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Boost your sales through international trade!

Amanda Rowan

In this session Amanda will cover, The practical support on offer through DIT's International Trade Advisers, How your business can benefit from the Export Academy training programme, Funding opportunities available for eligible businesses to grow overseas and the positive impact that trading overseas can have on your business.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to discover the support available in your area to help you grow your business overseas successfully!

Amanda has recently joined the team as an International Trade Adviser as lead for the Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals sectors across the North East, she also delivers export advice and support to all sectors in Stockton and Hartlepool.

Her previous experience includes working on a range of business growth, innovation and support programmes in the North East including some time with NEPIC where she worked with a range of businesses in the process industry and their closely related supply chain.

In her current role Amanda works closely with the central DIT Chemical Sector Team to ensure that local businesses benefit from access to everything DIT has to offer, from both a regional and national perspective and she is very keen to find out more about the sector wants and needs to develop export capability.


Tik Tok, you dont stop!

Phil Teasdale

You don't need your dancing shoes, you don't have to be miming to a song.

What you do have to bring to this session is an open mind and discover a new approach to building customers and sales in this post pandemic world.

TikTok, once seen as an entertainment platform, is going through a metamorphosis and is presenting opportunities to small businesses not seen for years in social media.

This is a craze you would be crazy to miss if you are building a small business.

Delivered by Phil Teasdale who has seen his business rocket and grow using TikTok as the catalyst - this practical Keynote is based on practical implementation and development by someone who is achieving sales and increased profits for his and others businesses.

CEO at EMS (Enterprise Made Simple), author of the books 'In Cahoots' and 'The Blue Whale Plan', presenter of 'The Shonky Gimbal Show', Fellow at Babson College, Boston, USA and the creator of the Inspiration USA programme.

Phil is passionate about helping people to start, build and grow their businesses in a way that is understandable, practical. Phil likes to say he provides unbusinessy, business advice and training.

With a passion for TikTok particularly, Phil is achieving outstanding results, both in the UK and abroad, alongside similar and better results with other businesses in the North East

Building Resilience and Predictability into Business

Gareth Shackleton

There is only one way to survive and thrive in business in the face of pestilence, war, famine and a plague of politicians of all persuasions. A way to take control, build resilience and develop predictability. In this seminar, Dr. Gareth Shackleton of ActionCOACH, the world's number one business coaching firm, will discuss six steps to take based the results of tens of thousands of businesses world-wide in almost every conceivable sector.

Gareth had a successful career in the pharmaceutical industry before joining ActionCOACH more than ten years ago to work with business owners and their teams throughout the North East and Cumbria. His clients have seen increased growth, job creation, and improvements in asset value as well as more time freedom, less stress and fewer sleepless nights.

Full circle with Social media

Emma Crowe

The term “Social Media” means something different to everyone. But what does “Full Circle social media marketing” really mean, and how can we use its ever growing presence to grow our businesses?

There's no question the majority of your customers are spending time on one of the many social media channels, whether it's Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn, Twitter, or one of the many other digital platforms so It makes sense to engage with your customers where they hang out.
Having a good, or great, social media presence can help your business grow exponentially. But this will only happen after you develop an engaged following and learn how to give them what they really want.
Emma will talk to you about the best choice of platform for your business and how to make sure people are not only listening but engaging with what you have to say.
Don’t sit on the social media side lines! Come along and see how social media marketing can work for your business.

Working in Social media for the past 5 years Emma co-founded Social+ in 2018. Working with a variety of clients around the UK, Emma has immersed herself into a range of business in some very different sectors.
With a background in coaching, she is able to turn her passion for social media into a training environment that not only motivates but also empowers individuals to continually challenge the way they enhance their businesses on social media.
Her knowledge, enthusiasm and realistic approach provide the perfect mix to ensure people gain maximum value from the work she provides.


Sales Skills of the Peaky Blinders

Keith Rozelle

The Winning Sales Pitch: Highlight of the great sales techniques displayed from Tommy Shelby’s “pitch” to Billy Kimber, the racetrack owner.

Keith spent 30-years in Technology Sales in the City of London with companies like HP, EDS, BT and a host of SMEs. He has sold products and services from gym memberships at £45/month to IT Outsourcing contracts worth over £1billion.

Whatever you’re selling, the principles of sales are surprisingly similar. The ability to build trust and articulate “difference” is vital for all businesses in order to stand out from the crowd.

Running a business in a busy marketplace 

Doug Dinwiddie

You’ve got an idea for a new and exciting business, but you’re not sure how to get started and stand out in a crowd of competitors?

In this seminar Doug Dinwiddie of Darlington based digital marketing agency, White Digital gives you the tools to hit the ground running with your new or existing business, with tips on how to accurately identify your USP and be unique in an ever-growing, busy marketplace.

Through setting up White Digital, Doug’s network has grown from strength to strength, allowing him to meet people along the way that have become a huge part of his personal business success and has led to new ventures, now co-owning several different property companies based in the NE region. He’s learned that there truly is room for everyone in business, and trying to “beat” your competitors is unnecessary and an outdated way of thinking that only holds you and your business back.

Doug is the Founder and Managing Director of White Digital, a digital agency based in Darlington with an ambitious growth plan. Specialising in website design, development and SEO, White Digital are on a mission - to make their client's online goals a reality, helping them achieve the “one thing” that really matters to them.

Doug’s career in digital marketing started whilst he was a Golf Caddy on the European Tour, starting the business in his bedroom as a side project.

Shortly into his new career in the digital marketing industry, Doug quickly noticed ways to improve the service offering of an agency and so was born White Digital. Doug holds 5 key values to the heart of everything he and the team deliver at White Digital and has a firm belief that’s what has made them so successful so far in their business journey.

The NoCode Revolution: De-risk your investment in digital

David van der Velde

Yeah yeah, we've all heard the hype - every business has to become a digital business to survive in the 21st century, but what does that actually mean? How do you build a roadmap? and how do you de-risk the journey?

Even just a few years ago only the big corporates with six figure budgets could afford the kinds of bespoke digital systems that can now be built in a fraction of the time. But guess what - digital transformation isn't primarily about the technology, it's about people!

In this entertaining and informative session, David Van der Velde and Scott Foreman of NoCode Labs will explain how NoCode technologies are changing the way organisations work and how a service design approach to developing digital services can guide your journey to being a digitally enabled organisation.

You will learn what NoCode development is and what it means for organisations. The session will also cover the whys and hows of service design with real life case studies.

Gartner research predicts that by 2024, 65% of software dev will be NoCode.

David has 25 years experience in the digital sector, from the days of phoning around in the late 90's asking people if they had heard of the Internet to developing high profile digital platforms for government, businesses and International institutions.

He founded the digital agency Consult and Design which he ran for 20 years before joining forces with Land Digital in Sunderland to launch NoCode labs.



Don't be afraid of Facebook! 

Alex Nicholson

Do you find Facebook daunting? Not sure In this seminar Alex will talk about how not to be afraid of using Facebook, tips and tricks on how to use engaging content

Alex is town centre partnerships and events manager for Darlington Borough Council specialising in networking with all local business whilst facilitating a full calendar of events to attract new business to Darlington. She is also a social media wizard soecialsing in all things Facebook

Improve your Networking ROI

Jeni Smith

Not sure which events are right for you? Looking for a little networking confidence boost? Want to get more from the events you’re attending? Then this workshop’s for you!
Join networking strategist and founder of NetKno, Jeni Smith, for a fun, interactive workshop where you’ll learn how to improve your return on investment from networking activities.
She’ll be taking you though practical steps you can take to improve your networking ROI, as well as showcasing the range of objectives and outcomes that could be adding additional benefit to you and your business.
This is the perfect workshop for anyone who’s new to the world of networking, or has been attending events for years and is looking for a little refresh or some new perspectives and ideas.
You’ll walk away with loads of practical tips and tools as well as lots of ideas on how to get more from future networking activities.

Jeni is passionate about connecting people. When people come together powerful
things happen: relationships are built, knowledge is shared and sparks of innovation
are fired.
With sixteen years’ experience in the networking industry, Jeni now teaches
networking skills to professionals and academics all over the world, and creates
networking strategies to help people come together and build effective, long-term
During her careers she has won several awards in enterprise including being named
within the ‘Future 100 Young Entrepreneurs’ in the UK, and finalist for Start-Up of the
Year at the Great British Entrepreneur Awards 2021 & 2022.
Between 2017-19 she conducted two rounds of academic research with Durham
University, exploring her unique strategic business networking model. The research
results spurred her on to launch NetKno to help individuals and businesses become
more confident, efficient, and strategic networkers.
Jeni truly believes that networking has the ability to change people’s lives, unlock
hidden potential, spark world-changing ideas and be the catalyst for positive change:
all starting with a simple "Hello".




5 simple steps to celebrating your social impact

Jayne Graham

This 45 minute session with social entrepreneur Jayne Graham will fuel your ideas about how you can dust off your CSR policy and take just 5 simple steps to really make your mark on people’s lives.

As Commercial Director I have the privilege of being a member of the forward-thinking and ambitious leadership team of Citizens Advice Gateshead; a local charity with a national reach. The charity has a track-record spanning 6 decades, during which time it’s grown into one of the biggest providers of Citizens Advice services in the country, with a turnover exceeding £4m and employing over 180 staff, as well as being supported by dozens of wonderful volunteers. One of the best bits of my job is leading the development and growth of our trading subsidiary social enterprise Society Matters cic which, within a couple of years, has become recognised as a leading, national social welfare training provider.

Before joining the charity in 2018, my career has spanned private, public and charitable sectors. After graduating in business I developed my ‘formative career’ in the recruitment industry, ultimately leading the growth of a private national recruitment business to a turnover of £24m. In 2000 I took on a new challenge as the CEO of a publicly funded business support agency in County Durham, again growing it from £1m to £10m and from a staff of 24 to over 100, then in 2004 I set up my own consultancy business which I ran from home, combining working full time + with looking after my young family, until eventually taking up my current role, after spending three years supporting local charities with strategic direction, digital communications and income generation. I was humbled to be awarded an MBE for services to the small business sector in the North East in 2017 and in 2021 was appointed as a Fellow of the Institute of Employability Professionals.



Small Business Guide to Cyber Security

Kelly Close & Claire Vendenbroecke

In this seminar Kelly & Claire will share a quick, non-technical guide to what you can do to keep your small/medium sized business safe in a digital world and what free help is available to you.

Claire and Kelly are part of the North East Cyber Crime Protect Network which is made up of Cleveland Police, Durham Police, Northumbria Police and the North East Regional Special Operations Unit (NERSOU). The NECCPN provides support to small and medium sized businesses to help them assess what their risk is from cyber crime and address it. This could be through staff inputs, training exercises or assessing the vulnerability of your business using industry recognised software similar to an attacker would use.

Getting your inbox to Zero – and Keeping it That Way

Andy Hogg

Andy Hogg, joint Owner/Director of The IT Trainer, is an IT Specialist with proven teaching and technical skills gained during the 36 years he has worked within the IT Industry. Andy brings a wealth of knowledge to The IT Trainer, combining a unique, friendly and focussed training style with the ability to recognise the skill levels of the students and to tailor the training to meet each student’s specific requirements. He has recently delivered training sessions in Dubai, Munich and Casablanca. A graduate of De Montfort University (B.Sc Mathematics), Andy also has MCAS (Microsoft Certified Application Specialist) and MOS (Microsoft Office Specialist) accreditations.

Andy’s method of IT training has been described as “IT Coaching”, with the emphasis being placed on the student to perform all the tasks, under Andy’s careful guidance. This style of teaching is entirely appropriate to The IT Trainer and allows each of the courses to be entirely flexible, thus ensuring a maximum return on investment. His years of experience in IT also means he is ideally placed to work in a Project Management role for key clients.

Outside of his role with The IT Trainer, Andy is a qualified Personal Trainer/Fitness Instructor and he also reached the top level as a football referee. He continues to be involved in football by continuing to referee at local level, assisting in the development of young referees and as an avid follower of Sheffield United.