Saturday, 31 March 2012

Digital Day with Business Biscotti - Social Media and Selling

D-Day ( Digtal Day) 
and the world of social media and selling.

Business Biscotti's "Digital Day" 29th March 2012 was hosted by  Graham  and Sue Reeves at the Grovefield House Hotel , Burnham.

The weather was very kind to all who attended this brilliant networking event of entrepreneurs from the Berkshire and Bucks area.

Business Biscotti know how to put on an engaging  business networking event which is not only commercially relevant, but  provides insightful help to members  being both a profitable and a FUN EXPERIENCE!
 Grovefield House Hotel, Burnham
 with the tulip borders of the THc little garden
 Thames Hospicecare venue for
 Business Biscotti's  March 2012 Digital Day

Refreshments  for the day were provided by the Grovefield House hotel .

 The buffet lunch was delicious - especially the poached salmon and new spuds ( potatoes) which we were allowed to take out onto the patio  and enjoy 'al fresco'  soaking up some spring sunshine and taking pleasure from the spring flowers  and early tree blossom in the garden.

'Doing lunch' is a traditional way to network and the facilities of the Grovefield House make  a convivial space for business discussions.
Brilliant March sunshine illuminates the  sponsors' banners for Business  Biscotti's Digital Day March 2012
Sponsors for the day included Symantec, Barclays, BMG, the Head Partnership. CAM foundation 1and 1, TACK International and venue provider Grovefield House Hotel.

Topic titles included " Our Digital journey",Social media Engagement is not enough" "Symantec and your business", "Acquiring New Customers + Prospects using Digital Channels", " Launch and Grow your business On line" and "Emerging Trends in Digital Marketing".

The afternoon provided workshops on " Cloud Security - what does that mean to your business?", "Must Know Legal Issues for E-commerce entrepreneurs", Social Media in the Sales Process, " Social Media- making the pieces fit", " Limit your losses from cardholder not present transactions", " Social Media + 101 Hot tips" and "The power of video in Promoting your business" "Doing Business on the move - The Benefits of mobile Technology in Business"

Additionally there was Catherine's photographic studio on hand to help biscottiers update their photos for digital profiles for web sites, biographies and social media.
Reception desk with prepared badges with Sarah's beautiful
 and clear calligraphy -a  really personal touch

Mrs Biscotti (aka Sue Reeves) of Business Biscotti   opens Business Biscotti's Digital Day

Sue is the Marketing Director of Business Biscotti and gave us a ' heads up' on the day and brief overview of Business biscotti and explained the reason for the  Digital day arose from the flood of requests from the membership- known as 'biscottiers'. Sue then introduced  the Mayor.

The Worshipful, the Mayor of Slough,
councillor Sukhjit Dhaliwal. ,
 herself a business woman, welcomes  fellow Biscottiers

First speaker was Amanda Gee from BMG Group.

Amanda Gee  Managing Director of
  BMG( Berkshire Media Group)

Amanda Gee set the scene for the story of the Digital Journey that BMG have undertaken. In such a traditional business as local newspapers she talked us through a time line for the Slough Observer (founded in 1882) through the changes oft he 20th century and  into our time.

From the first  local 'newspaper' the Oxford Gazette in 1665 the newspaper industry had not changed that much for three hundred years. Amanda then explained how technology changes from Hot Metal presses to the Digital revolution had transformed the business..
In 1997 The Slough Observer introduced it's first on line product "This is"   This pioneering entry into digital predated Ebay ,Google , You Tube, facebook and most high street on line retailers.

She mentioned that there was much debate at the time about whether  digital might might take business from the then core business of print.

Even up to 2006 BMG were not monetising their on-line products. then matter changed. Eddie Embleton continued with the BMG digital story.
Eddie set about redevelop the BMG site. From weekly updates  the on line version moved to a daily news provider. The former method of returning to the office or phoning in reports moved to  creating content  that could be uploaded from anywhere no longer restricted to the news desk.
This moved the circulation figures from under 30,000  for Slough ,Reading  and Bracknell a month   to  105,000.
The  Key  was demonstrate  not only how to do drive  on-line  the revenue  but how it would do it better.
Jobsite partnered with them – Job Seekers best experience – recruiters local audience in print and on line and on a huge website and job boards – reaching over 6 million job seekers BMG have 100,000 CVs
To illustrate brand extensions Eddie mentioned  a new on line product  Family Notices –  where friends and families can leave messages. Such has been the growth of new products on-line for BMG that the group are now displaying  ½ million pages per month.
Digital business for the paper  year on year currently 40%  with More digital products than paper.

Margaret gave us some candid home truths about digital
Next speaker was Margaret Adams. Margaret outline 5 steps to Digital Success.


Margaret surmised whether the Culprits for the time wasted on social media was the fault of

Facebook  LinkedIn  You Tube Word press Pinterest  and google +. They may be part of the journey but they are not the destination.

Margaret’s 5 steps journey covered  

 1.Drive people to website and into your sales funnel

2. Self selection   capture your visitors’ details

Build  a relation ( it’s  social media) put lots of information on facebook ,  and good advice tweets / Visitors want to  sample, test and buy.

3. Build it all up by offering free guidance such as  how-to  and know-how material

Run webinars and demystify your product

4. Offer great service that doesn’t ignore stupid or gauche questions but make contact and offer help. However true RTFM and TPIITC might be a customer needs help and service.

5 Measure ROI

Return on engagement  -followers

Return on participation

Return on involvement dialogue that are taken off line

Return on attention got

Return on trust earnt

Cautionary insights on Backing up your digital assets
  from Barnaby Woods of Symantec Cloud

  Barnbay Woods  of Symantec Backup exec symantec

Some stark statistics on lack of digital back up from Barnaby Woods of Symantec

There was a small exhibition area next to the main seminar room . Businesses that caught my eye include the website  creators 1 and 1.  They are are a web host provider.

1 and 1 

Leslie Bunder , Sachin Gupta and Neil Hodson of 1 +;1 presented
 and exhibited at the Business Biscotti "Digital Day"

Symantec's Alister Johnson and Miranda Allen
 at the Symantec Cloud stand

The day had added sparkle with entertainment in the exhibition space and  at the chill down drinks outside in the warm evening sunshine  on the patio at the back of the hotel. Magician  Ian Gray  and Silhouette Artist Charles Burns worked the crowd.

The cutting edge from Silhouette artist and Businessman
Charles Burns - The Roving Artist

(left)Graham Reeves ( Mr Biscotti)
 Hugh Alford ( aka 'Fruits of Success with Hugh' blogger)

If you find the likes of  the cavernous O2, Excel centre, NEC etc rather sterile, soulless and overwhelming  environments to network within,  try a Business Biscotti event - they host  a great event.

 There are 92 Groups now in 31 counties.

22,000 people visited a Business Biscotti  event last year, 2-3 million monthly ( 30,000 unique visitors per month, average time on 9.3 minutes per   visit with average pages viewed per visit)


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