Get Your Business Superfast

Last Friday, Superfast Lancashire took over Preston North End for an event designed to create exposure and interest in their Business Support Programme. The event – Get Your Business Superfast #GYBSF – was for owners and managers of SME’s in Lancashire to come and sample some of the workshops on offer through the programme. The taster sessions were sandwiched in between fabulous key note speeches from Dr. Nicola Milliard & Chris Boardman MBE.

As part of the Superfast Business Support Programme we deliver a selection of workshops and masterclasses on digital marketing & social media. We also work with BT to give a helping hand with the digital marketing side of Superfast – both of the business itself and of the support packages it offers to local SME’s. So, we were approached not only to deliver a series of bite-size workshops on the day, but to also run the official Twitter account, keeping conversation alive between both attendees and onlookers. In doing so, we implemented the #GYBSF hash-tag, which proved extremely popular both on the day and since.

In the weeks leading up to the event we created numerous twitter lists, grouping together delegates and speakers so we could then engage in conversation with them to build up interest and further promote the event. We also scheduled a selection of tweets informing people outside of these lists about the event, drumming up yet more interest. All the while, we were monitoring the event hash tag and engaging with anyone using it to begin and maintain online chat about Superfast. We also made sure the event was prominent on the Superfast Lancashire LinkedIn page.

Bright and early on Friday morning we left the factory en mass armed with presentations, iPads, Mac’s, more wires than you can shake a stick at and social media checklists galore. Arriving at PNE we made ourselves comfortable in the main room, setting up the Twitter wall we were controlling all day. The wall was a live feed of the #GYBSF has-tag: this not only prompted the use of the label, but also meant any attendees could be kept up to date with that was going on online. Me & Tom then headed off to set up our workshop; with one workshop being repeated four times for all the delegates as they moved around the stadium we were speaking alongside Keith McMean, Orbit Internet, Superfast Lancashire themselves and ICT Northwest.

Throughout the day, Gem & James manned the twitter accounts and live feed in between popping in and out of breakout sessions to extract key points to add into the online discussions and take a few photos (which you can see here). Meanwhile, myself and Tom delivered our workshops, which judging by the feedback we’ve received, went down a treat!

The online conversation on the day was rife, with both delegates and those unable to attend implementing the hash-tag in abundance. In fact, we tweeted so much that we hit twitter limits twice!

As the event drew to a close, Olympic gold medallist Chris Boardman MBE took to the stage to deliver a fantastic key note speech, which being both inspiring and engaging proved to be a real crowd pleaser and a fitting end to a fabulous day.

Overall, the event was a success for 3ManFactory & Superfast Lancashire alike. The event was packed out, with many of the attendees signing up for the programme on the day, and the online activity surrounding #GYBSF being rife. The feedback from our workshops was fantastic – it exceeded our expectations. Since the event, we have continued to man the feed, with activity continuing.

We were asked to deliver workshops. We were asked to maintain online conversation. We delivered.

Article by Nathaniel Cassidy

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