Highlights from the big event
Some of the biggest names in business including Microsoft, LinkedIn, Hallmark, Saatchi & Saatchi and Sage all pitched their tents at the London Olympia today.
And where the big boys go, the start-ups and SMEs follow. During the two-day show over 500 exhibitors, 300 seminars and dozens of workshops will be held at the 19,325 meter square London Olympia.
LondonlovesBusiness.com was there to give you the highlights so far.
1) Angels to LLB, “You need to be in print!”
Sponsord by LondonlovesBusiness.com, teams of Angels Den investors are at the show (until today!) hearing some of your wonderful and not-so wonderful ideas.
To add to the pressure, wannabe businesses are not only pitching to them, but to hoards of onlookers passing through the central stage.
Russell Copley, a regional Angels Den manager and managing director of Greenborough, a network of business incubators across the Midlands, thinks the hustle and bustle is good for aspiring entrepreneurs.
“Some people watching out here are thinking of doing a presentation at some point themselves and they’re interested in the interaction and want to get a feel of what its like,” he says.
Copley also dispenses advice to aspiring businesses.
So what words of wisdom has he got for LLB? “You need to be in print! Smartphones have their place, but they are for easy reading, for lightweight stuff. If you want serious business, you still need it in print. You need it there in front of you so you can take notes.”
2) Social media is more important than ever
Not to quarrel with an Angel, but the business show this year was a social media and online marketing frenzy. Both were out in force and the social media stands and speakers were inundated with people desperate to find out how to adapt their businesses to the online age and how to stay competitive.
You may have finally joined Twitter, but now there is always something new round the corner and something more that can be done.
3) Top Deadly Marketing Sins to Avoid, according to Samira Khan
Former apprentice star Samira Khan, is a keynote speaker at the show. As now a non-executive director at marketing firm Posh Group, as well as a regular ITV/BBC presenter, she thinks she has figured out 7 things to never do when marketing online.
It is not enough to have a nice website.
“Don’t focus on your design too much. You need to be interested in results so always look at your conversion rate,” Khan told audiences at the show.
“Internet marketing can get results, you don’t need to be a big multinational if you get it right.”
But you need to get the importance of traffic. If you have a £20,000 budget, spend £5,000 on the website and £15,000 on marketing.
Failing to get people to come back to your site
Email marketing one of the most under utilized tools ever. Email your database. Sending an email to everyone in your database got a Push client £10,000 in sales.
Not having a mobile strategy
“Get mobile site now!” screams Khan. “25% of people use smartphones and tablets to get onto a site. If you’re not doing this, you’re losing customers.”
Mobiles can be even more effective for conversion too and £500 to get your site mobile it is a great long-term investment, Khan explains.
Not having a social media strategy
“Social media marketing is in its infancy, it will keep growing,” Khan said. Advertise on Facebook. Get your brands noticed. This is extremely important for small businesses and will only get more so, she explains.
Not keeping ahead on new marketing tools!
The world is changing. You better keep up with it.
4) LinkedIn is now an essential business tool.
With that in mind, in case your business has not taken advantage of LinkedIn yet, it should probably start doing so. The business social networking site is growing and avoiding all the turbulence of its better-known rival Facebook.
It now has 10 million users in the UK, that is about one in six people across the country, connected to 187million members worldwide. It is offers a cheap and convenient way of starting, growing and marketing your business online. It is also one of the few western social media sites to not be blocked in China.
“LinkedIn can provide solutions on the hiring side, on the marketing side and in particular the sales side,” Frank Hattann, head of LinkedIn EMEA sales solutions told LondonlovesBusiness.com
“It is ideal for SMEs. We help you hire, we help you with your marketing to get to your target audience. They tell us what field they’re working in. What experience they have there and even their geographic location.
“You can combine your network of your overall team. If you combine your mutual connections your reach is so much bigger and you will see if someone will be able to introduce you. How much better is a warm – than a cold introduction?” he adds.
In total there are nearly 500 exhibitors, 300+ seminars, dozens of workshops and several networking areas and features. The speaker line-up ranges from leading entrepreneurs like James Caan, to industry experts such as Andrzej Moyseowicz (Saatchi & Saatchi), and award winning businesses; Naked Wines, Hailo…as well as Bill Morrow, CEO and Founder of Angels Den.