Leeds Business Week kicked off yesterday with the third GoDigitalLive event, a free conference which helps to support local businesses.
The event, held at Aspire in Leeds, offered guests the chance to connect with marketing agencies, network with each other and learn from tech giants such as Google Digital Garage.
The conference forms part of the Digital Knowledge Exchange programme, which has helped over 400 small to medium businesses in the Leeds City area to grow their digital presence.
Kanta Mall, marketing and events manager at Digital Knowledge Exchange, was in charge of the event.
She said: “It’s been really exciting.
“We’ve had lots of different businesses from different sectors come through the doors and there’s a real buzz around the programme.”
One of the highlights from the event was a presentation from Ben Stoney, of retail marketing agency Get Savvy, who advised guests on how to use Augmented and Virtual Reality to enhance the customer experience.
He advised guests: “If you do VR and you do it well, it will be popular.
“It’s a great way to cut to the chase and to overlay information on top of a product. Go and make something awesome!”
The Digital Knowledge Exchange programme is jointly funded by the European Regional Development Fund and by local councils.
Kanta said: “The programme drives innovation through conferences like today, workshops and one-to-one mentoring.
“We offer a digital audit service which reviews the businesses’ websites, online presence and social media channels to see how they’re doing.”
Guests at GoDigitalLive could connect to partners of the programme, such as DIVA Telecom, which consults businesses on which technologies to invest in.
Darren Mitchell, senior account manager at DIVA, said: “Data is really crucial to businesses these days as everything you do is based online, so without fast broadband you can’t really do much.
“The support is great for small to medium sized companies that haven’t got a lot of cash flow.”
Edit, a data science and technology agency, were also partners of the event. They offer search campaigns for businesses and were keen to extend their influence in the North.
Frankie Bisi, Edit’s marketing manager, said: “We don’t really have any big digital conferences in the North, so we run SearchLeeds every June to give back to the local business community.”
Businesses can apply for the Digital Knowledge Exchange programme, providing they have fewer than 250 employees and are based in the Leeds City Region.
For enquiries contact enquiries.DE@leeds.gov.uk