As a small business, it’s always great to get to connect with other small businesses and share our experience. And that’s exactly what we did – attending Theo Paphitis #SBS events! And it was an incredible experience to say the least!
As a #SBS winner from 2018, our founder, Sophie, was given an opportunity as one of the breakout presenters last year to share her knowledge and tips on ‘how to grow your business with data’, alongside big names, such as DHL, SumUp, Robert Dyas and Western Union. We felt honoured to be able to share our story and knowledge to an audience of like-minded entrepreneurs who are shaping the future of small businesses across the UK.
We gained so much from the event and met lots of amazing people. The best part of the day was listening to Theo Paphitis and his guest retail tycoon Touker Suleyman’s fireside chat. We learnt not only their valuable business stories, insights and advice, but also about the strong and positive mindset that is required to grow a business.
We left the event buzzing with ideas and inspiration, and we can’t wait for the next one. Our #sbsevent 2023 is exactly a week away, and we’ve been seeing many new winners coming onboard in the last 12 months to the #sbs community. We look forward to meeting them, making connections, and growing together!
It’s hard to describe the excitement and nerves which are the pre-cursors to actually attending the event. Simply put, it’s a day like no other and we put pressure on ourselves to make sure we made the most of it.
With that in mind, the first thing to say about the event is: relax. Everyone, from the volunteers at sponsors stands DHL, Square, iLaw, Western Union, Ryman Stationery, Robert Dyas, Autumn Fair stands; through to all the other winning companies are welcoming and open. The buzz and the atmosphere in the hall is incredible. Once we’d had several cups of tea and soaked in the atmosphere, the day flew by.
Secondly, and most importantly, take a pen, an open mind and a desire to listen. Theo had put together a series of plenary sessions which offered the most practical advice, support and inspiration small businesses could ever hope to access.
Our top tips for attending are:
- Check all your luggage and coats in at the cloakroom, you’re going to be doing a lot of hand-shaking and holding of coffee cups
- Take a bigger bag than you think you’re likely to need to carry all the information you gain at the event
- Make sure you have plenty of business cards and small marketing information you can share with those you meet
- Take a battery pack for your phone! There are an inordinate number of opportunities for photos, social media posting, connecting on LinkedIn and every other aspect of work that you use a phone for.
- Book as much as you can in advance – meet the experts provided advice and help small business can’t always access and the workshops were of incredibly high quality, offering insightful advice that we can immediately put into practice.
- Network before the event to make sure you can meet as many people as possible, we took part in the Surrey winner’s group photo and met some fantastic people
- Get there early to make the most of all that is on offer. Inevitably there were queues for the free headshots and videos for your social media exposure. (you’ll need your social media login details at hand for this)
- As two people per company can go to the free advisors, it’s worth splitting up so you can get as much advice as you possibly can.
- Go in comfortable shoes. This can’t be stressed enough; you’ll be on your feet for a large portion of the day.
- Lastly, the queue for getting your photo with Theo is one of the most fun queues you’ll ever stand in! Talk to all the other winners around you, everyone is as excited as you are.
Enjoy your day, it’s going to be epic!