Dozens of businesses benefited from the very latest updates in the world of digital technology at a special showcase event held at Rushcliffe on Friday (28 September).
Over 90 business delegates attended the all-day session, delivered as part of a partnership project designed to help grow the local economy through the provision of workshops, seminars and grants.
Funded by Rushcliffe Borough Council and delivered by East Midlands Chamber* and Rushcliffe Business Partnership, the free event focused on some of the latest developments in digital technology – helping companies better connect with their customers and drive up sales and productivity.
Cllr Simon Robinson, Leader of Rushcliffe Borough Council, opened the event at Rushcliffe Arena.
He said: “Thanks to all delegates and partners who joined us – their contributions, knowledge and enthusiasm made for a great atmosphere and a really productive day. I know they will have gone away with some great tips and advice which they can easily put into practice to boost their operations.
“It was a great opportunity to bring together the local business community, as well as key partners, as part of our wider commitment to support innovation and to help increase skills and knowledge.”
The event was part of the three-year D2N2 Digital Growth Programme that provides dedicated support and grants to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) located in the D2N2 area of Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire and runs until June 2019.
Shamshad Walker from Rushcliffe Business Partnership, said: “Listening to the expert speakers on the day demonstrated just how quickly the world of digital technology moves on. At the heart of this event was a desire to help businesses – particularly small and medium-sized enterprises – to tap into this knowledge so they remain well placed to grow and innovate in their marketplace.”
The day’s speakers focused on three key areas – what’s new in the world of online search, the latest trends in social media and how to make the best use of data to deliver products and services to customers.
There were also opportunities to connect with like-minded businesses, including a networking breakfast sponsored by Rushcliffe Business Partnership.
The Digital Growth Programme is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). It has so far engaged with almost 1,430 SMEs across Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire, with over £2.2m of grant projects being delivered to help SMEs use new technology within their business to increase productivity – with aspirations to deliver £4.5m.
Diane Beresford, Deputy Chief Executive at East Midlands Chamber, said: “It was great to see so much enthusiasm in the room – with a lively question and answer session – and we’re delighted that businesses took so much away from the day. It shows the real appetite that SMEs in this area have to grow and thrive.
“The programme runs a varied and comprehensive project of workshops and seminars across ten digital technology themes – from social media to using virtual reality. We would urge people to take a look at what is on offer and get even more out of this project.”