Business conference celebrates town success

Making networking count, funding and cyber protection were among the topics at our third annual small business conference.

Held at the Pirelli Stadium, the conference welcomed business owners and employees from across the town to take part in a series of talks and informal networking opportunities.

Sponsored by Burton and District Chamber of Commerce, Stoke on Trent and Staffordshire Growth Hub, Burton marketing specialists Davies+Scothorn and the town’s dedicated yoga, pilates and meditation studio – Calm, the event including a variety of business support stands for the first time.

Burton Small Biz conference 2018

Cheryl Morris, of Creative Word PR, one of the three businesses behind Burton Small Business, said: “It was great to see so many local businesses coming together to share advice, support and ultimately business with one another. We have had some fantastic feedback from the day already with businesses taking the opportunity to connect and support one another. Others have used the advice and tips from speakers to make positive changes in their businesses. It was one of our largest events yet and I think as business owners we all appreciate the time to stop and re-evaluate what we are doing in order to take advice from others -that is ultimately how businesses grow.”

Among the speakers on the day were internationally-acclaimed keynote speaker Sue Tonks, who gave a lively look at the dos and don’ts of networking; IT specialist and former fraud expert to High Street banks Owen Conti of Code 56; cult personalised sock business owner Lauren Dorling of Solesmith – who started her business in a garden shed and has now featured on This Morning and Chris Else of Else Solicitors. Rebecca Parker, of the Stoke on Trent and Staffordshire Growth Hub, also covered what funding is available out there for local businesses.

A unique 2018/19 business calendar was also distributed free to the businesses who attended, thanks to a collaboration between all the town’s networking groups, Burton Small Business and Reflex Print.

There were support stands covering subjects from networking and training to funding and export. Those represented included the Love Ladies Business Group; the Federation of Small Businesses; Keele University’s Business Gateway; the Department for International Trade; NatWest; Staffordshire University; Alexander Accountancy; Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership and PR firm FCM Associates.

All images by Alex Cantrill-Jones/ACJ Media

You can view an album featuring more conference images taken by Alex on our Facebook page at

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