This year I visited the Microbiz event in Horsham again. It was much the same as last year and, to be honest, it needs a little refresh. Here are my suggestions:
- Move the event out of the Drill Hall. I appreciate that it is suitable with regard to size and availability of seminar rooms but it is off the beaten track. Next year’s Microbiz should be held in the Old Town Hall except that the town has given up this resource. OK, hold it in Waitrose, in Piries Place. It will be empty by then. There may need to be some thought given to seminar rooms of course. Why Waitrose? It is central. Those in town to shop will find it, those in town to go to Microbiz will find the shops. Win win.
- If you don’t want to move out of the Drill Hall then here is another option to bring in more visitors. Don’t set up the ‘welcome’ table in the Drill Hall (visitors have already decided to be there!). Instead put it in the Carfax Bandstand (or that area). Have a shuttle taxi / minibus ferrying visitors up and back to the Drill Hall. The taxi firm could pay for that and dish out business cards etc. Foundry Press could do some magnetic publicity so the taxi is a mobile billboard. Don’t put the year on the magnetic sheets and you can use them again and again.
- Freshen up the table layout. It has been the same ‘stalls around the outside’ and ‘stalls in the middle’ for too long. Break it up a bit!
- Have a big ‘draw’ for the event. Duncan Ballatyne OBE is leaving the Dragon’s Den tonight. Get him in next year to cut the ribbon and give a masterclass.
- Don’t let any of this year’s speakers speak again next year. There is nothing wrong with them but the event needs new companies and new speakers.
- If you are going to put balloons up outside then make a decent effort. 21 balloons dotted around are not going to draw in the masses. And, only put them on the outer railings. Your infirm visitors need a hand rail to get up the steps and you have balloons on all of them.
- Don’t allow duplicate businesses. First come, first served. There were three computer services there this year.
Bookmark this page and check it again when you are planning Microbiz 2016 as I may have updated my ideas by then!
That said, I know the team put in a lot of time and effort and it is appreciated. But, next year, let’s not have more of the same; let’s make it better.