We have been increasingly delivering free business support webinars through a range of digital channels in response to Covid-19. In May 2020, we formed a working group with North Yorkshire County Council and Make It York to roll out a pilot programme of free webinars.
Through the group, a range of topics were identified based on issues arising from pandemic, as well as demand in other areas such as leadership and social media marketing. From this, a schedule of events were planned over a five-month period to gauge response and demand for such support. From the 18 business support webinars that ran, we achieved over 500 attendees, with further people accessing the recordings via our website post-event.
Such was the success of the scheme, extra funding was allocated to deliver an additional 50 business support webinars and workshops between November 2020 and March 2021. For this, we reached out to a wider network of industry experts from across the region to deliver session covering: the visitor economy; marketing and PR; leadership; employment law; Brexit; wellbeing; and business development.
Speaking of the decision to extend the webinar programme following the successful pilot scheme, Andrew Raby, Growth Hub Manager says:
“We were delighted to be able to extend our programme of free online support for SMEs across the York and North Yorkshire region. The success of our pilot scheme which ran throughout the summer indicated that there was a real appetite for this kind of online support for businesses and individuals who are looking to pivot their business, particularly through digital channels, as well as developing and learning new skills to help them survive and thrive in this economically challenging environment.”
The full programme including the pilot achieved over 1,500 attendees and events have consistently received outstanding feedback. Malton-based nutrition and health coach, Mandy Hildred, attended the three-part workshop on creating a joined-up marketing plan delivered by Intandem Communications. “The course was particularly helpful in getting my new business off the ground”, she remarks. “It has enabled me to feel confident in my approach and build a clear marketing plan.
Using this has helped me to stay on track with my day-to-day activities, which in turn is yielding new clients. The whole marketing process was articulated with such clarity and I would recommend this workshop to anyone, whether they are just starting out or have been in business for some time.”
A new programme of webinars for 2021-22 is due to launch in September. Please keep an eye out on our events for more details or sign up to our newsletter for updates straight to your inbox. You can also watch many of our webinars on demand via our resources page.
Feedback from webinar attendees:
“I’ve done a few webinars during lockdown and this one has been completely stand alone in how helpful, and interesting it has been. It’s been fantastic, great knowledge and great delivery! Thank you!”
“Thank you so much – this it is exactly what I have been looking for for years! I have been so stuck on my business plan, so thanks for the very clear direction.”
“Thank you so much for uplifting and inspiring us!”
We are now planning our business support programmes for the next year, and we are looking to consult the local community of providers to work with the Growth Hub and support businesses.
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