Our guest blogger Kat is from Manchester based web design company, WildFire Digital Media. Having attended last year’s free business event, Sage World, she’s already booked her tickets for Sage World 2011 and here she explains why.
Last year, we at WildFire Digital Media attended the very first Sage World. It promised to be a very enlightening event, held over two days, focused on aiding SME’s with their marketing, networking, helping them get financing and much more. Alongside this it provided their customers the opportunity to meet their support staff face to face and ask any questions they may have. And this October they are doing all again in Manchester.
We are a web design company in Manchester, with a lot of competitors, so we needed advice on how to reach our customers and stand out from the crowd. We got that, and more!
Networking, speakers, inspiration and a free lunch!
Sage made use of SpotMe devices, which was a great tool given to each attendee at the event to allow them to see who was in the vicinity, send messages to people whose business was of interest and provided a map, event schedule and a nudge when a talk was due to begin so that you didn’t miss anything.
Each of the days was filled with very interesting speakers, plenty of time for networking with a coffee and a free packed lunch which went down a treat.
It was such a valuable event to attend, both from a business and a personal perspective. We were able to meet up with like minded people who were also looking to inject some inspiration into their business, and the speakers were able to offer sound business advice gleaned from their own personal experience.
Among the speakers last year were notably Will King, the founder of King of Shaves and Karren Brady formerly the managing director of Birmingham City FC, and more recently Alan Sugar’s aide in The Apprentice. They both spoke about their experiences and the challenges they had faced along the way, and their delivery was both charismatic and informative.
I will also mention Geoff Ramm and Andy Lopata, who really stood out to us as experts in their field. Geoff Ramm is a marketing expert who gave a very energetic talk and was full of ideas on how businesses can reach their potential customers. He spoke about businesses who were struggling against competitors and couldn’t reach their customers, and then showed us some of his ingenious marketing ideas that had then put that business on the map. We were even lucky enough to have a one to one chat with him, which was obviously an invaluable opportunity for our business.
Putting it all into practice
Andy Lopata is a business networking strategist who offered sound advice on how to network successfully and gain not just leads, but referrals, to help your business grow. We were able to make practical use of this advice and our business has improved as a result of it. We have held competitions, had referrals, and used networking to our advantage and as a result of being able to get our name out a little more, we were able to have an interview on Business Talk FM.
And guess what? They are both back this year! We’re looking forward to hearing what they have both been up to in the past year, and what information and advice they have in store for us.
Sage World 2011
Sage World 2011 is being held at EventCity in Manchester in October and looks to have another incredible line up of speakers. We are looking forward to seeing how Simon Calver, the CEO of LOVEFiLM got to where he is today. Among the diverse speakers are Jo Malone the entrepreneur and Benedict Allen, the explorer. The diversity really enables you to see business, and life, from many perspectives and inspiration isn’t far behind.
To anyone who is thinking of attending Sage World 2011, reserve your place now. The conference really helped to steer our business in the right direction, and made us realise that although setting up a business is hard work, we are not alone! We were able to see, first hand, that you don’t necessarily need money to build up your business, just a good idea.
Who said, there’s no such thing as a free lunch?
Kat Durrant, WildFire Digital Media