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Coaching tourism businesses with industry experts in Kent

As part of the European INTERREG 2 Seas project “PROFIT”, Visit Kent and our Dutch, French and Belgian partners are following a shared innovation programme for coastal tourism businesses across the 2Sseas region.

On Tuesday 2nd July, Visit Kent hosted an expert dating session with four tourism sector experts to help tourism and hospitality SMEs in Kent complete this their final step of the innovation journey that has involved tourism businesses across Kent participating in masterclasses (November and December 2018), taking part in 1-2-1 coaching sessions. The coaching involved a series of qualified experts working on a 1-2-1 level with tourism businesses (SMEs) who were committed to finding out more and innovating to grow their businesses.  The PROFIT innovation & business coaching programme in Kent covered two main areas that businesses identified:

  • to improve their digital and audio-visual content online and on social networks, (this included a short audit of current practices with a short action plan for each business to improve their content marketing techniques, storytelling, destination scope, importance of experiences and the power of local anchors). 
  • help small businesses to better interpret digital data to use those insights in marketing, planning and strategy and product development and finally, ways to improve internal and external collaboration as a means to securing simple and effective customer loyalty plans, and to motivate staff to implement them (this could include a short audit of current practices with an emphasis on collaboration, balance between local and wider picture, maybe impact from events with a view to adopting new ways of working). 

The Expert dating was divided  into 2 parts for 1) those businesses that had met one of our experts in a 1-2-1 session at their premises; and 2) those business that had gone the step further and identified key actions and steps towards make changes in the form of an innovation plan.

Our principle expert, Nick Hall from the Digital Tourism Think Tank  introduced the expert sessions. 

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He underlined "7 steps to boosting your digital success" points that participating businesses would reflect upon during their individual sessions.

His presentation covered 

1) Towards a 360 digital brand
2) Craft and Curate
3) Tell, don't sell
4) People matter 1/2
5) Audience Food
6) People matter 2/2
7) Be Present

                                 (click to download presentation)

James Page
, from Muse, met businesses to work through the role of Identity and Storytelling


                                  (click to download presentation)

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Our third expert, Seren Welch, spoke about the need to work closely together with others on destination collaboration.  Better coordination can result in sharing the workload of storytelling around the destination.

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 Photos from the expert dating workshops can be viewed below

This was the last business facing event of the PROFIT innovation & business coaching programme before the project ends on 30th September 2019,

See presentations for the recent PROFIT Think Tank held on 13th June in Canterbury.

 The PROFIT closing event takes place on 20th September - more information and save the date.