For one, there was a fantastic turnout which is credit to the great promotion by Distinct Darlington and Darlington Borough Council.
Secondly, and perhaps most surprisingly, we felt the overall attitude of most attendees was positive!
The event flowed smoothly thanks to Ian Taylor who deserves a lot of credit for the event’s organisation and there were some inspirational presentations from Mike Airey and Richard Shepherd (once he found his slides!).
Of course, there were the usual moans about parking and general council-aimed anguish during the Q&A session, but some well-rounded comments and opinions from the panel managed to calm things down.
Digital Economy workshop
It was then onto the workshop sessions. Harvey & Hugo chose to attend the digital session facilitated by Mike Overfield and Niel Bushnell as we felt we would have the most to contribute to this.
Conversation initially revolved around strengthening Wifi connectivity, improving mobile networks and upgrading to 4G before coming on to social media.
It was agreed that the town, particularly some of the retailers needs to improve its social media skills. Distinct Darlington has put on several free social media workshops to try and combat this, but there has been poor attendance so far.
This was put down to the fact that:
Another problem with offering generic workshops is that social media is bespoke to each business. You can offer the basics, but for businesses to really feel the benefit, a strategy should be developed.
It was suggested that perhaps an alternative to workshops would be to call in and offer free consultancy to businesses in Darlington Town Centre. We agree with this, having already suggested a mobile social media consultancy service to Distinct Darlington.
Harvey & Hugo are going to continue talks with Distinct Darlington and Niel Bushnell from Digital City to see how we can offer a solution to the lack of social media education in the town.
It was also agreed that an App for Darlington Town Centre was needed. It was stated by the group that the app should not just be created for the sake of having an app, it would have to be useful to directly benefit the businesses within the town. Distinct Darlington are currently working on this.
The ‘then and now’ of Social Media: http://www.harveyandhugo.com/the-then-and-now-of-social-media/
Are you doing the LinkedIn basics? http://www.harveyandhugo.com/are-you-doing-the-linkedin-basics/
Google+, the basics: http://www.harveyandhugo.com/google-the-basics/