As part of our partnership with Science City Bristol, we're chatting to past and present attendees about Venturefest; what they're looking forward to and why they're attending. First up, our very own Technical Director, Jon Payne!
Remember, if you want to attend this year's Venturefest, be sure to sign up for tickets before they all go.
What is your involvement with Venturefest?
I first attended Venturefest in 2011 after meeting Alastair Watson (Science City Bristol Director) at Working Knowledge – an awesome social enterprise that helps young people to open doors into employment.
This year we are working with Science City Bristol to promote Venturefest via social media. Working in particular on finding interested parties who may wish to attend.
With social media and online marketing such a hot topic at the moment, how will you be using the channels to help Venturefest attendees?
We will have a Search and Social Media booth where people can book 10 minutes with one of the Monkeys to learn how they can improve their online presence – be it via social networking sites, improving performance in search engine rankings or making their website more accessible to a wider audience.
There are two angles here: increasing awareness of the event itself and using social media at the event.
Before the event we will be using social media to increase awareness of the event and answering questions.
On the day of the event (14th November) our team will be monitoring social channels to ensure that all questions are answered such as speaker times, travel directions and business questions for SMEs who are attending.
Attendees can use the hashtag #Venturefest to get their queries in front of one of the Noisy Little Monkey or Science City Bristol team.
Why are events like Venturefest so important to Bristol and the South West region?
Having lived all over southern England and in America, I have never come across such a friendly place that has so much regional pride as the South West of England, particularly Bristol.
With so many start-ups in the area this phenomenal regional pride means that they have access to some of the most creative business minds around, who are willing to give their advice, support and encouragement to see future growth for the region.
The continued support from local business for events such as Venturefest, even in today’s economic climate, shows just how dedicated the people are to actively keep Bristol on the map as a creative hub and keep alive the sense of local community.
What key things did you take away from last year’s Venturefest?
I didn’t get to attend any of the sessions as I was manning our own booth but I did get to meet some interesting people who have since become part of the Noisy Little Monkey family in one way or another. Key people I met last year included Tom Standford at AbleGrad, Jane Gunn and some people who’ve since become customers with some very exciting projects which we can’t talk about yet!
What 3 pieces of advice would you give someone attending Venturefest this year?
1. Leave home earlier than you think you should to travel to the event. The traffic around that part of Bristol is f**king appalling at rush hour.
2. Book early, as tickets are sure to fly out the door as the event gets closer – plus it is free!
3. Go and talk to the good looking man at the Search and Social Media booth ;)
Finally, what do you want to take away from this year’s event?
We attend events like this so that we can learn from the attendees, believe it or not. What I want from this year’s Venturefest is to come back with challenging questions that led to lots of data delving. If you have one, be sure to fire it at me - the Noisy Little Monkey team and I always want to get even more awesome-er!
How can people contact you?
I’m on all the usual channels but if you have a burning question then tweet me at @MrJonPayne or message me on Google+ or come and find me at the Search and Social Media booth at Venturefest on the 14th November.