Leading Service Desk & IT Support Show welcomes 3,701 attendees

The leading annual event for thousands of service desk managers and IT support professionals welcomed 3,701 attendees through its doors at Olympia London last week on 5-6 June.  From a new location, a vibrant rebrand, big-name vendors, and inspiring talks, SITS once again proved to be a massive hit with the industry.

“SITS has a great balance between the trade show, where you can talk to many different vendors; presentations, where you can learn new things; and networking, where you can catch up with all the great people who come to learn and share,” says Stuart Rance, owner of Optimal Service Management.

Key highlights include:

  • Hornbill, TOPdesk, and Ivanti were among the 75-plus leading ITSM service providers
  • There were fascinating seminars on subjects ranging from AI to ITSM strategy and service frameworks
  • The Keynote saw standing-room only sessions from Netflix’s Dave Hahn and Sue Black OBE
  • The itSMF Professional Service Management Awards recognised the best talent in the industry
  • There were engaging Hot Topic Roundtable discussions led by industry thought leaders such as Scott Walker (Bomgar) and Hannah Price (TOPdesk)

“We are absolutely delighted that SITS18 has been such a success,” says SITS event manager Alice Fulton.

“There was a fantastic buzz across the show floor from the moment doors opened, and it was a very busy, valuable and productive two days for everyone involved.  SITS is the two days of the year which allows the whole ITSM industry to come together under one roof.

“A big thank you must go to the whole industry for supporting the event right from the very beginning and helping to make SITS the amazing show that it is today.  We look forward to seeing it continue to get even bigger and better at its new home of ExCeL London.  We really have the opportunity to develop and flourish as an event now.”

A key talking point for 2018 has been centered around ‘customer service strategies’ and how to appear different in such a competitive market.  Plus, with the advent of GDPR, it appears to be more vital than ever for ITSM professionals to invest in diligent strategies when handling customer data.

SITS was perfectly timed to help thousands of IT professionals (looking to improve their services) answer some of these vital questions – whilst having the opportunity to receive the latest insights about the true value of front-line service desk staff, and the importance of investing in, and enhancing, IT leadership skills.

“People need to come to events like SITS.  The people here want to know exactly what is going on in the industry and are now the people that get it.  You have to encourage peers to come here and see exactly what developments are out there,” says David Backham, CEO and founder of Soliloquy.

Artificial Intelligence takes centre stage

AI (Artificial Intelligence) was also the buzz word over the two days.  The increase of chatbots and full-service automation were apparent across the show floor from a number of vendors but equally became a central conversation topic in the theatres.  Many were questioning whether this will help or hinder personal development and confidence in the workplace.

The key takeaways for visitors at SITS however concentrated on the practical benefits that automation can deliver rather than the unnecessary hype around the word AI.

During the show’s panel session on ‘the power of people in IT’, Natalie Calvert, CEO of CX High Performance, explained that AI is ‘transactional’ because at the top there’s more of a complex activity of customers that requires actual human interaction.

“I hope that peoples’ skills remain at the top – where you can apply and build better relationships to keep customers for longer,” she says.

Georgina Owens, IT services director of Perform Group, emphasised that “Managers need to train employees to have a change, adapt, and flex approach, to help prepare employees for digital changes – as innovation and customer excellence are always required, especially through the ambiguity of new technologies.”

Self-service frameworks

As always, self-service investments are vital at the show and SITS provides best practice tips and insights into the ideal frameworks that are best for a business.

A winning session for this was the panel discussion called ‘Which framework is right for your business, if any?’, hosted by Duncan Watkins from Forrester and panelists included: Andrea Kis (Deloitte), Barclay Rae (itSMF UK), Rosh Hosany (PwC), and Tony Price (Virtual Clarity).

Tony Price’s definition of a framework: “Broad overview, outline, or skeleton of interlinked items which supports a particular approach to a specific objective and serves as a guide that can be modified as required by adding or deleting items” – helped grab the essence of the discussion.

“People shouldn’t talk about frameworks, they should ask what problem they are trying to solve and focus on how to do that,” explains Rosh Hosany, practice lead – IT Service & Operations Management at PwC.  “Organisations can be very different.  Some want everything defined in detail, others want a more flexible approach,” she adds.

A resounding view from the panel (and many other sessions at the show) is the fact that service desks are constantly ‘dealing with people’ and not just technology and processes.

“SITS18 felt like a watershed moment for the IT service and support industry,” says James West, editor of SITS Insight.

“I’ve personally been frustrated in the past when the focus of the discourse seemed to be debating the merits of various frameworks and training schemes and why the industry should think about making changes.

“This year, the education programme, the questions from the audience, and the conversations I had were not about ‘why’, it was about ‘how’.  It’s a refreshingly different mentality and it bodes well for a more productive and fruitful end to the year, plus a re-energised SITS as it moves to its new home for 2019,” he says.

Save the date for SITS19

SITS19 will take place at the new venue of ExCeL London on 1-2 May.

For exhibiting enquiries, please contact event manager Alice Fulton on [email protected].



Media enquiries & photography requests to:

Sharna Waid, PR Manager
t: +44 (0)1273 645144
e:  [email protected]
Twitter: www.twitter.com/DiversifiedUK
Website: www.divcom.co.uk

Event enquiries:

David Maguire, Event Director
t: +44 (0)1273 645127
e: [email protected]
Twitter: www.twitter.com/SITS_UK
Website: www.servicedeskshow.com

Exhibitor enquiries:

Alice Fulton, Event Manager
t: +44 (0) 1273 645138
e: [email protected]
Twitter: www.twitter.com/SITSalice


High resolution imagery is available upon request:

 Diversified Communications UK Ltd (Diversified UK) is a fast growing trade event organiser and publisher based in Brighton, Peterborough, and Nailsworth.  Diversified UK’s portfolio includes SITS – The Service Desk & IT Support Show; Accountex; Casual Dining; lunch!; Commercial Kitchen; Natural & Organic Products Europe; Nordic Organic Food Fair and Natural Products Scandinavia in Malmö, Sweden; Natural Products magazine; Natural Beauty News; Geo Business; Ocean Business; MARELEC Marine Electromagnetics conference; Euro Bus Expo; Coach & Bus UK; British Tourism & Travel Show; Route One; and Coach Monthly.  For more information, visit: www.divcom.co.uk

Diversified UK is part of Diversified Communications, a leading international media company with a portfolio of face-to-face exhibitions and conferences, online communities and digital and print publications. As producers of these market-leading products Diversified Communications connects, educates and strengthens business communities in over 14 industries including: food and beverage, healthcare, natural and organic, business management and technology. Established in 1949 and headquartered in Portland, Maine, USA with divisions and offices around the world, Diversified Communications remains a privately held, third generation, family-owned business (www.divcom.com).


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Sharna Waid

Sharna Waid

PR Executive

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