The spottydog roving reporters; on the ground at The Leicester Business Festival

by Katie Bregazzi |

It’s The Leicester Business Festival, and the news hounds that we are we’ve been all over the city sniffing out the top speakers and best events going on. Here we give you a rundown of what we’ve seen so far, as told by our roving reporters on the ground.

The Golden Retriever: the pedigree of the Leicester team, Lisa Jones, renowned for her tenacity to retrieve new information and insights in her role as Head of Corporate Communications – her golden hue is still thanks to her win of ‘Best Use of Digital’ at this year’s CIPR Midlands Pride Awards.

Event Report: How to Secure Public Sector Contracts: The chance to hear from Leicester City Council, Leicestershire County Council, the NHS, University of Leicester and Loughborough University in one place? Well worth an early start. Sat in the impressive, refurbished City Halls, we heard how public sector organisations are keen to keep their expenditure local, but not at the expense of quality or best-value. In fact, the most important element can be the social value that companies can bring to the contract. There was no shortage of acronyms either – making sure we all know our MEAT (most economically advantageous tender) from our ITT (invitation to tender).

Event Report: Leicester Festivals – Great for Leicester – Great for you: This was a glorious journey through Leicester’s annual events, featuring Dave’s Comedy Festival, the Mela, the Diwali celebrations, Riverside Festival and Abbey Park Bonfire plus special events for Leicester City FC Champions celebrations and the Richard III reinternment. A lively debate between festival organisers discussed the best way to bring new people to the city centre, how to make the most of the business opportunities this presented and highlighted the impressive turnaround in residents’ perceptions of the city.

The Border Collie: attributing myself to this working dog that’s famous for an “intimidating eye”, I head up the East Midlands operation and am renowned for rounding up the herd and keeping my eye on new insights and ideas that make sure we continue to deliver top dog communications for our clients.

Event report: Looking to the Future – what will customers expect of visitor experiences in the future? Starting off a working day by heading to the zoo is a fun thing to do – but this event was anything but animal antics. With speakers including; Philippa Rawlinson, Director of Marketing and Operations at Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Gary Moss, Chairman of Brand Vista and Karen Clarke, Director of Human Resources, Twycross Zoo –  we explored the latest trends, and challenges each of the businesses have had in recent years. Coupling this with relevant case studies and a Q&A on how we can use the customer experience alignment to create irresistible experiences – there’s certainly no monkeying around in these teams.

Event report: PR Surgery: Meet the PR professionals: Changing hats from a delegate to event host, I joined fellow colleagues from the CIPR Midlands Committee to host one on one sessions with businesses looking to get advice specific to their own organisation’s needs. My session worked with another communications specialist, and focused on harnessing training needs within an organisation, something which at spottydog we insist is at the heart of every consultant – with a particular commitment to the CIPR CPD programme.

Event report: Place Marketing Debate: In the heart of the city centre, this hot topic held presentations from Dr John Heeley and Dr Mihalis Kavaratzis this session looked at the history and current practice in Place Marketing. As spottydog begins to develop its activity in the Leisure and Tourism sectors, it was interesting to explore what’s next for destination marketing and look at some of the best and worst campaigns from recent years. Including this from the Amsterdam Tourism Board.

Still to come, we’ve got another week of great events – so look out for more reports from me as I’m also heading to the Panel Debate On The Need For Diversity In The Creative Industries Workforce. You’ll also hear from new reporters the pups and the puggle!