The Digital Summit

What a day we had at the 2016 Summit with amazing presentations, exhibition stands & expert advice on offer to more than 100 inquisitive businesses.

The 2016 summit

What a day we had at the 2016 Summit with amazing presentations, exhibition stands & expert advice on offer to more than 100 inquisitive businesses.

For the second year running the Buckinghamshire Digital Summit inspired, educated and enthused delegates and exhibitors to do more online and make the most of the tools and training available to help them grow, be more efficient and remain relevant and competitive in today's digital age.



With talks from Microsoft, Bosch, Clockwork City, The Snaffling Pig Co., Google, Hootsuite and TEEG Digital, businesses picked up top tips and met dozens of digital businesses who lined the foyer of the Waterside Theatre with their stands to network and, in one case, hand out delicious liquid nitrogen ice cream! Even an impromptu fire drill didn't put people off, it merely created a mass networking group outside the entrance of the theatre!

If you weren't able to make the event or need a refresher, take a look at the photosvideo and social media from the event and check out the highlights below.

Conference Speakers

Lee Frater, Head of Strategic Influencer Partnerships, Microsoft

The highlights of Lee’s talk on the future of business via digital transformation included:

  • More access to data thanks to smarter, faster technologies, means that businesses can better understand their customers, competitors and themselves
  • Digital skills need to be top down, not bottom up – managers and executives need to be tech savvy too
  • How to ensure businesses are taking advantage of the proliferation of technology rather than shying away from it
  • Getting businesses to think about the one thing they could do that would make a significant difference to their business, whether that’s a new product, a new employee or A.N Other
  • Utilising virtual assistants and chat-bots to streamline work processes
  • The fact that 86% of CEOs consider digital their number one priority

Eman Martin-Vignerte, Director, Bosch

Eman spoke about smart cities, the internet of things and the digital economy and provided the following insights:

  • New technologies are disrupting business models across all sectors, not just digital and if companies aren't already harnessing the opportunities, they should be
  • Smart cities are the future and can benefit businesses, especially with smart parking measures that allow more people to shop in town and city centres, boosting small businesses
  • No one company can offer the whole solution so there needs to be cooperation
  • Younger generations are less concerned with ownership and more with sharing and connectivity
  • Bosch is using new techologies to help make their partners more efficient.  For example, an estimated 40% of construction equipment goes missing, so Bosch has been working on security measures that help firms track stolen equipment and stop it being used by thieves through the use of low cost security tags.

View Eman's presentation here >

Guy Douglas, Partnerships Director, Clockwork City

On the topic of ‘Bridging the digital high street divide’, Guy spoke of:

  • The Digital High Street 2020 Report which details how future-proofing high streets using digital technology can generate billions of pounds of additional revenue
  • Small business’s lack of online presence and how purely physical businesses are going to increasingly struggle in a digital world
  • Digital business skills and the need for training, mentoring and one-to-one support
  • Raising the confidence of SMEs to use digital and learning about customer habits in order to reach as many people as possible

View Guy's presentation here >

Andy Allen, Co-Founder, The Snaffling Pig Co.

Andy came armed with memes to explain to those in attendance how they could build their business online. He had five key lessons to impart:

  • Know your place: know your routes to market and target customers and employ social media to engage with them and share content
  • Do the basics, brilliantly: search for your business online to see where you rank. SEO and Google analytics can help boost your ranking
  • The devil is in the detail: Andy used the example of The Snaffling Pig Co. sending automated email to customers who added an item to their basket but didn't purchase, by way of trying to get them back
  • Your best friends can be your biggest enemies: beware that if you sell through other sites they can take a cut off the profit and you will be competing with them for advertising space
  • Social never sleeps, but you have to: set out of hours messages to ensure customers don’t think you are ignoring them

View Andy's presentation here >

Abbey Oladapo, Lead Trainer, Digital Garage from Google

The highlights of Abbey’s engaging speech include:

  • Use the Digital Garage from Google to teach yourself digital skills and achieve accreditation through the online service
  • Small businesses with a strong web presence grow twice as fast, create more jobs and are more likely to sell outside their immediate region than those who don’t
  • In 2014 digital overtook TV as the primary source of media consumption
  • The UK is the number one market in the world for online buying
  • Use Google my Business to promote yourself and make sure the information on there is correct
  • Identify the goals of your website, ensure it’s mobile friendly website and utilise blogs, review sites, marketplaces like eBay and Etsy, social media and Google Analytics to make the most of it

View Abbey's presentation here >

Carly Ward, CEO & Co-Founder, TEEG Digital and Elizabeth Knights-Ward, Manager of Community & Social Marketing, Hootsuite

Carly and Elizabeth conducted an informal Q&A that explored the ways that businesses can get the most of out social media. In highlights:

  • Social media provides you with feedback you may not want to hear but that you need to hear – it’s your honest friend in the back pocket
  • Get the basics right first, then you can sell on social media, get ahead of your competitors and set yourself apart as an industry leader. Remember: small businesses can be thought leaders
  • Social media can be a mouthpiece and a listening device
  • If businesses don’t have the time for social media, they should make the time
  • Understand what platforms your customers are using
  • Use hashtags on Twitter - get conversations started
  • Be careful of what you tweet. Sage advice: don't tweet anything that you wouldn’t be happy having printed on the front page of a newspaper with your name on it

Breakout sessions hone in on even more topics!

After the talks there followed a series of informative sessions with experts on the following topics:

  • Cybercrime (Det. Sgt Chris Greatorex, SE Organised Crime Unit)
  • Disaster recovery (Ben Jenkins, Datto)
  • Making the most of a digital presence (Joe Cooksey, Barclays Digital Eagle)
  • Building a marketing engine for your business (Chris Bantock, BeSeen Marketing)
  • Google AdWords (Tomas Pukalski & Catherine Davis, Framework Digital)
  • Digital tools and apps (Marianne Whitfield, Cobweb Information Ltd)
  • Protecting your intellectual property (David Hopkins, Intellectual Property Office)
  • E-commerce for international trade (Teri Carnegie, Department for International Trade)
  • International website optimisation (Notburga Preining, LinguaPRO Languages & Communications)

Check out the media from the day:

View photos >

View video snippet >

View Twitter feed >

We thank all of our speakers, exhibitors, sponsors and guests for making the 2016 Buckinghamshire Digital Summit a runaway success. Here’s to next year!