North Wales

HOW TO BUILD A BRILLIANT BUSINESS IN NORTH WALES

tourism-3-webWe’ve been looking forward to the 3rd week of November since we gathered in the heat of July to launch the Conwy Business Week .

Instead of just attending the sessions and enjoying all that was on offer – we decided to put ourselves forwards as an associate sponsor.

We sat down with Rob Evans, chief organiser at Conwy Business Centre and mapped out which events would be best to serve our cupcakes, and how we can join in with marketing the event and celebrate the business community in Conwy county.

We got busy with designing an advert for the digital flip book and programme, as well as new flyers for distribution during the week.

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Our first event was the very well attended Destination Conwy Forum. As members of  North Wales Tourism  we welcomed the opportunity to mix with many familiar faces from across the patch. We heard from the Conwy Business and Events team and  Visit Wales, with spotlight talks from the  All Wales Boat Show, the Conwy Tournament, Conwy Heritage, and Surf Snowdonia. What an inspiring afternoon – and the cupcakes went down well too.

The summary is that tourism is growing in Conwy, exponentially and beyond all predictions. We’re excited for the 2017 Year of Legends and with a love of the past and degree in Medieval History, we’ll be dreaming up some creative ways we can incorporate the idea of Legends into our marketing. Watch this space!

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Wednesday was the big all day Youth Employability Conference sponsored by  Federation of Small Business  and  North Wales Economic Ambition Board.  A great opportunity to bring together everyone involved in the Youth Employability agenda both regionally and nationally – and offer them cupcakes!  We were delighted to see a number of young people involved in this debate, sharing the challenge for North Wales’ future workforce and filling their faces with buttercream and sponge.

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The North Wales Big Network on Wednesday evening was a super evening and really worth going along to.

There was a buzz in the room that only the businesses of North Wales can create.

There’s definitely something special in this part of the world. It’s not just the landscape and the lifestyle – we have such a vibrant business community that not only work hard to succeed in their own right, but have such a passion for sharing their best with business colleagues.  We wrote about the North Wales Big Network last week and you can read it HERE

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The last day of any conference is always difficult but the Conwy team organised a Business Showcase which was a fitting and very inspiring end to a great week. We heard from 3 business owners based in Anglesey and Llandudno with varied projects – telling their story, the ups and downs, and their hopes and dreams for the future.

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Who knew that Debbie Richardson, Founder of  Llandudno Bike Hire  has rented out over 800 bikes since she started the business 18 months ago. With Llandudno now placed at #4 on the Trip Advisor best places in the world to visit, it’s easy to see why a gentle cycle around the Great Orme on a very fashionable electric bike is quite the thing to do on holiday.

One thing I loved about these presentations was that they were a 2 way process. It wasn’t just a series of slides to a watching audience – it was almost like a brainstorm, and Debbie certainly went away with her mind boggling with ideas, future plans and offers of support.

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Gavin Mart moved back to Llandudno 5 years ago. Not only is he the hot young thing on the Triathlon circuit, but with his partner has set up the  3rd Space project in the Great Orme Brewery . If you haven’t met Gavin, he is a whirlwind of energy, inspiration and ideas, whilst being the most laid back chap on the planet!

3rd Space offers a great product around live music, comedy nights, pop up restaurant using local produce, community space, cinema club and most recently the Brewery Cafe and Bike Repair Shop.

I first met Frankie Hobo at a Network She Ladies Lunch earlier in the summer where she spoke briefly about her work at  Anglesey Sea Zoo, but I was delighted to hear her full story as the 3rd business showcase. And what a story. Frankie’s background in marine conservation is quite awesome. Before she bought the Sea Zoo she spent her life travelling around exotic islands working with endangered species, setting up projects to ensure their survival and improve their habitat. She has settled very happily in Brynsiencyn running the Sea Zoo as a Marine Resource Centre for 10 years now and has gained national acclaim for her work with rare and struggling species of sealife. Frankie is a total inspiration and if you haven’t visited the Sea Zoo for a while, it’s time to head over there and find out what she ‘s up to.

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I’d been looking forward to hearing Ashley Rogers since his North Wales Business Conference in September which I had to miss due to a cake deadline. It was a real eyeopener to hear about the work of the North Wales Business Council which he chairs, and the  North Wales Economic Ambition Board.  I couldn’t possibly recount Ashley’s big message, or even his key points, except to say that I am encouraged, inspired and buoyed up by the incredible work that is being done on behalf of North Wales.  The Growth Track 360 document is available online and I will reading it between cakes very soon.

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As a micro business working in the beautiful county of Conwy, I am always pleased for the chance to hear the big picture but I will leave the final thoughts to  Jane Richardson, Conwy’s recently appointed Strategic Director for Economy and Place. Jane has been a big supporter of the Business Week, exuding her enthusiasm and passion for the county of Conwy being ‘perfectly placed’ for business. And she’s quite keen on cupcakes too!

I wrote down her final words at the closing session of the last day because I think she totally nailed it.

Jane summed up well the sense amongst the business community of growing confidence, of an increased outward looking perspective and a real sense that we are starting to think differently.

Individual business are building on a strong foundation, they are thinking bigger than ever and it’s a really exciting time to be in Conwy.

I am proud to be a North Walian, a Conwy resident and one of the 6,500 small businesses that make this county such a great place to live and work.

Thanks Conwy Business Week for having us. We’re glad you enjoyed our cupcakes – and we hope to back next year for an even bigger and stronger conference with good news and great economic progress to report.

That’s all for now

Judith

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