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September News

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This is what some of our customers are up to during the past month…

Firstly, Tienda Digital have rebranded their website. Here is an overview of why they thought a change would be good…  “As experts in digital solutions we need a brand that would not only look digital but up to date with current trends and this is exactly what the new logo does. Our old one was more focused on the software side and was professional and corporate but we wanted something more creative.” Also, Well done to Tienda Digital for becoming a finalist in the Sub 36 awards!

Get Staffed

Secondly, Tom Craig and Tom Havlin from Get Staffed UK organised an event at Baluga to celebrate all there staffs hard work and to thank them for being on hand to help out at an array of events. A huge well done is in order for Tom Craig being nominated as employee of the year, and also Tom Havlin for entrepreneur of the year. Both are in the finals of the Sub 36 award! These awards allow small companies to be acknowledged by the public and boost their overall audience.

UK Media & Events

UK Media and Events helped organise the Lancashire Encounters Brief Encounter experience last weekend in Preston town center. This ‘brief encounter’ involved a giant walked through the streets, illuminated with other parts of the procession, starting at Winckley Square, Heading up Cannon Street, Fishergate and down Cheapside into the Flag Market. Danny from UK Media and Events LTD added: “ We’re extremely happy with the way Brief Encounter 2017 ran. So proud of all the exhibitors, suppliers and volunteers and really pleased so many attendees got to enjoy the wide variety of cultural entertainment all in one evening! Lancashire Encounter 2018 will be truly amazing as the full weekend festival returns next year!! We can’t wait!”

Vibe Tickets

We would like to say congrats to Luke Massie from Vibe Tickets for being nominated for ‘Young Entrepreneur of the year’ at the 2017 Nat-West awards. This year the Young Entrepreneurs category contains people who are aged 30 or under, their stories should be “rich in anecdotes of seized opportunity and dynamic response to the many pitfalls that lie in wait for those who are passionate for progress.” The winning entrepreneur will be a beacon of inspiration to business people irrespective of age and industry.

Downtown In Business

Finally, we are sad to see Roger Jonas leaving Downtown. Roger joined downtown in 2008 to support the development of our ambitious events programmed throughout the North. He is passionate about working for a business that makes a difference and is recognized for that. After 9 years working with Downtown he has met many people all of which will miss him dearly.

The BIBAs 2017

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Around 1,000 business people including our clients, UK Media and Events who were nominated for Lesuire Business of the Year, packed the Blackpool Tower Ballroom for the Be Inspired Business Awards.

Nigel Havers hosted the evening, which saw Fylde-based businessman and Preston Guild Hall owner Simon Rigby given a lifetime achievement award, and Preston-based Sunshine Events take two trophies.

BIBAs organisers The North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce handed out a crop of awards after a rigorous judging process.


All the winners will now enter the BIBAs Academy, a package of workshops, masterclasses, and networking run by the awards and the University of Central Lancashire, aimed at further boosting the growth of some of the county’s leading lights.


The other winners on the night include Chelsey-Marie Baldwin, the Blackpool-based former gymnast who was forced to retire from the sport aged just 17, and has gone on to set up her own academy teaching young people in South Shore.


She was supported in getting her business underway by a grant from the BIBAs Foundation, a charity set up by the awards which provides grants in support of enterprising initiatives by young people in the county.


Ashley Hackett, CEO of the Blackpool FC Community Trust, was the other individual winner picking up the Business Person of the Year award.


Chorley-based Scorpion Automotive was named Exporter of the Year, Lancaster’s Hotfoot Design picked up the Creative Business of the Year prize and Chorley lightning firm Fourth Wall Solutions was the winner of the New Business of the Year category.


Winners


Most Inspiring Young Person of the Year: Chelsey Marie Baldwin
Creative Business of the Year: Hotfoot Design
Employer of the Year: Sunshine Events
Best Use of IT: Connect Childcare
Business Person of the Year: Ashley Hackett, Blackpool FC Community Trust
Exporter of the Year: Scorpion Automotive
Family Business of the Year: The Wayfarer
Professional Service Business of the Year: Thomas Consulting
Manufacturer of the Year: CoolKit
Excellence in CSR: Sunshine Events
Construction Business of the Year: Fox Brothers
Leisure Business of the Year: Winter Gardens Blackpool
Third Sector Business of the Year: CB Partners
Service Business of the Year: Fairbanks Environmental
New Business of the Year: Fourth Wall Solutions
Micro Business of the Year: 8th Sign
Small Business of the Year: Bespoke Healthcare
Medium Business of the Year: Hippo Motor Group
Business of the Year: CoolKit
Lancastrian of the Year: Simon Rigby

Clients UK Media and Events Host Summer Events

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Hundreds of children experienced a giant robot and dinosaurs in the centre of Preston.

St George’s Shopping Centre played host to Titan’s latest visit to the city.

The eight foot robot is able to sing, dance and can shoot water from his eyes, the dinosaurs are even better with two babies and a giant t-rex to entertain you! According to UKME’s director Danny Bee “Everyone was facinated by both the robot and the dinosaurs, it’s great to see so many kids entertained by something so small!”

  

UKME have another jam packed weekend ahead with Movies on Moor Park, three free showings of different films and also Euxton Cricket Club’s beer festival!

Hope the rain stays away for you guys!

Get Staffed UK Smash Lytham Festival!

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Cotton Court Clients Get Staffed UK have just finished a jam packed 5 days at supplying nearly 100 hospitality and bar staff daily to Lytham Festival. Over the week their staff worked tirelessly in the V.I.P, Champagne Terrace and public bars. Even though the weather wasn’t on their side the team successfully smashed targets every single night!

Lytham Festival 2017 has proven the biggest yet as music fans provided a major boost to the town’s economy. Around 60,000 people attended the five-day festival, with around a quarter of those coming for the full programme of headline shows.

The arena on Lytham Green was packed for concerts by Olly Murs, Hacienda Classical, 80s Vs 90s, Madness and the West End Proms. Before the festival, director Peter Taylor said that ‘by a mile’ they’d had the biggest weekend bookings ever seen – quadrupled from 2016 – with 25 per cent of the crowd having weekend passes, while 20 per cent of tickets sold before acts were announced. “People have trust in us now, and that’s proven by how much we can sell before we event announce the acts,” he said. In a statement on Sunday he hailed the 2017 event as ‘tremendous’, adding: “We are already well into the planning of Lytham Festival 2018 and look forward to revealing the full line-up.”

Tom Craig from Get Staffed UK said “I’m incredibly proud of our staff that worked so hard this week, it’s been such a good event of an already great first season for Get Staffed!”

Latest Downtown in Business Events

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Downtown in Business Lancashire have got some great events in the next few weeks! Have a look below and click the links to sign up!

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Beyond the Breach: A Cyber Security Business Forum

 Date Tuesday 18th July 2017
 Time 16:00 – 17:30
 Location   Cotton Court Preston

No matter the size of your business, if you have devices connected to the web, you are vulnerable and can be exploited, even held to Ransom!Following the second global attack, we will look at the probability of an attack on smaller businesses. What are the implications, and can you defend your digital asset in the event of a cyber invasion?

Virtually every Internet-facing entity will have exploitable vulnerabilities by either a deliberate or opportunistic attack, without specific measures in place.

Our specialist experts include Jeremy Coates, CEO of Magma Digital, Ian Hudson MD of Hudson Hill, and Mark Pegram of Sanitas Data Security. They will outline the numerous issues that can affect your business, and guide you through effective initiatives in safeguarding your digital assets.

Sign up here!

 

Schools OUT: End of term drinks

 Date Thursday 20th July 2017
 Time 17:30 – 20:00
 Location   Review Bar Guild Hall Preston

Downtown celebrates the summer with Schools OUT at the fabulous Review Bar located in Preston Guild Hall.Schools OUT is a great way to connect with new prospects and catch up with old. Enjoy a welcome drink and some munchies, compliments of the Review Bar.

Please feel free to invite your colleagues and client.

Sign up here!

 

New Course – Lettings for Landlords The Basics

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Clients of Cotton Court The Residential Landlords Association are running a new course for first time landlords! To sign-up click the link at the bottom. 

 

Our Lettings for Landlords – The Basics takes you through the key lettings processes, signposting you to all the legal obligations that are required of Landlords and Letting Agents, and sharing best practice along with way.

Lettings for Landlords – The Basics covers the fundamentals and carries 3 basic CPD points. Should you require training for accreditation and licensing purposes you may wish to complete our Principles of Lettings* course which is the approved course for such schemes including RLAAS.

Let this course help you understand and refresh your knowledge on the lettings process while still having change in your pocket. Without the food trimmings and assessment, this course provides the raw ingredients you need. It may not get you accreditation or licence recognition but will provide you with all the necessary facts for being a great landlord and just that – no more no less!

Letting Agents and their staff who want to learn about lettings from the landlord’s perspective may also like to attend.

This course takes you through the fundamentals of being a landlord and is integral to understanding the landlord’s obligations and responsibilities, not only with your property, but with your tenants too. So what better way to understand the basic principles of lettings, than with the RLA’s Lettings for Landlords – The Basics?

Refreshments are provided on arrival, bring your own lunch and enjoy the Lettings for Landlords – The Basics, no more no less. Please note there will be short comfort breaks throughout the day.

The course content reflects the new Deregulation Act 2015 for properties in England and is aimed at the England market only, currently there are no changes for properties in Wales; please see the RLA Wales website for updates on this.

Objectives

This course covers the basics of the landlord’s obligations/requirements in relation to their tenants, properties and any agents they use.

Course Content

This course deals with the key principles that affect landlords. Topics covered are:

  • Pre-tenancy
  • During the Tenancy
  • Ending a Tenancy

Lettings for Landlords – The Basics is designed to meet and follow ANUK standards. Attendance on this course will give you 3 basic CPD points. A certificate of attendance will be issued to all attendees; please note – this certificate cannot be used for licensing or accreditation purposes.

What’s the difference between basic and core CPD points? Read RLAAS’ guide to CPD points.

 

To sign up click here!

UCLan Launchpad Celebration Ball!

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The Cotton Court team enjoyed a night at the UCLan LaunchPad ball at The Samlesbury Hotel. We also invited some of our clients including Tienda Digital, Ambledeen, Together We Balance, Bird, Lancashare and Invoke Media!

 

The LaunchPad ball is a celebration of all of the groups of students that have been through their programme.

The LaunchPad leadership development programme is unique to the School of Business and the School of Management at UCLan and provides students with opportunities to enhance their professional skills allowing them to become the global leaders of the future.

LaunchPad students learn about the challenges of the current job market from employer and graduate perspectives and the leadership approaches needed to address them, in both theory and practice.

We are also welcoming back the LaunchPad team and their new selection of students into Cotton Court for a weekend of challenges!

Thanks again to Fran and the LaunchPad team for inviting us! We had a great time!

Clients HM Network presents “GDPR Express” Session

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HM Network Ltd have taken the initiative following interest from a number of councils, chambers of commerce and ERDF supported growth programmes, to set up a number of awareness events with a simple aim – to help share knowledge on how the current Data Protection Act will be replaced with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) as of 25th May 2018. That’s just over a year away. They recently held an event at Cotton Court highlighing what business need to do in order to keep up with the new regulations! Below is just a sample of what was covered! To find out more visit their website here!

Too small?

This will affect all businesses that hold any type of personal customer/staff data that can be traced back to an individual whether B2B or B2C. Whether you market to customers or simply hold staff records this will affect you in some way. No market sector is outside the scope – some sectors are even classed as ‘sensitive’. So where do you sit?

Consequences?

Financial consequences are potentially huge. Data Breaches could result in fines of €10M / 2% of Global turnover or, for serious breaches, €20M / 4% of Global turnover whichever is higher. Whether you run a marketing company, store customer data on a loyalty card, have XLS spreadsheets of names and addresses it WILL affect you. Regardless of Brexit these fines the UK ICO will enforce this as GDPR standards will become part of UK Law.

Reputation?

Some of your B2B or B2C partners may not be able to do business with you if you are non-compliant and lastly the reputational effect to customers of not treating the protection of data privacy seriously means steps must be taken.

So, your questions to ask are:

● What to prepare and understand your current situation?

● Do I need a Data Protection Officer (DPO)?

● How to ensure your business becomes and stays compliant?

● Could a malicious competitor of ours use GDPR against us?

● Do we have the knowledge and resources internally? If not

● Who can help providing advice throughout the process?

Please find below a very useful link for reference. It is a list of recent actions from the ICO (Information Commissioners Office) for fines / prosecutions issued to individuals / companies / charities and governmental departments, who have been found in breach of the existing regulations such as the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) and also the Privacy and electronic communication (EC) directive 2003 (PECR). Please note that these are fines under the current regulations, even ahead of the more stringent GDPR coming into effect.

Expertise coming to You!

HM Network have made more plans to arrange some awareness sessions, with help and advice from specialists in a number of fields including:

  • Data Connectivity and digital marketing
  • The legal implications of data privacy and GDPR (solicitor)
  • Cyber security advice (serious crime squad / cyber security specialist)
  • Data Protection Audit Services, GDPR processes and advice
  • Data Disposal / Hardware recycling advice

Get a head start by downloading this free 12 steps guide provided by the ICO

https://ico.org.uk/media/1624219/preparing-for-the-gdpr-12-steps.pdf

 

SEO Workshop Seminars from Mark Preston SEO

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Client of Cotton Court Mark Preston is running an SEO Workshop at Cotton Court next month! If you’re bamboozled by SEO then this is the course for you! Have a look below for details about what’s covered and how to sign up!

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Entering the world of search engine optimisation as a small business owner can be totally daunting and a scary place to be. After all, one wrong move could send your online visibility plummeting but on the other hand – implementing the right SEO strategy has the potential to drive a constant flow of leads for you to convert into new customers.

Learn SEO from a true marketing pro

I am the person who goes into digital marketing agencies to train marketing professionals on SEO techniques, so when you attend one of my SEO workshop seminars, you are getting the real deal and total value for money. I’ll even allow you to pick my brains as I provide an ask me anything (AMA) slot in every SEO seminar I host. No pre-scripted questions. Just take full advantage of my decade and half of digital marketing industry knowledge.

SEO Training

Are my SEO seminars for you?

My seminars are tailored towards start-ups and small business owners who can’t afford to invest in an agency to help them with their online marketing presence but needs some solid advice and action points that they can use to help their business grow.

Introducing my one day SEO workshop seminar

Yes, this is a full workshop where you will need to bring your laptop along as I have found that the best way of learning is to do it yourself instead of me just waffling through a slide and having to wake you up because I might as well be speaking a foreign language.

My job on the day is to simply educate you on SEO techniques and make sure you have understood how SEO can help your business to grow.

Refreshments and buffet lunch included

As my SEO workshop seminars start at around 9:30 am and usually finish at about 4:00 pm, I don’t expect you to starve so you will be supplied with a constant flow of refreshments and a buffet style lunch.

Buy SEO Training Ticket
What you will learn

I do tend to go off track a little during the day and don’t totally stick to the planned schedule as I want to make sure that each person in the room goes away at the end of the day with the knowledge they wanted to learn that will help their business. With this in mind – I do tend to tailor the day a little if that is what my trainees require.

The planned seminar schedule will cover:

>>> 9:00 am to 9:30 am – Welcome drink and networking

GETTING TO KNOW YOU

  • Who are you and what do you do?
  • What do you need to learn from today’s SEO workshop?

INTRODUCTION TO SEARCH ENGINES

  • What exactly are search engines and how do they help us?
  • The top three search engine players – Google, Bing & Yahoo
  • Search engine’s journey of crawling and indexing

PAID SEARCH TRAFFIC vs ORGANIC SEARCH TRAFFIC

  • The difference between paid and organic search
  • Pros and cons of paid search
  • Pros and cons of organic search
  • Which is better – paid or organic search?

>>> 11:00 am to 11:15 am – Refreshment time

SEARCH ENGINE GUIDELINES

  • What are search engine guidelines?
  • The several types of guidelines you need to consider
  • What happens if I don’t conform to the guidelines?

UNDERSTANDING KEYWORD RESEARCH

  • What is keyword research?
  • Why is keyword research important?
  • How keyword research fits into a content plan
  • The diverse ways of conducting keyword research
  • Creating a keyword mapping plan

>>> 12:30 pm to 1:00 pm – Buffet lunch provided

ON-PAGE CONTENT

  • I hear ‘content is king’ – why?
  • What do I need to know when writing content for my site
  • When should you use a redirect?
  • What you need to consider before you delete a page
  • Understanding duplicate content issues

ON-PAGE OPTIMISATION

  • What is on-page optimisation and why it is important
  • Understanding search engine ranking factors
  • What should you consider when optimising a page?
  • How to optimise a page for a selected keyword

>>> 2:30 pm to 2:45 pm – Refreshment time

OFF-PAGE SEO

  • What is off-page SEO?
  • What are links and why they are important
  • The basic science behind link building
  • A discussion on some off-page SEO techniques

ASK ME ANY SEO RELATED QUESTION

>>> 4:00 pm – Finish

Between 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm, I’m always available for a chat if required.

All attendees will be provided with:

  • A copy of all slides
  • My local SEO guide (never been published)
  • On-page optimisation checklist
  • Website SEO audit checklist
Ticket price

To ensure I have the flexibility to tailor the day if required, I always limit every SEO workshop seminar to a maximum of 10 people.

As a small business owner, I understand that budgets are tight so I want to make my SEO seminars excellent value for money. The ticket price is only £149 per person, including refreshments and buffet lunch. If you have any dietary requirements, please inform me in advance.

Available dates and locations

I plan to travel around the UK, hosting my SEO workshop seminar to small business owners so if the location(s) below is too far for you to travel, just let me know as I’m always planning new locations.

My next confirmed seminar is on the 16th May 2017
Location: Cotton Court, Church Street, Preston PR1 3BY.
Free parking available on-site but limited. Alternatively, nearby multi-storey parking at PR1 1YT.

More dates and location to follow very soon.

Don’t miss out – Book your ticket now!

Original source: https://markprestonseo.com/seo-workshop-seminars/

Red Rose Awards Crowns Lancashire’s Elite!

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The winners at Lancashire’s biggest celebration of business have been revealed at a glittering awards evening.

More than 1,100 guests attended the Red Rose Awards held at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool last week.

They saw 26 awards handed out to innovative, creative and successful businesses from across the county, representing a variety of sectors.

The finalists in this year’s awards generated more than £1.35bn in revenue for the county and made over £1bn in profits.

The Red Rose Awards was a sell-out event for the fourth consecutive year and guests enjoyed a lively evening of entertainment.

Funds were raised on the night to support the Cash For Kids charity in Lancashire.

Pauline Rigby, partner and head of corporate and restructuring at headline sponsor Forbes Solicitors, said: “Lancashire has a can-do attitude personified by the people in this room tonight.”

She added: “There’s a Lancashire way about our business leaders that is instantly recognisable and was apparent throughout the judging process.”

Phil Owen, relationship director at headline sponsor Barclays, added: “Lancashire has a wonderful history and a lot to be proud of, with many diverse and well run businesses. This year’s entries to the awards have proved no exception.”

Richard Slater, publisher of Lancashire Business View magazine, which stages the awards, said: “The Red Rose Awards are about giving Lancashire business the opportunity to show how great they are and how deep the county’s commercial excellence runs.

“Everything you need to run a successful business can be supplied from the county and we see it as our role, through the magazine and at events like Red Rose Awards, to showcase the great businesses we have.”

Here’s a full list of the winners:

  • Construction Business Award (sponsored by Anderton Gables) Warden Construction (Kirkham)
  • Creative Agency Award (sponsored by Peter Scott Printers) Workhouse Creative Marketing (Ribchester)
  • Corporate Social Responsibility Award (sponsored by Mattioli Woods) Warden Construction
  • Customer Service Award (sponsored by Stonehouse Logic) Birchall Foodservice (Burnley)
  • Digital Agency Award (sponsored by Marketing Lancashire) Wired Marketing (Burnley)
  • Employer of the Year Award (sponsored by NWEEG ) Birchall Foodservice
  • Engineering Business Award (sponsored by Preston’s College) Process Instruments (Burnley)
  • Family Business Award –(sponsored by LH Recruitment) Birchall Foodservice
  • Financial Business Award (sponsored by Enterprise Ventures/Rosebud) Asset Finance Solutions (Blackburn)
  • Growing Business Award (sponsored by Mayes Accountants) CMAC Partnership (Accrington)
  • Health and Care Business Award (sponsored by Limitless PR & Marketing) the Hub pharmacy (Skelmersdale)
  • Innovative Business Award- (sponsored by Genting Casino) Levity Crop Science (Bilsborrow)
  • International Achievement Award (sponsored by Cassons) Group55 (Preston)
  • Large Business Award (sponsored by Forbes Solicitors) VEKA (Burnley)
  • Legal Business Award (sponsored by Eventus Legal) Harrison Drury Solicitors (Preston)
  • Manufacturing Business Award (sponsored by Barclays) Pets Choice (Blackburn)
  • Medium Business Award (sponsored by Beever and Struthers) VetPlus (Lytham)
  • New Business Award (sponsored by Business & Enterprise Trust) 10ACIA (Lathom)
  • Not-for-profit Business Award – DanceSyndrome (Accrington)
  • Online Business Award (sponsored by Bespoke Digital Agency) Chemist-4-U (Skelmersdale)
  • Property Business Award (sponsored by Slater + Gordon Lawyers)Artal (Leyland)
  • Retail Business Award (sponsored by Fat Media) Chorley Group (Chorley)
  • Skills and Training Business Award – Primary Engineer (Burnley)
  • Small Business Award (sponsored by Federation of Small Businesses) Silverwoods Waste Management (Clitheroe)
  • Tourism and Leisure Business Award (sponsored by NFU Mutual) James’ Places (Clitheroe)
  • Lancashire Business View Award – Laila’s Fine Foods (Blackpool)