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Luke Massie – You and your dream are nothing without your team!

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Over the last couple of weeks we have been making some vital addtions to Vibe’s marketing and technical teams. During this period I took a few mornings out of the office to make sure that I had some dedicated time to reflect on where Vibe Tickets has come from, and more importantly where we are going.

I asked myself a few key questions: What’s worked well for Vibe so far? What are the main mistakes we have made along the way? How should I do things differently? How do I avoid the pitfalls as we scale this company?

Although not a direct answer to any of these questions, I know for certain that all of our solutions have come from, and all of the problems have been mitigated by great teamwork and contributions from individual team members during moments of brilliance. This has ingrained within me the strongest belief that it is incredibly important that you get the right people involved in your businesses as early as possible, no matter what obstacles may be in the way.

Passion is everything and if there is one key lesson I’ve learnt in my entrepreneurial journey so far its that talent and money can only get you so far, dedication and trust are worth far more than anything else.

“You can’t do it alone”

I have known for some time that I would never be able to execute my business proposition alone, but I did initially feel that I would be able to outsource the majority of work and simply manage a small number of key partners rather than having to build a proper team.

My biggest mistakes have always come when my team have not been involved in the decision making process and the execution. Outsourcing is always risky. After some of my early experiences with Vibe Tickets, I would strongly recommend that anyone who is considering using an external agency for your core offering whether that be product or marketing is very careful and considers all the alternatives before committing – otherwise this could come back to bite you!

When ever I am doing talks or sat on panels one of the first questions I’m asked is: How do you go about building your team?

Through personal experience there are Three Things I suggest you consider:

1) Find yourself a cofounder: Find someone with desirable skills that complement yours. Someone you trust, someone who shares the same vision as you and someone you can always rely on. A number of years ago I was lucky enough to be introduced to Jon Hill, a software engineer with over 15 years experience scaling development teams with a real commercial eye. He is someone I can talk to, express my thoughts about opportunities and someone who could see my vision and turn it into a product. Jon become my partner, an early shareholder in Vibe and is now Technical Director of Vibe Tickets. With Jon at my side in the early days I was able to focus on building a product which we could test in the market, well before we started looking for investment.

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2) Identify the skills you need and ONLY the skills you need: In a start up there is no room for waste. You need to stay lean and mean. A common mistake a lot of start up founders make is; they don’t identify what skills they actually need, therefore never have the correct tools/ resources needed to execute their concept. Founders in many instances are focusing on things that don’t really matter. Creating roles for the sake of creating roles is NOT cool. Investors are much more happy when a small focused team does what is required. Take Whatsapp for example, when they sold out to Facebook for $1billion they only had 6 staff… yes thats 6!

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3) Hire smarter people than you – This is so cliché but it is the single best thing you could ever do. Many Founders do not hire people smarter than themselves and my theory on this is; people fear being exposed for their knowledge gaps. Or they feel their authority as leaders will be questioned. I think its a common misconception that Founders feel like they have to know everything, when the reality is, we all have our own skills, strengths and weakness. The best founders in the world, find the best talent and surround themselves with better people than themselves at particular things. I’m so lucky to have found: Jon Hill, Jim Mann, Rosa Martinez, Hannes Pretorius, Helen Clemson, Jonathan Smillie, Nadia Rumyantseva to name a few. Every member of the Vibe team have there own area of expertise and are much smarter than me in those disciplines. That is what makes us unique.

I hope this helps, feel free to reach out to me

Keep spreading the #GoodVibes

Luke Massie

Clients UK Media & Events help deliver successful Ordination Mass in Preston

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The first bishop of a new cathedral for Indian Catholics in Preston has been ordained at the home of Preston North End.

More than 12,000 people attended the Ordination Mass of Fr Joseph Srampickal.

Pope Francis created the new diocese – or eparchy – in July, making it one of only three worldwide.

The Grade II-listed St Ignatius Roman Catholic Church, which shut in December 2014, was designated as a cathedral.

It reopened to serve an Indian branch of the Roman Catholic Church.

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Twenty-five bishops and more than 200 priests and many nuns attend the service, with people from Australia, Canada and South America.

The Indian community are from the Syro Malabar Rite, which claims to have been founded by St Thomas The Apostle in India and is one 22 Eastern Catholic Churches in unity with the Pope.

St Ignatius was built in 1836, seven years after the legalisation of Catholicism in England, and was staffed by the Jesuit Order.

Vibe Tickets raises more than half its £600K crowdfunding goal in 24hrs

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The online ticketing platform, which promises to resell tickets ethically, was founded by 23-year-old Young ‘Un Luke Massie who took to crowdfunding website Crowdcube to seek extra investment.

If Vibe raises the full amount within the next month, the business will be valued at £6m and will use the cash raised to expand its online offering.

Tech investor Scott Fletcher, who has put up £260,000 through the crowdfunding website, said of Luke: “He’s a force of nature. His vision and passion is infectious and goes to show that age is irrelevant when it comes to business.

“Vibe Tickets has the potential to disrupt the industry and that really appeals to me. I’ve got no doubt Luke will smash his £600,000 target but I think it’s vital that tech entrepreneurs like me get behind great businesses and great people.”

Fletcher isn’t the only entrepreneur who sees potential in the youngster. Tech specialist Matt Newing already invested £200,000 during Vibe’s first round of funding, which amassed £400,000 in total, Lancashire County Council has invested £5,000, and earlier in the summer Massie even turned the head of Virgin boss Sir Richard Branson.

Vibe Tickets made it all the way through to the live final of Virgin’s Voom business competition and, despite not winning, still walked away with £20,000 prize money.

“Not only did I get the chance to pitch to someone of the stature of Sir Richard but I got through to the last three and received the sort of advice that money can’t buy,” said Luke.

Vibe has until mid-September to reach its funding goal of £600,000.

Love Food Love Preston 2016 with Gregg Wallace & Emmerdale’s Danny Miller

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The annual Love Food Love Preston promotion from Preston BID was launched on Saturday 30th July.

The month-long campaign, to highlight Preston’s food and restaurant offer, began with the Lancashire Market taking place on Friargate, followed later that evening by a ‘Dine with the Stars’ event.

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Firms trading at the event included, Beechs Chocolates, a company with almost 100 year’s heritage in Preston.

The Lancashire Cookbook, a new publication showcasing the best recipes and places to eat in the county, was launched by BBC Radio Lancashire’s John Gillmore at the Market; featuring a section focussing on Preston’s growing and vibrant restaurant offer.

Friargate came alive with the sights, smells, colours and sounds of a street-market as families from across the county made Preston their ‘go to’ destination.

Later that evening, MasterChef’s Gregg Wallace and Emmerdale Actor Danny Miller visited eight Preston restaurants to enjoy meeting their customers and sampling the city’s tasty food offering, guests were ‘delighted’ to have the opportunity to meet and talk to the television personalities.   Alison Hedges from Lytham travelled to Preston specifically in the hope she’d meet one of the special guests; saying ‘I think it’s a great idea to do this, it’s brilliant.  I love eating out and it’s been a while since I’ve eaten out in Preston, it’s changed so much and I would safely say I’ll be back very soon’.

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Gregg, a firm favourite on our TV screens said: “I thoroughly enjoyed the food and company in Preston, there are some great restaurants here; it’s one of the friendliest places I have ever visited and the people are just lovely’.

Cotton Studios was once again on hand to capture the ‘Dine with the Stars’ event on behalf of Preston BID. You can see the full gallery here

Mark Whittle from Preston BID said: “The Lancashire Market has been a great event for the city, since it began back in 2010; it has attracted hundreds of thousands of people, many from outside of the locality.  The events are organised to attract additional customers to the city centre.  Whilst providing a great day for visitors, events such as these are vital to building relationships with customers who will support city centre businesses; it’s their investment that funds our work’.

Until 31st August people are being encouraged to try eating out in Preston city centre more often by taking advantage of specially created ‘Love Food Love Preston’ offers.

Simply visit www.LoveFoodLovePreston.co.uk and choose your special offer!

Downtown in Business Crowns Lancashire’s Elite!

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On Thursday 16th June 2016, Downtown Lancashire in Business celebrated the best in the business at the annual Lancashire Business Awards.

Rob presented Forbes solicitors with best legal practice of the year award at glittering Downtown in Business awards. The awards were a great excuse for many hard working individuals and businesses to let their hair down and enjoy a night of celebration.

Rob represented the Cotton Court team and said “Once again a great awards night put together by Downtown in Business at the Dungenhalgh hotel”

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Awards given away on the night ranged from ‘Networker of the year’ to ‘Business Personality of the Year’.

Frank McKenna, chief executive at Downtown in Business, said: “Congratulations to all the winners and nominees for this year’s awards. It is always fantastic to celebrate the hard working companies in Lancashire each year and see the level of support they are able to gain from their peers and their customers.”

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The winners were:

Male Networker of the Year – Daniel Rich, Barton Grange
Female Networker of the Year – Katie Beckham, The Write Angle
Best Employer of the Year – Denwa
Best Employee of the Year – Rebecca Kay
Best Newcomer of the Year – Eat My Logo
Best PR & Marketing Agency of the Year – The Write Angle
Best Digital Agency of the Year – Blush Digital
Best Social Media Presence of the Year – Marketing Lancashire
Best Legal Company of the Year – Forbes
Best Accountancy Firm of the Year – Beever and Struthers
Best Business Bank of the Year – NatWest
Best Property Business of the Year – Barnfield Construction
Best Recruitment Company of the Year – Laura Hartley Recruitment
Best Customer Focussed Business of the Year – Burnley FC
Best Hospitality Venue of the Year – The Emporium
Best Hotel of the Year – Tickled Trout
Best Business Enabler – Choose Chorley
Best Business of the Year – Magma Digital
Chief Executive Award – Marmalade Toast
Business Personality of the Year – Michael Conlon
Contribution to Lancashire – Tony Attard OBE

Vibe Tickets to pitch to Branson for slice of £1m prize!

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After an extensive nationwide search, 3,000 entries, half a million votes and one Guinness World Record title, Lancaster start-up, Vibe Tickets, has made it through to the finale of the Virgin Media Business ‘VOOM 2016’ competition.

Vibe Tickets is an ethical marketplace that connects fans so they can buy and sell tickets at face value. It allows users to transact on their own terms, cuts out the middle man and ensures ticket prices aren’t over inflated. The tech company was founded by 23 year old Luke Massie who saw that fans were being exploited by secondary ticket sellers increasing the ticket value, so built a platform that would challenge the industry giants and provide users with fair prices.

Luke will be pitching to Richard Branson and a panel of business heavyweights including Tyra Banks, Sara Blakely Marcus Butler and Virgin Media Business Managing Director, Peter Kelly, at the live finale on the 28th of June. Vibe Tickets will go head to head with two other businesses in the Start-up category for a slice of the £1million prize fund.

Luke Massie, founder of Vibe Tickets said: “I’m absolutely delighted to have made it this far in the competition and can’t wait to pitch my idea to Richard Branson. I’ve worked extremely hard to get here and it’s been such an incredible experience so far, I’m really excited for the finale and the future opportunities this will bring.”

Richard Branson, Virgin Founder said: “Congratulations to Vibe Tickets for making it through to the finale of the Virgin Media Business ‘VOOM’ competition. They’ve shown they’ve got the determination and innovative flair we’re looking for in a winner and I can’t wait to meet them at the final on the 28th.”

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‘VOOM 2016’ – run by the ultrafast business broadband company – is hunting for the UK and Ireland’s most exciting and innovative businesses. A winner will be chosen from each of the two categories, ‘Start-up’ and ‘Grow’.

Guest Blog: Bird Help Fellow Clients DieCut UK Rebrand!

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Diecut UK are are global company supplying specialist machinery to the print industry, a real forward thinking company who are constantly looking for ways to improve the machines they supply making the industry safer, and the machines faster, and as a result their clients more productive.

Diecut’s brand had lost it’s way over the year, and no longer reflected the dynamic, energetic and passionate company they’d become today. As leaders in their field, they needed a brand that reflected this.

We wanted to create something which was as dynamic as they are, something which reflected their passion for change and improvements, something that linked with what they do, and showed their pride at being a UK based company.

The brand was then rolled out across their website, internal comms and marketing literature.

www.diecutuk.com

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They Did It!! Vibe Tickets Made It Through To The Semi Finals

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Well the results are in, and we are SO pleased to announce the news that Vibe Tickets made it through to the SEMI-FINALS of the Virgin Business #VOOM campaign! They took part in the pitchathon the other week where we were part of a Guiness World Record which took place, and they were so pleased our pitch impressed the judges.

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A Guinness World Record was reached after the pitchathon after 28 hours and 51 minutes worth of pitching! Some people were pitching at 2am in the morning, and the valiant judges stayed for the whole duration of it! On the Virgin Business website, this statement was made- “We smashed it. Virgin Media Business now holds the Guinness World Records title for the longest business pitch marathon. And, in the words of adjudicator Pravin, we are ‘officially amazing’”

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So for everyone that has supported them, They wanted to thank you for taking the time to vote for Vibe and spreading their message, and they hope for your continue to support in their journey to #PitchToRich!

Cotton Studios Welcomes Gavin To Their Growing Team!

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Gavin has been taking photographs since he was a teenager, but became a full time professional photographer about 5 years ago, and for the last 2 years he ran the photo studio at Ribby Hall Village.

He loves taking photos of happy people with natural smiles whether it be in the studio or at weddings which he cover throughout the North West.

He can also help you if you need some commercial work either for your website, or just want to improve your profile pictures. Have a look at some of his images below!

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Glovers Finalists – 128,000 Votes cast In Awards

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The results are in; 128,520 votes have been cast in Preston BID’s ‘Smiles Better Awards’, which recognise outstanding businesses and people in Preston city centre.

The awards, sponsored by Fishergate Shopping Centre and St. George’s Shopping centre, highlight the achievements of owners and employees of city centre businesses, and this year attracted more than 165 nominations from 142 businesses.

There are fifteen prizes up for grabs, including Independent Retailer of the Year, Multiple Retailer of the Year, Customer Service Champion and Restaurant of the Year.

Selected categories will now undergo mystery shopping visits, in order to find the outright winners.

The highest award, ‘the Special Recognition Award’ which cannot be voted for, will be awarded to someone who’s made a significant contribution to the city.

Last year the honour went to Friargate florist, Margaret Mason, who’s operated a business in Preston for almost fifty-five years.

Upon winning the special recognition awards, Margaret, who was visibly moved said: ‘I am speechless, I didn’t expect to win but I am thrilled.  It’s a team effort and I thank all my team for all their hard work, it’s a lovely thing to have been awarded and I am very, very grateful’.

Mark Whittle, from Preston BID which organises the competition said: ‘The businesses in Preston city centre consistently offer outstanding service, and the ‘Smiles Better’ awards are our way honouring these people and organisations.  It’s their efforts that keep people returning to our city centre time and time again, and for that, we thank them’.

Keith Mitchell, manager of the Fishergate Shopping Centre, said: “The large amount of votes cast is a tribute to all the great customer-focused work being carried out by staff in Preston’s shops, restaurants, bars and cafes.

“This positive response to the awards from the general public again highlights Preston’s growing and deserved reputation as a vibrant shopping and visitor destination that delivers fantastic levels of service.

“We’re very pleased to be backing this initiative which shows why Preston really is Smiles Better and recognises and rewards those people whose efforts make our city centre the special place it is.”

General manager at rSt George’s Shopping Cente, Andrew Stringer, said: “The Smiles Better Awards are a great way to recognise the hard work and efforts of the city’s customer services teams.

“The amount of votes cast reflects the exceptional service these teams deliver. Everyone who has been nominated does an excellent job in promoting Preston – we couldn’t operate without them.”

The prizes will be handed out at an invitation only ceremony on Tuesday 21st June, hosted by Radio’s John Gillmore and Danny Bee.

Click here for Official Finalists