Business Hive Live report – over 300 Northern Lincolnshire companies in attendance
Organised by The Business Hive and now into its 6th year, this year’s Business Hive Live event cemented its position on the ‘top 10 events to attend in a year’ list for all business people within the region.
A one of a kind, full day networking event where the focus is solely on local companies and the local economy – and as this year’s bustlingly active event proved, there’s a lot for businesses in the region to be proud of. The whole event was a celebration of our unique and varied region, and anyone in any doubt that the regions economy was anything other than thriving would surely have had no such qualms after a day spent hearing success stories from all quarters.
A massive event needs a massive venue, and it had just that in the impressive Forest Pines Hotel. In fact, such was the size of the event that Hive Live took over the whole conference centre – a great decision that proved to enhance the success of the day. From the moment you walked into the busy networking /exhibition stand area, you knew you were in a truly unique event.
Exhibition stands from the likes of Business Lincolnshire, Wilkin Chapman LLC and the LCS Group – to name just a few of the 40 businesses who had stands there – made the perfect backdrop to the informal networking hour at the start of the day. Participants were encouraged to talk to all the stallholders by means of an ingenious ‘raffle ticket’ idea: – collect a ticket from each stall where you spoke to the stallholder, and be entered into a seriously impressive prize draw at the end of the day…so the more talking you did, the better your chances of success were! As a means of encouraging communication among members, this great idea certainly raised the noise levels in the hall and ensured no-one was left out of the grand occasion.
E-Factor Group Managing Director Mark Webb said: ‘It was absolutely great to see so many business owners and managers communicating with each other. This region thrives on entrepreneurship, and if we can encourage and facilitate a greater degree of that by events such as this then as far as we’re concerned, that’s a good job well done.’
From the downstairs open networking / exhibition area, guests were ushered through to the upper floor conference facility which had been turned into an excellent stage / lecture hall environment, complete with some fantastic guest speakers for the day.
First up with a truly inspirational story about overcoming setbacks and never allowing your dreams to be compromised was Alexis Powell-Howard, who – as to be expected from a TEDx speaker – was genuinely commented upon by the audience afterwards to be one of the most engaging people to ever address a local business audience.
Alexis’ excellent presentation was followed by a brilliant talk about local entrepreneurship and the vital nature of entrepreneurs and their business ideas to the local and regional economy by the effervescent Mark Webb. Mark’s inspirational speech, guaranteed to make all small local business owners feel rightfully proud of their place in the region, was intercut by a brilliant video presentation that highlighted some wonderful business success stories for this often-overlooked part of the region.
Later in the day, the keynote speaker for the event – Dave Coplin, founder of the Envisioners and formerly of Microsoft and Apple – set an incredibly high standard for other speakers to follow in the future. An engaging presentation filled with audio visual prompts, audience participation and visual gags via some brilliant ‘fake statistics’, the charismatic speaker enjoyed the attention of the audience as much as the rapt audience enjoyed his fluent and knowledgeable delivery.
The keynote speaker was then joined on stage by two local representatives from cutting edge digital technology firms – Alana Benson of DigitalOx Limited of Scunthorpe, specialising in Online Reputation Management and Google profile awareness; and Stuart Green of The Armour Group, specialising in Cyber Security and thinking of – and defending against – the worst and most sinister attacks a company can come under. The panel of experts fielded questions from attendees for a very informative hour, before everyone adjourned to one last walk around the exhibition stands and the drawing of the extremely generous raffle prizes!
Reflecting overall on the success of the day’s event, Jo Taylor, Business Hive Manager, said: ‘It’s been amazing to see so many businesses represented here, to hear some truly inspirational stories and to learn from experts in their field where the next digital challenges and opportunities may lie for businesses. We couldn’t be happier with how it’s gone, and we can’t thank our team enough for all their hard work. Of course, it goes without saying that all the speakers, panelists, exhibitors and attendees get a massive thanks too, as without them we wouldn’t be able to create the largest business Expo and Conference to ever hit Northern Lincolnshire!’
Next year’s event will have to go some way to top this – and within the offices of the Business Hive they are of course already making plans for just that!