The Power of Gathering Indie Businesses Together

Yesterday was our first gathering since our Summer break – Coffee Break networking for independent business owners. We gather once a month to do just that – have a coffee break, get inspired, think clearly, discover new ideas and connect with like minded, business owners.

Gathering at the iconic, and now famous, Middleport Pottery in Burslem we enjoyed homemade cake, inspiring surroundings and hearing from Gary from Appetite Stoke talking to us about their award winning arts programmes, events and performances. Bringing culture to the masses in Stoke on Trent since 2013, Appetite Stoke has reached an audience of nearly 400,000, won national recognition and is now one of the inspirational elements of the Stoke on Trent City of Culture bid 2021. Gary was able to share with us how to engage an audience, the impact of cultural events happening in communities that may not usually participate in cultural activities and some of their favourite marketing techniques.

Among his many stories and ideas, he referred back to one of his golden rules – KISS – keep it simple stupid. He said himself – not an original idea – but one that he reminds himself again and again. Despite welcoming amazing artistic talent coming to Stoke including the Royal Opera House, Gary shared with us that when marketing those events, the thing potential audiences really want to know is what the experience will be like not the awards the performers have won. He reminded us all to think about the whole customer journey from first finding out about a business or event right through when they get home after the event itself. Great advice that’s so easy to forget but one all stand out indie businesses are so good at – telling their story and taking their audience along with them.

Thank to Gary from Appetite and thank you to all those business owners that got in touch. To find out more about our Coffee Break, head over to our Facebook page where our events are listed. You can also check out our membership page – find out how to join us & what we are all about.