We at South East Business enjoyed a fantastic day at the newly relaunched Kent Vision Live at Kent Showground, meeting lots of new faces, catching up with old friends and hearing about a wealth of diverse topics from expert speakers.
I thought this event’s programme of lectures and workshops was particularly strong, with speakers offering invaluable practical advice and some intriguing views on what the future holds for SMEs, in particular. If there was one message that rang out loud and clear across all platforms, regardless of industry or size, it was this - digital is here, digital is now and digital is the future.
As the day went on and talk after talk expanded on the vital importance of digital in all its forms - from email marketing to social media - it became clear that those businesses who ignore the online world must be doomed to failure. Although most events throughout the day were popular, the fact that workshops on social media were the most packed-out was telling. People could be seen frantically scribbling notes as Zoe Cairns of ZC Social Media shed light on the mysteries of LinkedIn, Merinda Peppard gave focused tips on how to work Hootsuite to our advantage and Mark Palmer revealed how Pret a Manger had managed to build an international brand based on personality and customer experience.
Discussing the press rumours that marketing directors were poised to dominate the IT spend of most companies in the very near future, a panel of marketeers and IT experts decided that they didn’t agree with that prediction. However, the general consensus was that computer and marketing departments will - and must - become inextricably linked if any company is to survive and thrive in the digital age.