 4 days you should only choose those 4 sessions on your schedule as well as any morning welcome or daily jam sessions you want to attend.

The Innovation Festival has already started, and I want to join a sprint can I sign up now?

Our sprint sessions are now closed to new registrants; however, you can still register for some of our other festival activities here.

I've not registered but I want to be part of the event now - can I?

You must register to be part of the event you can register here.

Once you have registered you can add sessions to "My schedule" in your Hey Summit account and can watch those you have missed at a later date.

Taking part in a challenge (Sprint, Dash, YWWIW or Hack)
What is a Sprint?

Design Sprints are a structured process for moving from a significant problem / challenge to a tested prototype solution in 5 stages.

What is a Year’s worth of work in a week (YWWIW)?

A sprint-style workshop that focuses on accelerating delivery of an idea or initiative identified previously.

What is a Hack?

Bringing together Data Science and Subject Matter Expertise to tackle some of our biggest challenges we face in our industry.

What is a Daily Dash?

A Northumbrian Water Group expression for a rapid sprint-style workshop that runs through all five stages of the sprint methodology in just one day.

What if I can’t take part in a sprint or attend every day?

We know that not everyone can spare the time to work on a three- or four-day event, however you can still be part of the festival fun by joining some of our other fab activities.


We recommend that you join us in the ‘Morning Welcome’ and ‘Daily Jam’ sessions to find out what's going on at the festival. You can also sign up for lightning talks, guest speaker spots and other activities such as networking and an online Cook along.

I signed up for a sprint for 4 days and I can now only attend for 3 what shall I do

You can remove any sessions you are no longer able to attend in 'My Schedule' in Hey Summit. You can add sessions here too and add them to your calendar.

What if I can’t make four days, or have to miss part of one day?

No problem, we know how hard it is to navigate busy schedules. You’re free to come and go as you please, although we hope that if you are taking part in one of our challenges that you’ll make time to take part in as much of our four days of sprinting or hacking as you can. If you can only make one day our Daily Dashes could be just the thing for you. Check out the topics in the event schedule.


And while you may miss out on some of our interactive sprint and hack activities, all Innovation Festival 2021 - The Brilliant Get Together panels, discussions and live streaming activities will be available for on-demand viewing for one month after the Festival. You will need to register for the Innovation Festival to be able to access the recordings.

In Person Hubs
I’m attending an in-person sprint how do I find out more about joining the sprint?

Your sprint lead will email in the week leading up to the event to confirm your place at our in-person events and share information about the venue. You can find the addresses for our in-person hubs on our website here.

I want to attend an in-person sprint but haven’t registered or had confirmation of my attendance, can I just turn up on the day?

Please don’t attend an in-person event unless you have received confirmation of your place from your sprint lead. Because of Covid 19 restrictions we will not be able to allow you access to the event.

I’m attending an in-person sprint at the Common Room in Newcastle, what are the Covid measures that are in place, will I need to show my Covid pass and wear a mask?

You can find information on our covid measure for all of our in-person events including the Northern Design Centre in Gateshead and Netpark in Sedgefield on our website - 


 Yes, you will need to show your Covid pass or provide evidence of a negative lateral flow test taken within the last 24 hours. We request that all attendees wear a mask at our venues when not sitting down.

What is the address for my location I’m working at? What is parking like?

We are hosting sessions a number of hubs across the UK. Your sprint lead will email you to confirm your place at our in-person events and share information about the venue or you can find the Hub addresses here on our website.

I was due to attend in person, but I’ve got a cough / feeling unwell - what should I do?

Please follow the Covid 10 guidelines which can be found here.

Social Media
Can I find out what's happening via social media?

Keep your eyes on our social media channel throughout the week. We’ll be posting lots of updates, pictures, and videos during the festival. Please join in!


Use #InnovationFestival21 when posting your content, that way we will see it and can share it. There’s also a LinkedIn event page specifically for IF21. This is THE best place to network and share updates with festival delegates.


Join here!

Is there any social media around the event that we can mirror, any Hashtags or @’s?

#innovationfestival21  @NorthumbrianH20 on twitter @NorthumbrianWater on Facebook There’s also a LinkedIn event page specifically for IF20. This is THE best place to network and share updates with festival delegates.


Join here!

Young People
Are there any activities specifically for young people?

From Wednesday 20  to Friday  22 October over 100 participants aged 16 – 25 will have the opportunity to participate in a half day assessment centre. You can find out more here.

Contact us