Kent Creative Awards 2018

Kent Creative Awards 2018 will celebrate organisations and individuals who have made a worthwhile contribution to the artistic and cultural life of Kent during the year 2017.

Awards are great to promote your work, to get recognition, to boost your confidence, and to get work.

The focus in these Awards is not necessarily on the business side of your practice or organisation (It is for the Creative Business category though…). It is not about how much money you earn from it. It is about the artistic quality of your work; how you inspire others; your impact on the community; how much work you produce; how often you show it; what feedback you receive from your audience; your plans for the future; etc…it is about your journey.

Enter the Kent Creative Awards and tell us what you have done in your practice/organisation during the year 2017…

  1. Read the Submission Guidelines
  2. Read our blog Knowing these 14 tips will make your entry to Awards look great for tips for submission
  3. The submission is made in 2 stages.
    – First, complete the contact form to provide your details.
    – You will then receive an email with a link to a short online entry form where you can tell us about your work. The form includes information we need from you to understand what you are making this application for.
  4. The deadline for entering is Friday 9th February 2018 (midday).

Click here to find out more

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Herne Bay Produce and Craft Market

An exciting shopping experience in Herne Bay on the second Sunday of every month!

Come and meet a host of traders, local and guest producers. There truly is something for everyone, shoppers can pick up a diverse selection of authentic products, watch chefs create delicious dishes and chat with the producers directly. The market will have different seasonal themes throughout the year!

Free on-street parking is available on a Sunday, apart from Central Parade and areas marked with double yellow lines. Here is more information about the Stagecoach Triangle if you are planning to get to the market by bus:

You will find the market at Wimereux Square, William Street, Herne Bay, CT6 5NX.

Find out more, including a list of stalls, on the Buy in the Bay Website.

3 day training courses offered by Ixion

Funded by the Local Enterprise Partnership, and in collaboration with The Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce. Ixion are offering a range of FREE 3 day courses at a venue near you.

These are available to any organisation with less than 250 employees for FREE. Any employee without a degree is eligible and will have the opportunity to achieve a training accreditation with Edexcel.

All courses run for three days – for each course Ixion will provide qualified trainers, refreshments and lunch together with the expertise and insights required to train your employees.

There are 3 different courses taking place in Canterbury, these courses are:

  • Short Course in Social Media for Business (Units at Level 3)
  • Short Course in Customer Service (Units are at Level 3)
  • Short Course in Leadership & Management (Units at Level 3)

Places are strictly limited to avoid disappointment, book now!



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Canterbury City Council is delighted to bring you Expo 17

Canterbury City Council is delighted to bring you Expo 17, Herne Bay’s biggest business and community exhibition. Come along to the King’s Hall, right on the seafront, to find out what’s happening in the local area.

This popular event is celebrating its 10th year! Join more than 60 exhibitors as we bring together local businesses and community groups for an afternoon of networking, sharing ideas, promotion and updating on major projects, including our business support initiative ‘Buy in the Bay’.

  • Meet businesses with great products and services and knowledge to share
  • Expand your network with like-minded business experts
  • Find out more about ‘Buy in the Bay’ and how the council can help your business
  • Meet community groups and see how you can get involved in town life
  • Find out about local events including the air show, sci-fi and festivals

Expo 17 is free to attend. Come and celebrate our 10th birthday and make it our biggest event yet.

Free refreshments at the networking cafe for the first 100 people to visit.

Visit for more details and remember to use #HBExpo17

Register now!

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Expo 17 – Expo is back!

Expo is back with Expo 17! One of the largest business and community exhibitions in Herne Bay takes place on Wednesday 3 May 2017 between 11am and 4pm at the impressive King’s Hall, right on the seafront.

Building on the success of last year’s event that hosted 65 exhibitors, over 600 visitors are expected to attend this year.

Join us at King’s Hall to showcase your business, take advantage of networking opportunities and see what else the district has to offer you.

You’ll also be able to find out how our Buy in the Bay shop local campaign is supporting local businesses.

Watch the video below to get a taste of last year’s event. Stay tuned for more updates on Expo 17.

Book your stand

To book your Expo stand at a cost of £50, please email or call 01227 862 262.

Kent Vision Live 2017

Make your business even better in May…

Now in its twelfth successful year, Kent Vision LIVE 2017 in May is the South East’s premier B2B exhibition and the largest event of its kind in the UK: with over 3,000 unique buyers, suppliers and partners coming together for the year’s most important business gathering.

Click here to view highlights of the May 2016 show.

Over the past decade, Kent Vision LIVE has grown and evolved to become an unmissable fixture in the Kent business calendar, creating an annual opportunity for senior decision-makers to gather fresh inspiration, new ideas and practical advice on almost every aspect of managing and growing a successful business.

Click here to view the programme from our previous event in May 2016.

Businesses that actively seek out new connections and new opportunities – with other businesses, emerging technologies, new markets and new partners – will always stay ahead of their competition, so make sure you have the date in next year’s diary for Kent Vision LIVE on Wednesday 10th May 2017.

Click here to find out more about booking an exhibition stand or event sponsorship.

Acclaimed business journalist and broadcaster Robert Peston confirmed as opening keynote for 10th May 2017. Click here for more details.

Entry is free when you register online!

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The Canterbury Business Awards

Do you have what it takes to win?

Does your organisation have great customer service? Have you created an outstanding innovation? Are you a great employer or a successful entrepreneur? Whatever your business strengths, you need to shout about them to make sure YOU are chosen over your competitors.

Why should I enter?

  • The recognition of being great at what you do
  • Free marketing – just being shortlisted promotes your business to new customers
  • Good for staff moral makes your people proud to work with you
  • More customers will want to work and stay with you
  • Increases credibility – a win gives a seal of approval to your business

List of Awards:

Start up – Recognising a new start-up that has shown a clear path to success

Small Business – Are you a standout small business that has achieved constant growth?

Creative/Digital – Can you show evidence of expertise in digital, creative or media technologies?

Customer Service – Can your business show that you offer high quality customer service?

Entrepreneur – Are you known for your entrepreneurial flair?

Innovation – Have you brought new ideas to life, whether than idea is big or small

Hospitality – Can your business demonstrate outstanding performance and success?

(A maximum of three awards can be entered)

What do I do next?

Click on the gold button below to get your Canterbury Business Awards application form, which is easy to complete and return to us.

Make sure you send your completed form no later than the 24 February.

Entries will be considered by an impartial team of judges including the IoD and the FSB who will shortlist three from each category.

The three shortlisted will be announced on 6 March and visited by the judges.

The Gala Awards Night Dinner will be held at The Spitfire Ground St Lawrence, Canterbury on 22 March.

PLEASE NOTE You must be registered in the Canterbury City Council District area which includes Whitstable, Herne Bay and the surrounding areas.

Quick and easy to apply

Entry is simple, quick and free just click here to express your interest and an application form will be sent to you within the next few days.

If you require any further information about The Canterbury Business Awards call 01732 758530, email or visit

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GIANT Campus – Digital Marketing Training In Kent

There is a saying in education that goes; “those that can’t – teach.’ Not here at GIANT Campus! no way Jose!! If you’re going to learn digital from someone, it really should be someone who can. And yes, as you asked, we can!

You will love our digital marketing and social media training courses in Kent. Designed specifically to make you and your business GIANT. One of the ambitions here at GIANT Campus, is to make digital marketing training that is accessible for all, to bridge the gaps in digital marketing ability, meaning no matter the size of your business you can use the power of the internet to your advantage.

Digital marketing is no longer just for the big boys that can afford to use fancy agencies. If your business is online or has ambitions to be, then understanding the principles of marketing online can be a great way to maximise your marketing budget. Click below to take a look at some of our great digital training courses:

Visit GIANT Campus

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Reviewing an unconventional Unconference!

Like all events, you plan, you invite, people register – but as this is an Unconference what are you planning, who are you inviting, and the people who are registering are asking what’s in store, and until the day of the event, the organisers are not entirely sure….

We could easily fill a page just with feedback and quotes with regards to the day, so maybe we should, after all it was an Unconference, so let’s use the feedback given and also recap on an excellent day.

We started the day with 2 speakers, telling very different stories, Steve Ottewill, a successful silversmith, told us about his business journey over the last 20 + years, followed by Sherry Newton, a new business telling her start-up story, they have both commented below;

‘I was pleased to be a guest speaker at this year’s unconference and share my business experiences with those just starting out and other established business owners. Running your own business is tough and needs great commitment, but it’s also important to remember that we can always learn something new to help it develop’. Steve Ottewill

‘What a fantastic day at the Unconference. Such a great atmosphere, laid-back but fun, relaxed but engaging, I was honoured to be asked to speak and received such a warm and encouraging response’ – Sherry Newton – Little Pep

Following these two presentations there were 3 workshops available for which you could choose to attend 2 – these covered topics that the audience had requested, namely marketing, innovation and communication.

Over lunch there was an opportunity to deliver a 2 minute pitch about your business – there were so many people who had put their name in the hat, it was a shame we could only do 10, but these were great fun, a great experience for those who don’t usually get the opportunity to pitch to a crowded room and really interesting to hear some fantastic innovative business stories – a favourite quote that sums this part of the day up has to be;

‘I also really enjoyed the 2 minute lunchtime pitches, was almost like business karaoke’!

The afternoon was a repeat of the morning with Toby Roy from Catch IT taking to the stage telling for the first time his own business story to the audience and it was great both to hear it and to see how well it was received.

Toby had said before the event that he was ‘flattered’ to have been asked and we were delighted he accepted, and once again the feedback within the room and the applause were great, with one attendee even commenting what a shame it was we didn’t have time for more of these speakers (noted for next year!)

There were 3 more workshops in the afternoon, as requested looking at R&D, social media and ad-words as requested, before we closed for the day and made presentations.

So to sum up the day, we will leave that to the attendees and a few more quotes from them;

Unconference was fantastic, the timing really was perfect as I feel I got to know a bit of the local community and I’m really looking forward to finding more Kent companies to work with – Mark Little, Proteus

‘I was a bit cynical when I arrived, but I have had a fantastic day, the speakers, the workshops and the networking have been excellent’ – Linda Garcia

‘I genuinely delayed my holiday, as I wanted to come again, after such an excellent time last year, this year was certainly worth attending – thanks for the invite’ – Chris Pollard

So ‘save the day’ for next year, but remember it is an Unconference and therefore one thing that will be guaranteed is that it will be different again, and we are already looking forward to it.

So on behalf of Start my Biz, Grow my Biz, RIFT Accounting and Business Bunker, we would like to say a huge thanks to everyone who got involved and once again made our annual Unconference an unconventional success!


UNconference 2016 – Are You Ready for Your Elevator Pitch?

Delegates at this year’s Kent UNconference (17 November, Canterbury Cathedral Lodge) are being invited to deliver a 2 minute elevator pitch to promote their business to all the potential clients, partners and investors at the event.

So, what is an elevator pitch and how can you make sure that you deliver one that is informative, memorable and effective?

The idea of an elevator pitch is to present the concept of your business, the customer problems you solve, your passion and your unique selling point in the time it takes to travel between floors in an elevator. In reality, you’ll usually have somewhere between 1 and 2 minutes to wow your audience.

Here are 5 top tips to making sure that your elevator pitch at this year’s UNconference, and every one you deliver in the future, is remembered for all the right reasons…

  • Don’t Rush; speak slowly. Yes, you only have 1-2 minutes tops, but if you rush you won’t get your ideas across to your audience clearly and, if they can’t keep up, you’ll lose their attention. When preparing, write several versions of your pitch, paring down the words to make every one count. Be succinct not speedy.
  • Start with a question that you know your audience can identify with and answer yes to. If your company carries out quality assurance and testing on mobile apps, then start by asking “Have you ever got frustrated when you’re using a mobile app and it freezes or the new features don’t work properly?” Wait for them to reply “yes” (because who hasn’t experienced this?!) and then say “well, my company carries out hundreds of special technical and usability tests to make sure that you won’t have those issues anymore…”
  • Introduce yourself and your company. This may sound obvious but so many people forget to clearly give their name and their company name. You should also end by repeating your name and your company name and your web address, so people are reminded who they’ve been listening to and have a clear call to action to find out more.
  • Don’t use jargon and technical industry terminology and steer clear of clichéd buzz words. You want your audience to understand exactly what you do in a very short space of time. Chances are the vast majority of them don’t work in the same industry as you. If you use technical language they don’t understand, they will stop listening instantly and you’ll lose them for the remainder of your pitch. Clichés like “outside the box” are also a major turn off as they are impersonal and lack thought and passion. Be yourself, use the language you would use in normal conversation and your passion and integrity will come through.
  • End with a Call to Action to take things further. Remember the pitch is not the end goal: it is a way of opening the door to working together in the future. When you have conveyed your business concept and described the benefits for your listeners, invite them to ask questions, or to book a meeting at your offices or a demonstration at theirs, or give them a leaflet with a special offer or your business card. The elevator pitch is a means to an end, an introduction to your company that showcases you as an entrepreneur and your business as a viable and desirable option. If you follow this simple advice and deliver a really clear, impressive pitch, who knows, you could be leaving the UNconference with a brand new client base, a new business partner or even a new investor to help you take your business to the next level.

If you want to find out more about how you and your business will benefit from the Kent UNconference 2016, follow this link.

Also come and join in the conversation on Twitter with @StartMy_Biz and @GrowMy_Biz.