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My 5 Takeaways from the #brightonsummit

My 5 Takeaways from the #brightonsummit

I think anyone who went to the Brighton Summit this year would agree with me that this was a brilliant day. There was so much variety and it was certainly not your average conference or business event. From inspirational speakers and practical workshops to the relaxed networking and the “unknown hour”, the 2017 Brighton Summit, organised by the brilliant Chamber of Commerce team, delivered a fantastic event.

Here are my takeaways from the event, in case they are helpful to anyone who couldn’t make it.

1. Start with your ‘why’

In his morning workshop, ‘All the Feels’, Richard Freeman from Always Possible talked about identifying our ‘Why’ in order to communicate effectively with our customers. I must quote Simon Sinek at least once a month in my training sessions to encourage people to share their beliefs and values on social to engage their audience, but I realised that I don’t share my own ‘Why’ enough: why I started my business in the first place and why I’m so passionate about what I do. I guess sometimes we forget to take our own advice.

This concept was strengthened throughout the day – when keynote speaker Daisy Cresswell, shared her passion for causing positive disruption and told us about her mission to help teenage girls avoid the pitfalls and problems that are affecting more and more youngsters in our digital age. I can’t wait to see this new project unfold in Brighton and hope that I can help Daisy in some way.

And then again with Guy Standing. I didn’t expect an economist talking about the past, present and future of global economic trends, to a) reduce me to tears, or b) to get a standing ovation at a business event. But he was not only a clearly brilliant man, but someone who cares and strongly believes in trying to bring about a better future for the next generation. A fair few of us all seemed to have something in our eye at the end of that talk!

It’s clear that people who share their ‘why’ have a greater impact on us.

2. Make a positive impact on your customer’s journey

Another simple, yet brilliant takeaway from Richard Freeman: when we buy anything (from vegetable deliveries to coffee to accountants!) we buy from people, not brands. Something emotional happens in the buying process; it’s not a brand or logo that resonates with us… it’s the full story.

In this workshop the lovely Davina Sambath explained the critical decisions or ‘Moments of Truth’ on the customer journey and it’s clear that there are always areas for improvements if we direct our thinking toward these moments.

The 5 moments of truth on the customer journey

  • Stimulus: Something happens in the customers life that causes them to start looking for our product or service
  • Research: Pre-decision to buy – when a potential customer is in the research phase
  • Choice: The potential customer is confronted with our product or service and chooses whether to buy
  • Use: The customer uses/experiences the quality of our product/service and decides if it lives up to the perceived promise
  • Feedback: We receive a reaction or feedback in some form from the customer. They may become a brand advocate leading to word of mouth and online recommendations

It was great to study the customer experience in groups and think about all the steps on this journey and where we can make a positive impact.

I’m already excited about the extra things I can do to try and make my customers’ experience as positive as possible!

3. Don’t get stuck (in the restaurant)

Of the afternoon interviews, I opted to listen to Ellie Dobing speak to Andrew Laurillard from Giggling Squid about his story from starting the first restaurant with his wife to scaling up and managing kids along the way.

I was particularly interested having spent 20 years working in the hospitality industry (had a geeky moment of joy listening to his P&L breakdown) but what I took from this was keeping perspective – from market conditions in the UK to global trends, and seeing how your business is positioned within those both now and in the future.

Andrew explained that restaurants of a certain size can struggle because the revenue doesn’t have the potential to be high enough to afford you a manager to run it for you, while you grow the business. I think a lot of us small businesses often get ‘stuck in the restaurant’ and I thought Andrew’s perspective was useful.

4. Play more games

Whilst I didn’t go to the Lego workshop from Gamification+, I was really interested to see so many people flocking to sign up for this workshop in the morning. When supervising the workshop sign ups, I was asked repeatedly “Is that the lego one?”. We’re all kids at heart really…

I heard brilliant feedback about this workshop from a lot of people who said it helped cement their business vision and identify the strategic steps to achieve it.

I was so pleased to meet and chat to Pete and Vasilis from Gamification+ before the end of the conference and it really got me thinking – I include a game in my Social Media Content Workshop and it gets so much positive feedback as it really helps people discover new content opportunities in their business. And so now I’m really keen to learn more about gamification and how I can incorporate this into our work to help our clients. And have more fun!*

*In the spirit of gaming and with the memory of playing lego in the 80s (and after a couple of Bison Beer’s Seaside APAs) I have to admit that on the walk home I ordered a Rubik’s cube from Amazon – not sure this works in a social media training sense… but it’s a start!)

5. Embrace the unknown

This was the whole theme of the summit this year and I have to say that the message was very successfully disseminated – through both the speakers and the activities. We split into groups for a surprise ‘unknown hour’ before lunch and my experience was a tour of a ‘secret’, unknown Brighton, from Kevin Newman.

I’ve lived in Brighton for 21 years and walk past these roads every week without a second glance – always thinking about getting to the office or probably checking Twitter whilst walking. But now I’m keen to learn more about the history of Brighton and more stories like the ones about Nazi bombs skidding along Argyle Street that didn’t wake up the cats and military bases near Preston Circus that were disguised as sweet shops. Fascinating!

And in terms of business? I guess I feel pretty positive going forward into the unknown.


Take a look at some of the tweets from the day.

Although this might be my favourite 😊