I love York Business Week.
As a York-based creative, it’s easy to feel eclipsed by the sheer amount of talent in nearby Leeds. There are countless agencies, not to mention large-scale events like Search Leeds.
Events like York Business Week showcase just how much this awe-inspiring city has to offer. We regularly top ‘best place to live’ lists, we’ve got two universities, and we’re on track to becoming Britain’s first ‘gigabit city’.
A lot has happened since my first York Business Week in 2016, starting out as a humble networking rookie. This year, I’m looking forward to getting more involved than ever. Based on one writer’s opinion, here are a few of the best York Business Week events for creatives.
Monday 11th November
York Business Week Conference
Kicking off York Business Week is an all-day conference at York Racecourse. It will feature a number of talks on key subjects including the Northern Powerhouse, new tech trends, and how to succeed in business.
Led by Make It York, the event will start and finish with networking sessions – ideal for York creatives to make new contacts.
8:30am-3:30pm, York Racecourse, £45.
Highlight for creatives: How Can York Capitalise on Tech Trends? – talk and Q&A by Bethan Vincent, Netsells, 12:20pm onwards
Tuesday 12th November
Creating a Knockout Marketing Strategy
As part of the York Business Week workshop series (£15 for one or £45 for all four across the day), Rachel Goddard from Intandem Communications will take us through the marketing strategy.
The talk is aimed at business managers and marketing managers, but will benefit anybody who wants to add another string to their bow. By joining up branding, PR, communications and social media, creatives will benefit from a holistic approach to their strategies.
11am-12:30pm, Novotel York, £15.
Led by Mat Lazenby, founder of branding agency LazenbyBrown, this workshop will teach creatives how to be individuals in a saturated marketplace. It will discuss human archetypes and how to be truly authentic, making it ideal for start-ups or those in in-house marketing roles.
3:30-5pm, Novotel York, £15.
SEO: What it Isn’t, What it Is and How to Use it to Grow Your Business
This evening event is ideal for web developers, novice marketers or copywriters who need an introduction to SEO. Led by Colin Docherty, founder of Edge45, this workshop will dispel common SEO myths and reveal how you can make it work for your business.
5:45-8:30pm, York Marriott Hotel, £30.
Highlight for creatives: Brand Personality – workshop by Mat Lazenby
Wednesday 13th November
Young Entrepreneurs’ Breakfast
(N.B. There is no age limit on this – I’ve managed to bag an invite!) Held by the York Guild of Entrepreneurs, this breakfast networking meeting will see some of York’s most successful entrepreneurs discussing their pathways to success.
This will be a great opportunity for freelancers and start-ups to hone their strategies and meet new connections.
8-10:30am, Carluccio’s, FOC.
Hiscox Open Day
The Hiscox Centre offers an outstanding co-working space for creatives. In addition to a modern, dynamic atmosphere, there’s also a huge rocket in the centre of the building! Led by Make It York, this will give creatives the chance to get to know Hiscox and explore opportunities for new working environments.
11am-1pm, Hiscox Centre, FOC.
The Different Faces of Small Business
City of York Council and the Federation of Small Businesses have called upon the talents of well-known entrepreneurs for this free support session. The event will touch upon key subjects such as marketing, funding support and cybersecurity.
With speakers including Dragons’ Den star Katy Foxcroft, this session will provide invaluable advice to creatives looking to grow their business.
2-5:30pm, National Centre for Early Music, FOC.
Highlight for creatives: The Different Faces of Small Business – 1-2-1 sessions
Thursday 14th November
Led by Nick Bramley (with whom I have had the pleasure of working in a travel marketing role), this workshop will discuss how to engage and inspire your audiences. From internal meetings to client pitches and events, this workshop will help creatives build their confidence.
Nick Bramley is Director of Impact at Impactus Group and offers years of experience in business consultancy and public speaking.
3:30-5pm, Novotel, £15.
Make York are hosting this chilled-out networking gathering at the Botanist on Thursday evening. Not to be confused with Make It York, Make York are a group of young professionals who regularly hold relaxed networking events.
This drinks evening will be ideal for shy creatives who have trouble making new connections – no selling, just sharing stories in an informal environment.
6-10pm, The Botanist, £5.
Highlight for creatives: Public Speaking workshop – Nick Bramley, Impactus Group
Friday 15th November
Barnstorming Business Broadcasting
York’s best-known media experts are coming together for a Q&A session on how to increase brand awareness. Featuring special guests including BBC Radio York’s Elly Fiorentini and former BBC presenter Will Jenkyns, this session will discuss how to secure media coverage across multiple channels.
Covering social media, PR campaigns and broadcasting, the session is ideal for any marketers looking to launch new campaigns.
9-11:30am, Bedern Hall, £10.
Highlight for creatives: PR tips from the Pick and Mix marketing team, plus BBC broadcasters
See you at York Business Week!
These are just a handful of the inspiring events set to take place over York Business Week from Monday 11th-Friday 15th November.
Whether you’re a freelancer, an in-house marketer or simply a professional looking to make new connections, I cannot recommend it enough. I’m going to try and make as many events as I can, schedule-permitting!
I look forward to seeing you there…