BOURNEMOUTH’S annual Silicon Beach festival could become part of a two-week programme of events attracting 5,000 visitors, its creator believes.

Next month sees the seventh Silicon Beach, which aims to bring together speakers from around the world with challenging and innovative ideas.

The event, which has a focus on business, marketing, technology and the creative sector, was devised by Matt Desmier of the marketing and innovation consultancy Wise Old Uncle.

He describes it as a “TED-esque” event, after the TED (technology, entertainment and design) conferences which began in the US.

It already follows his own copywriting conference, Copy Cabana, and he hopes it could link with other events such as Bournemouth’s Arts by the Sea Festival. The town could eventually have “the UK’s equivalent of South by Southwest”, the major festival of culture and creativity in Austin, Texas, he believes.

“My ambition is that by 2020, it’s part of a two-weeks long festival of connected events with 5,000 people attending,” he said.

The September 28-29 event at Pavilion Dance is promoted with the tagline “22 thought leaders, two days, one beach”. Speakers include David Wilding, director of planning at Twitter; Matt Ballantine, founder of Stamp London; David McQueen, founder of Narratively; and executive mentor Sally Henderson.

Last year’s Silicon Beach was praised by Phil Adams, planning director at Cello Signal, as unlike anything else he had ever spoken at. Richard Huntingdon, chairman of Saatchi & Saatchi, said: “I love every moment of Silicon Beach. It’s the most mesmerising collision of people and ideas.”

Mr Desmier said: “It’s an incredibly selfish conference. It’s a conference designed to be a conference that I would want to go to.

“I’ve spent my entire year attending events up and down the country and around the world to try and find the best speakers and bring them to Bournemouth.“Bournemouth’s growing reputation is helping immensely.”

Around half the audience come from outside the town, he said.

“I don’t tell the audience when people are speaking or what they’re speaking about,” he said.

“It’s an unorthodox approach but what I’m trying to do is encourage the audience to immerse themselves and trust me that we’ve curated a programme full of inspiring, exciting, knowledgeable speakers who are all really good and these are people you would like to have dinner with and listen to them talk.”

He aims to attract anyone in business, rather than just those already in the digital and creative sectors. “Businesses shouldn’t be afraid to stand in a room and say ‘I don’t know about this stuff’,” he said.