Over the last couple of weeks the Leicester Business Festival 2018 took place. If you want to find any events from the festival on social media, search for the hashtag #LBF2018. I really benefited from last years Leicester Business Festival, so I signed up to several events. If you want to know about events I went to last year feel free to contact me.
Week One – Monday Twenty-ninth October to Friday second November
The first event I attended was held at College Court and led by Karl Craig-West of Buzz Websites. The subject was “How to beat the pants off your competition in search engines”. Search engine optimisation is something I struggle with. As such I came prepared with plenty of questions and took lots of useful notes.
There was a heavy emphasis on the importance of blogging, so you can expect to hear from me more often from now on through this blog.
There was also a lot on the importance of video on your business’s blog and website. This is something I will probably introduce in the future as i can see it benefiting my customers to see videos on my website too.
I had plenty to go home and consider, and this was just after one event.
I attended an event a couple of days later on “Customer Closeness”. Intrigued by the name of this event and the comment in the event programme “it is more significant than ever for businesses to connect closely to their customers”, this was one I had to attend. This one was led by two people – Paul Ascott of Brand Ignite and Rachel Curtis-Brown of Cambridge & Counties Bank.
I was impressed by the way that these businesses were different from others in their sector. I like to think I go out of my way to offer my customers more for their money than my competitors. But I was really challenged by the way that these businesses stuck out as different.
When I left I saw a friend who I hadn’t seen for a while, and was telling him about the Business Festival. He liked the sound of the events and told me he wished he ran a business so that he could attend similar events.
A event that wasn’t part of Leicester Business Festival
That evening I was at one of my regular property networking events, not part of Leicester Business Festival but it happened to fall during the festival. It’s an event I love going to, not for the work it brings in (although that’s always nice) but for the friendships I have made each month there. That evening was fantastic, I made several new contacts. All of whom I was able to help in some way.
Now back to Leicester Business Festival – week one
The following day I attended an event called “How to master your brand strategy”. This event was about making sure your brand was recognised and remembered. It covered having visual brand guidelines and sticking to them consistently. The venue took a while to find which was frustrating. Another business owner recognised me as I walking back and forth up the road looking for it, and pointed out where to go. The content was really good – there was a strong emphasis on what each businesses customers wants and needs are.
Week two – Monday fifth November to Friday ninth November
I had intended to go to several events the following week. However because I was ill for a few days, there were events that I couldn’t attend.
I was well enough though to attend the last event of the Leicester Business Festival that I had signed up for. Named “Leicestershire’s Largest Careers Speed Networking Event 2018”, I had to attend. What a great opportunity to meet with fellow business owners, as well as help those looking to get started in the world of work.
Having lots of friends in education, I’m aware of the pressure put onto students to find the “right job”. Most of what is said I personally disagree with. I don’t believe that there is one single “right job” for any person. And I think that the most useful skill for anybody nowadays is adaptability.
The event itself was held at Leicester Racecourse in Oadby and sponsored by Morningside Pharmaceuticals Ltd. When I first walked in I was a little overwhelmed by how many students were there. There were over 300 school children who would soon be joining the world of work. I had arrived a few minutes late because of problems on the buses, and couldn’t see any other businesses (just loads of students). Eventually I was shown where to go to collect my name badge and event programme. Flicking through the programme it was obvious what a great event this was going to be.
Going to inspire children and then being inspired and enthused by them
I was called to go back through to the room with all the students in. I was then seated in front of a very nervous looking girl who had a list pre-planned questions. Whilst we waited for the other business owners to come through I introduced myself, and asked what questions she had prepared. It was obvious that the questions weren’t written by her. When she got to the end of the questions, I asked her what she really wanted to know. I was really impressed by what she asked – “How does what you do impact other people’s lives?” Wow, what a great question!
I told her that she needed to ask that to everyone she met that day. Then I explained that the work I do, can transform the income of my customers. As such there can sometimes feel like there’s a lot of pressure on me to deliver a really high quality standard, as quickly as possible.
I spoke to a lot of people that day. Lots had pre-planned their questions (or someone else pre-plan it for them). Others had nothing prepared. Either way, I had some great conversations with loads of young people. I even had some ask whether they could come and work for me at some point in the future.
This event, for me, was the highlight of the Leicester Business Festival 2018. I had gone along with the expectation of inspiring young people and removing some anxieties about the careers. And whilst I may have done that, the biggest thing was that they inspired and enthused me by pointing out how amazing my job is.
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