How to use grow your Tourism or Hospitality Business
9:30 AM09:30

How to use grow your Tourism or Hospitality Business

Do online reviews leave you reeling? Are you looking for ways to turn customers into promoters? Do you get frustrated at not being top of customer's searches? Our training session is designed to help you take control.

This is the first of a new series of enhanced sessions designed for the SIMS audience. We'd like to introduce Sanj Naha, former Head of Restaurants at TripAdvisor, who has vast experience, as you can see below.

During this training session Sanj will cover:
• Understanding why TripAdvisor is so important for any Hospitality and Tourism business.
• How to generate more TripAdvisor reviews. 
• Online Reputation Management, turning guests/customers into your promoters.
• How to integrate TripAdvisor marketing tools on your website.
• How to respond to positive and negative reviews. 
• TripAdvisor's best practise. 
• Understanding TripAdvisor's visitor metrics and using the data to influence your marketing mix. 
• Learn about Paid and FREE TripAdvisor Marketing Tools.

If you work in a business and TripAdvisor is a medium your customers use this session will be invaluable. Make sure you book a place.

View Event →
to Jul 28

Making Sales - Tips, Techniques and Telemarketing at July's SIMS

At SIMS we talk a lot about growing your audience. This month's SIMS is designed to help you take those contacts a step further and turn leads into sales. We have managed to book two great speakers. One telling us about telesales as part of your marketing strategy and the other about talking about how to improve your sales technique.  

Laura Morrison from Your Telemarketing will be telling you about Telemarketing – turning Cold calls into Hot leads! While award winning business coach Suzanne MacDonald Carr will be teaching us how to focus on making sales.

About Laura's Talk

Most small business owners find the concept of telemarketing as part of their overall marketing strategy one of the most difficult to deal with. Most have skills in areas other than sales and for some, just the thought sends shivers down their spine. Statistically in now takes an average of 8-12 touches to convert a prospect to a sale which is why multiple marketing strategies are so important. Additionally, it has been proven that by following up a direct mail or email campaign you can improve response rates by further 10-15% (Source DMA).

Laura Morrison, Managing Director of Your Telemarketing, will share some of her knowledge and experience gained over 25 years in the industry, to help small business owners tackle the challenge of making outbound calls to generate new clients. From the importance of good quality data through to objection handling, Laura will leave you armed and even excited about undertaking some telemarketing to help you grow your business.

Laura Morrison, Managing Director

Your Telemarketing was founded 5 years ago by Laura Morrison, who has 28 years experience in sales and marketing. She has undertaken numerous courses in the field of sales, negotiation, presentation and sales management, and furthered her skill set by completing a Diploma in Direct Marketing. Laura has managed sales and marketing teams and cemented her corporate career with 10 years in the Call Centre sector at Director level.

About Suzanne's Talk

Helicopter Tour of marketing and sales strategies to grow your business. A whistle-stop tour of these deep subject areas which are imperative for business growth and how to link them to your day-to- day operations and positively affect your cash-flow

We will cover:

  • Decisions on strategies that are critical to incorporate in the formation of your annual marketing plan
  • Linking these decisions to quarterly and daily/weekly marketing activity
  • Incorporating marketing results into your strategies for sales process and weekly sales activity
  • Acquisition cost vs. lifetime value of customer/clients – the loyalty journey. 

What else do you get from SIMS?

Latest changes in the digital industry. Max Shelley from Measured Brilliance will be giving his monthly SEO round-up of what's hot and what's not in the industry.

Accountancy Advice. We also have Andrew Diver from the Beatons Group who'll be giving us monthly accountancy advice roundup.

We look forward to seeing you there. 

View Event →
12:00 AM00:00

Get Better at Social Media - "Ask the Experts" Panel Event - June SIMS

Hello Everyone,

This June at SIMS, we’re hosting an “Ask the Expert” Panel Event to help small businesses get better at Social Media!

We are often asked for talks about social media. As there is such a wide range of platforms and an equally wide range of needs from our audience we've decided to run a Q&A panel event. We have asked a panel of experts who will answer questions about Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram and Snapchat.

Measured Brilliance's Max Shelley will be on the panel to answer questions about content marketing and changing trends on social media

Sam Parnell will host the event and will be accepting question submissions before the event to make sure you get all the answers you need.

Our Experts:

  • Kim Morrison - Social Media Expert and Trainer
  • Max Shelley - SEO Expert
  • Sam Brook - Social Media Trainer
  • Caron Peirson - Twitter and Social Media Expert
  • Angel Rubia - Twitter and Social Media Expert
  • Daniel Coughlan- Marketing Expert

More details will follow soon.

Please feel free to email with two question choices.


As usual Max Shelley from Measured Brilliance will be giving his monthly SEO round-up of what's hot and what's not in the industry.

We also have Andrew Diver from the Beatons Group who'll be giving us a "What you need to know in 5 minutes" roundup to help you get a better grip of finance for your business.

The Meetup is completely free and open to all. RSVP today!

If you want to know more, just ask us. See you there.

View Event →
12:30 AM00:30

Copywriting with Sally Ormond & Business Narrative by Paul Johnstone

Hello everyone,  

We're preparing for May's SIMS and we're all excited! Our topics for May are important parts of every business and we have the best experts lined up to share their expertise and experience.

First of all, we have Sally Ormond from Briar Copywriting coming to tell us about Copywriting. She draws on her experience to dispel some of the urban myths about writing copy for the web and to explain why your copywriting should be natural. Sally became a freelance copywriter back in 2007. Over that time she has built up an enviable global client base, working with businesses both large and small.   

This talk covers: 

  • Urban myths about copywriting
  • Why your copywriting should be natural

Our second speaker for the night is Paul Johnstone from Paradigm Shakers coming to talk to us about business narratives. 

Your business narrative is an integral part of your communications to the world. It is important that you get the most from it.  This is why getting prospects to interact with your written communication, is one of the best ways of generating business. Therefore, the effort you put in it should work for you. It’s a fact that the best way to achieve this is by telling your story.

Being able to tell your story in a way that prospects understand you and your company is an important skill. In this meetup, you will learn how to tell your story. This is an important component in your sales and marketing mix. You will understand how to use a simple ‘framework’ that fits any situation. This will help you become better storytellers and develop a powerful business narrative.

You’ll be introduced to techniques to help you deliver a better story that includes:

  • Knowing and understanding your audience
  • Understanding the best language to use and why it works
  • Awareness of why simple is always best

As always, it's going to be a great night of educating and networking. We hope to see you there! 

View Event →
to Apr 28

Using Video for your Business & Making a Successful Youtube Channel


April's SIMS is about using video to help your business. We have Barry and Cristina from BoMoJo Productions and Elene Marsden from Hangouts4Business who'll show us how you can utilise video to work for your business. 

Why should your business use video? 

  • It's quick, snazzy, and self-explanatory (which visitors love!).
  • It adds a new form of interaction between your visitors/customers
  • Promotes creativity and shows a lot about your business' personality. 

Our first speakers for the night are Barry and Christian.

What motivates us to film and edit? 
Simply because we genuinely passionate about capturing, editing and ultimately producing a final cut that will help and inspire, those eyes and ears that watch and listen.

Our passion is to find out the “HOW and “WHY” of things and then share them. To tell the story!

Our creative productions inform, inspire, deliver audience interaction and engage to drive sales and communicate brand, delivering fresh ideas and quality media for every conceivable type of client, industry and purpose for businesses and organisations of all sizes.

This talk will cover:

  • Why use Video to help promote your business
  • Tale of Inspiration using Video in East Anglia
  • 50 Shades of Video

Our second speaker for the night is Elene Marsden. 

Youtube and there's no reason why your business shouldn't be on there. You may have come across popular youtube channels and what they all have in common is great content. Content, of course can vary. Learn more about what suits your business and make your way into creating your own youtube channel.  

This talk will cover:

  • Want your videos to show up on Google and YouTube Search?  
  • Want to be seen as a thought leader in your industry
  • Want to grow an audience of loyal supporters keen to learn more

Here are just a few of the reasons you need a YouTube Channel. 

We’ll show you the tips and tricks to getting your channel up and running and most importantly, explain how you can upload fresh content to your channel, regularly.

Meet up with Elene Marsden from Hangouts4Business and learn how she’s built her own Preloved Chica YouTube Channel.

We hope to see you there!

View Event →
12:30 AM00:30

Setting Up Online Groups & #Suffolkhour

Hello everyone,  

We're getting social this March at SIMS. We have the people from Suffolk Business Stars and #Suffolkhour to tell us about two of the more popular social networking events/groups in local Suffolk.

Why is this meet-up for you business?

  • Use social media to your advantage. 
  • Build relationships with other businesses. 
  • Creating groups and building contacts

Our first speaker is Gemma Thompson from Suffolk Business Stars. Come to SIMS this month to learn more about the people behind one of suffolk's largest online groups. If you’re thinking of starting your own online community then this talk will be a good place to start. 

This talk will cover

  • How Suffolk Business Stars began
  • How are they useful
  • Setting up your own online group
  • Managing online groups

Our second speakers for night is the #Suffolkhour Twitter crew, Josh Seager, Caroline Shields, Kate Kelly and Arron Weightcoming to talk to us about their journey so far.  #Suffolkhour is a weekly "tweet-up" taking place on Twitter every wednesday night that allows local businesses owner to network in  a virtual environment from the comfort of their own home. 

The #Suffolkhour crew will talk us through:

  • An introduction to the #suffolkhour team, find out about the team behind the hashtag, plus what else they do.
  • Talk about how #suffolkhour started and what #suffolkhour is.
  • How online communities can help build relationships and communities.
  • Helping non Twitter users understand why it can be helpful in business.
  • Hear about some of the #suffolkhour regulars.
  • Find out where #suffolkhour will go next.

Join our meetup!
If you have any questions, get in touch with Sam on 0776 585 2887. 

See you soon. 

View Event →
12:00 AM00:00

Google Streetview & Drone Photography


We're setting things up for February's SIMS and here's what we have so far. 

Our first speaker is Carl Lamb.

Google Street View for Business with Carl Lamb.

Since it's humble beginnings at Stanford University in the USA, Google Street View has gone on to become a worldwide phenomenon. We now take for granted that we can research almost any address and see exactly where we need to go. Perhaps for a meeting, the monthly catch up with friends or maybe to view places we remember from our childhood. 

Recently, Google has allowed businesses themselves to become integrated into Street View, allowing their customers to not only see where they are based on the map, but to be able to interactively explore inside a location and really get to know the business on an unprecedented level. 

In this session we will cover: 

  • What is Google Street View for Business? 
  • Where is it seen?
  • How to best showcase a business with Street View
  • Some weird and wonderful examples for inspiration! 

Carl Lamb from ambientLight is an immersive virtual tour creator helping both local businesses and national brands engage customers through the power of interactive 360 degree tours online. Carl was approached directly by Google in early 2012 in order to help provide the new Google Street View for business service to customers throughout East Anglia. 

Our second speaker is Pete Kyle

Drone Photography with Pete Kyle

Pete has a background in media, working in Photography, Film and TV for 30 years. He is able to combine his visual eye with his experience as a trained and licensed UAV pilot.

UK Aircam is a Suffolk based media production company with 30 years’ experience in Photography, Film and TV. They are also a Civil Aviation Authority approved and licensed UAV (drone) operator.  They can offer high end, aerial video and photography alongside aerial surveys with full 3-D mapping.

This is a great way to give your venue an extra dimension online or in print and offers potential clients a unique perspective of your property and land.

More details about Pete Kyle's talk will follow soon.

A quick note prior to February's SIMS: The SIMS "Be Brilliant in 2016" competition will be running until the 16th February so make sure you sign up!

If you have any questions, get in touch with Sam on 0776 585 2887. 

See you soon. 

Sam & Max

View Event →
to Jan 29

Understanding Wordpress & How Web Accessibility Can Improve your Business

SIMS is ready kick-off 2016 with January's SIMS where we have two web-based individuals in Andy Proctor and Angie Vale ready to share their knowledge in Wordpress and Web Accessibility. 

Andy Proctor will be going through the "How's and Why's" of Wordpress websites along with a few tips and advice to go along with it. 

Can you do your website yourself and should you do it yourself? Doing it ‘in-house’ gives more control and WordPress is free, so why would we need to pay someone to make a WordPress website for us? Can you have a go and then get someone to fix the mess? (yes, you can!)

Andy will show you free tools and services to help you with your website, with the focus on a WordPress website. While he makes websites for other people, he is very aware that anyone can work it out for themselves and will expand on this. He will bring together elements of functions, layouts and marketing to show you how a website should be more than something you should have, but a tool that gets brand awareness and contact, but more importantly on-line sales or the phone ringing. 

It will be at a fast pace but a video will be recorded for viewing on the SIMS website, so be ready for some humour and insight as well as outcomes to suit all of the SIMS members. Andy strongly believes that you should be able to take possession of your own website with confidence and he will show you the following, all directly relevant to why WordPress works so well for the end user.

This talk will cover:  

  • What is cloud hosting and CMS?
  • How to ‘properly’ add and amend pages.
  • Using the Widgets and changing the home page.
  • Editor access and how you can use any developer.
  • What you should remove from a website and why.
  • All important Google Bounce explained in 90 seconds.
  • Links to keep Google happy while measuring sales/contact.
  • How much can you control yourself without your developer.
  • What to make sure your developer promises to do ongoing.
  • The basics you need to do if you make the website yourself.

About Andy

He currently works for a Felixstowe based B-2-B weddings and craft stockist, setting them up on-line with an e-commerce shop and their new marketing focus. He is passionate about WordPress and have used it commercially with great success and want to spread the word about this free platform for great looking websites.
He offers training on WordPress websites attends the School for Social Entrepreneurs at the Eastern Enterprise Hub and understand corporate social responsibility and how a business can do good while making profit. 
"I am able to present in a fun way, while keeping the audience engaged and free to deliver presentations and sessions for large groups in Suffolk ongoing."

Angie Vale from Baby Purple Hippo Web Design will be explaining how web accessibility can improve your business.

Web accessibility means that people with disabilities can use the Web. More specifically, Web accessibility means that people with disabilities can perceive, understand, navigate, and interact with the Web, and that they can contribute to the Web. This also includes people with changing abilities due to ageing.

Web accessibility also considers the technology used to view websites such as browser choice, broadband speed and mobile devices. 

Websites and applications that don’t consider these needs may be missing out on potential business.

This talk will cover:

  • What is web accessibility
  • Why web accessibility is important
  • How you can make your website more accessible
  • How you can test your website for accessibility
  • How web accessibility can help your business.

About Angie

Angie Vale runs Purple Baby Hippo, a small web design company who build WordPress websites. 

Sign up for the RSVP event here. 

View Event →
to Nov 27

The Power of Podcasting

  • The Waterfront Building (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Want to know what podcasting can do for you and your business? Here at SIMS we have our very own resident experts and this November they will be sharing their in-depth knowledge with us.

The last couple of years have seen an upsurge in podcasting; this trend looks set to continue. In this session Kathryn Bryant and Julian Illman explore the power of podcasting and what it can do for you and your business, including:

• Podcast basics

• Why podcasts are a powerful medium

• What podcasting could mean for you and your business

• Podcasting models

• Podcasting practicalities and is it for you

• How to take your first podcasting steps

Kathryn and Julian co-host the award nominated Changeability Podcast and Kathryn is host of the recently launched show, Podcast Divas. Both available for free on iTunes, Stitcher and TuneIn. 


View Event →
to Oct 30

Changes with Google and Google Tag Manager

  • The Waterfront Building (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Here at SIMS we know that keeping up with the ever changing best practises online can be difficult for business owners. The fantastic feedback we get from Max's monthly SEO roundups prove that you're all keen to learn more. 

This month we are pleased to present two speakers both experts at using Google for Business, each in their own specific area. 

Matt Anderson from Montage Communications will be returning to talk about recent changes with Google and what's like to happen next.

Each year, Google changes its search algorithm around 500–600 times. While most of these changes are minor, Google occasionally rolls out a "major" algorithmic update (such as Google Panda and Google Penguin) that affects search results in significant ways.

For small businesses, knowing about these Google updates can help you understand changes in rankings and organic website traffic and ultimately improve search engine optimisation. Matt will be here to explain what this means for your business and how to prepare for these updates. 

Sean Clark from, Kurasie Ltd. and NTJ Magazine will be making his first appearance!

Online marketing is nothing without data and the ability to measure the results. Implementing all the snippets of code and tracking required to make a data driven business a reality requires a team effort. Marketing departments coming up with new initiatives every week and web development teams under resourced working to carefully planned release schedules don’t always mix well.

This is where Google Tag Manager can help. A one time install by the web team can then mean marketers are free to ad tracking, custom snippets and remarking anytime they like. All within a safe, relatively non-technical, environment.

Sean will take you through the basics of installation of Tag Manager with some standard tracking. As well as more imaginative ways it could be put to use. 
In addition, Sean will cover Google’s newest release in their bid to make the mobile web a faster place. Recently released, Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages framework is something every business can take advantage of. It can make the end user’s experience of your website better and you also have the potential of appearing higher in the search results!


View Event →
12:00 AM00:00

Using Pinterest & Instagram for Business

This month our very own Sam Parnell will be explaining how Pinterest and Instagram can help your business. Suffolk has a wonderful array of businesses working in the arts, design, media, photography, hospitality and crafts, all ideally suited to photographic marketing. 

Here at SIMS we know that business people often focus on the social media platforms and audiences they know. It’s always worth exploring new horizons and image delivery platforms Pinterest and Instagram are a great place to start. 

Sam will cover:
Building an Audience
Getting Discovered
Sharing Engaging Content
Optimising Boards and Pins

Screenshot 2015-09-01 14.59.46.png

We have invited a guest speaker who uses Pinterest and Instagram to come and tell their story. Confirmation and more information to follow shortly.

Sam and Max from Measured Brilliance believe in small businesses taking control of their own web presence and offer one to one tuition and training sessions. They help their clients understand website traffic and SEO, using social media marketing effectively and assist them to plan strong content strategies. 

Sam and Max co-founded SIMS to give something back to the local businesses community. SIMS is entering it’s third year.


View Event →