NEW: How to Make the Most of The Digital Awards

Wherever you’re based, our Digital Awards (DA) schemes offer excellent county-wide exposure.

But if you’re sponsoring a category, how do you make the most of such a great promotional opportunity?

And if you’re lucky enough to be named as a finalist, how do you use this achievement to bring you maximum publicity?

Danielle from Indy Consultancy, our Content Partner for the Essex Digital Awards (EDAs) 2018, is a past sponsor. She’s been involved in the EDAs in a number of capacities for nearly five years, and during that time, she’s witnessed different approaches towards self-promotion and experimented with various marketing ideas.

She’s collected all of her experience into this article, which lists tips to help sponsors and finalists make the most of the Awards before, during and after the main award-giving event.

Sponsors

As part of the largest business awards in the county, the DA sponsorship packages offer exceptional value as it is, but believe it or not, there are even more ways you can use the scheme to get your brand in front of potential customers. It may take a little time and organisation, but the end results are definitely worth the effort.

1.Make room for your marketing materials

It doesn’t matter if it’s a simple roller banner or a whole box full of branded goodies – the more marketing collateral you can place in front of an audience, the more likely they are to remember you. Always speak to the event organisers to see if it will be possible to display your merchandise at a key point during the evening, such as the welcome drinks.

2.It’s all about the freebies

Everyone loves to think they’re getting something for free – including Indy! So why not arrange to give away a unique gift to everyone who attends the event?

You could even take this one step further and organise an exclusive competition for attendees. Regular sponsors Nimbus Hosting have hosted some great giveaways in the past – for example, at the Hertfordshire Digital Awards in September (2017), they gave guests the chance to win a variety of prizes by running a tombola draw. The setup encouraged loads of interaction with the company’s staff (and their Twitter account), and the winners were over the moon with their free gifts.

3.Reach out to other sponsors

Whenever you attend any kind of awards evening or networking event, you’re going to be surrounded by other companies that are clamouring for attention. But why not work with them instead of against them? You never know – you may end up referring business their way, and vice versa.

My advice would to be always take the time to meet and greet other event sponsors and understand what they do. The Awards now offers pre-event networking events that give you the chance to make these valuable connections in a less formal setting.

And if you don’t get a chance to talk to everyone, make a note of their contact details and introduce yourself via email. A quick ‘hello’ might just secure your place as a preferred supplier, if the need arises.

4.Introduce yourself to the finalists

Being shortlisted for an award is always a big deal, so why not give our finalists and winners a well-deserved pat on the back? Whether you choose to approach them in person to offer your congratulations, or drop them a message via email or Twitter, the sentiment will not go unnoticed and you’re sure to stick in their minds.

A great way to keep a record of the winners on the night is to make notes next to the Gold, Silver and Bronze winners in the Awards programme. It may mean foregoing a couple of glasses of wine during the main presentation, but you can always make up for that afterwards…

5.Get writing

Sponsoring the DAs is certainly a great conversation starter, so talk to your audience by putting together some timely, relevant content. To start with, you could write a blog on your website that announces your involvement in the scheme. If you want to take things one step further, you could put useful tips into a mini-whitepaper and hand it out exclusively at the event.

I would recommend rallying support for the event using your various social accounts, too. The advantage here is that the DAs already boast a huge online following. The Essex Digital Awards’ Twitter account, for example, has nearly 4,000 followers at time of writing. So if you talk about the awards as often as you can (and via as many different channels as you can), I guarantee you’ll generate a great deal more exposure for your company.

(If you’re struggling to find the time or the resources to create this kind of content, this is something an external copywriting agency such as Indy can help you with. Just a thought.).

6.Be creative!

If you’ve got extra ideas, don’t be afraid to share them with the Awards organisers. They’re always looking to add as much value to your awards experience as they can, and they’re very open to new ways of engaging their guests and associates.

Finalists and Winners

If you’ve made it to the finals, you deserve a great big well done. You’ve beaten hundreds of other entrants and you’re going to soak up the amazing atmosphere at the next Awards ceremony. But the benefits of being celebrated as a finalist don’t have to end there.

1.Blitz your social accounts

I’m sure you’re very socially active anyway, but make sure you shout about your achievements by announcing your finalist status via social media. It’s an easy way to boost your reputation and encourage enquiries in one fell swoop.

If you’re lucky enough to take away Gold, Silver or Bronze on the night, live-Tweet from the event and share your good news with the rest of the world! Use the right hashtag to associate yourself with the event and you’ll put your brand in front of even more people. For the next Essex Digital Awards, it will be #EDA18 (and it always follows that format for each county).

Bear in mind, too, that the Digital Awards team will be sharing various posts and graphics relating to your win; make sure you like and share everything you see for maximum gain.

2.Prepare your speech in case you win

Nobody ever expects to win – but if and when you do, you’ll be invited to take to the stage and deliver an acceptance speech to around 300 successful business men and women. Have a think about what you’d like to say and who you’d like to thank. It’s worth jotting down a handful of notes prior to the event to make sure this information is fresh in your mind.

3.Share your news

Write a blog post announcing your win – or, better still, send out a press release to industry contacts. The media are always keen to hear about business success in their area, so you may even be able to generate some extra exposure from a local newspaper or community website.

4.Make use of your unique banners

All Award winners will automatically receive a unique digital banner from the team. These can be used on your company website and even within your email signatures, so make good use of them.

5.Watch out for your video interview

If you’ve been involved with the Awards before, you’ll know that all Gold winners take part in a video interview straight after they have collected their award on the night. This footage will be online shortly after the ceremony, so keep an eye out for it and be sure to share, share, share!

6.Show off your accolades

Prizes are a fantastic talking point in any work space – and if you’ve won an award, you want to show it off to as many people as possible, right? If you manage multiple offices, be sure to buy a plaque for each location and display it proudly in a prominent place.

I’ve mentioned a few ways of making the most of the Awards here, but this list is by no means definitive. I’d love to hear your own ideas in the Comments section below.

ESSEX: Indy Consultancy Appointed EDA18 “Content Partner”

New copywriting and communications agency Indy Consultancy has joined the Essex Digital Awards as its official “Content Partner” for 2018.

The Great Baddow company will gain substantial exposure from its connection with the EDAs – which has the largest following of any business awards in the county – and will provide online content throughout the scheme.

Described as “more than simply a copywriting agency” by Managing Director Danielle Haley, Indy Consultancy offers a range of services including website copy, print copy, blogging services, proofreading, content strategy and social media management.

Ms Haley – a former Director at Freelance SEO Essex, the highly successful SEO/PPC firm which has been Associate Sponsor of the EDAs since 2014 – said: “Having worked closely with the Digital Awards since its inception, I couldn’t be more excited to be joining forces with the team in a greater capacity and supporting their content strategy.

“I’ve seen first-hand the benefits the EDAs can bring to businesses that enter or sponsor the Awards, particularly when it comes to making valuable connections within the industry, and I can’t wait to help many more organisations leverage excellent promotional opportunities in the coming months.

“I feel that the role perfectly suits my unique skillset and I’m confident that I can bring extra impetus to what is already an incredibly successful programme.”

Indy Consultancy also offers The Full Marketing Package, a tailored in-depth solution with broad scope to cover a full marketing strategy, content marketing plan, website design and build and graphics, imagery, media and website optimisation where required.

For more information visit their website or call Danielle on 07801 599354.

ESSEX: Important Message from EDA17 Sponsor Superfast Broadband

Are you getting superfast broadband?

The Superfast Essex programme is due to launch a public consultation on Monday 31st July to run during August 2017 to reassess availability of superfast broadband to inform any future broadband work in the county.

Full details and a link to respond will be published at: www.superfastessex.org/whatshappeningnext.

We need you to check the current State Aid broadband status for your address on our interactive State Aid map on this page and provide feedback with evidence if you disagree with the current classification shown.

Details about the type of evidence required and instructions about how to obtain this will be detailed in the public consultation feedback form.

We also welcome feedback confirming the broadband status shown on the map is correct. We will accept responses from Parish/Town Councils on behalf of communities.

You will still need to provide an address to complete the form; please then specify in the comments boxes provided if your consultation response applies to a full community or multiple addresses, and please include a list of the addresses in your response.  If we require further clarification after we receive your response we will contact you.

Please note the map being consulted on will be used to decide whether properties are eligible for public subsidy in the future. This is different to the interactive rollout map which is separate to this consultation. The outcome of this consultation will form the basis for directing future investment by Essex County Council to improve broadband access, with the ambition to ensure everyone in the county has a superfast connection by 2021 at the latest.

Feedback on the consultation must only be submitted via the online public consultation feedback form available on the ‘What’s happening next?’ page at: www.superfastessex.org/whatshappeningnext.

Residents in areas with poor connectivity are encouraged to take the time to visit libraries or use workplace computers to complete their feedback, as the team would like to hear from them in particular. Unfortunately, due to the volume of responses expected and the need to process them quickly, Superfast Essex is unable to offer the option of hard copy correspondence.

ESSEX: EDA17 Winners Announced

Progressive charities, schools and businesses across Essex have been celebrated for their online work at the fourth annual Digital Awards.

Accolades across 18 categories including “Website”, “Mobile App” and “Use of Social Media for Business” were presented to outstanding organisations at Boreham House, near Chelmsford, on May 18.

Former BBC broadcaster Robin Bailey hosted EDA17 and handed Gold, Silver and Bronze prizes to a host of worthy winners.

Special guests included Tim Dunton, from Headline Sponsor Nimbus Hosting, Danielle Haley from Associate Sponsor Freelance SEO Essex, Paul Coffey from the Essex Employment and Skills Board, David Wilde from Superfast Essex, Peter Laight of Barclays and Katy Flower from Broadcast Media Partner Heart Essex, all of whom presented awards.

The Essex Digital Awards was set up in 2014 solely to showcase online work from across the county.

Leading the way on stage with double gold was Hockley-based Miru 3D who clinched the top awards in “Website: Small Business” and “Website: B2B”.

Taking gold in the flagship “Website” classification was premium kitchen appliance importer Euroline, from Colchester, while Prime Creative, in Leigh-on-Sea, landed the “Use of Social Media for Business” title for their work on behalf of Amateur Photographer magazine.

Colchester-based design agency Creative Quills picked up the main prize in the “Blog: Business” category and “Online Retailer” Gold went to Yumchaa by Graphic Evidence from Loughton.

Plume Maldon’s Community Academy came out on top in the “Mobile App” classification and Utilize by MC+Co Marketing from Ongar won out in “Responsive Website”.

Food writer Michelle Minnaar, won Gold in the “Blog: Entertainment” category for GreedyGourmet.com and the top “Use of Video for Business” gong was won by aQ2 for their film about Harry Flashman’s Tattoo Parlour in Chelmsford.

The independent EDA judges chose Felsted School by School Website in “Website: School, Education or Charity” and 193 year-old master millers Marriage’s Flour – based in Chelmsford – topped the podium in “Website: Lifestyle & Culture”.

Polar Creative, from Great Baddow, took the plaudits in “Website: Marketing and Creative” and Chelmsford City Racecourse were victorious in “Website: Sports & Entertainment”.

Winning the gold award in “Website: Tourism & Hospitality” was Compleat Caterers by Skyblue Creations from Coggeshall.

For the first time in Essex Digital Award’s history, a People’s Choice Award – voted by the public for finalists in all website categories – was won by The Green Apron, a cookery school in Coggeshall.

There was also a special “Spirit of Essex” award, which is given to one organisation chosen for attracting significantly positive exposure to the county and this was presented to the Wilkin & Sons for their digital work around the Tiptree Jam estate.

 There was also presentation of a ‘Future of Essex Award’ in collaboration with the Essex Education & Industry STEM Programme which went to talented teenager Nathan Banks from The Gilberd School.

Runners Up awards were presented to Rebecca Jilks of The Boswells School and Ross Aylen, Tendring Technology College.

The Essex Digital Awards 2017 is sponsored by Nimbus Hosting, Freelance SEO Essex, Essex Chambers of Commerce, Heart Essex, Superfast Essex, Essex Employment & Skills Board and Barclays.

It is also supported by the Department for International Trade, Essex Chronicle, Clare Reeves Voiceovers, Capricorn Media, Noise PR, designsixtyfour.com, Basildon Council, Brentwood Borough Council, Rochford District Council, Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, Maldon District Council.

 


 

Essex Digital Awards 2017 – The Winners

Blog: Business
BRONZE – Fireplace Products
SILVER – Darkworld Gaming
GOLD – Creative Quills

Blog: Entertainment
BRONZE – Project: Wanderlust by Langley Media
SILVER – All Things Spliced
GOLD – Greedy Gourmet

Mobile App
BRONZE – Maths Test by Andrew Suttle
SILVER – My Eye Spy by Morris Projects
GOLD – Plume Maldon’s Community Academy

Online Retailer
BRONZE – Fireplace Products
SILVER – Love Pleasure
GOLD – Yumchaa by Graphic Evidence

Responsive Website
BRONZE – Invest Southend on Sea
SILVER – Felsted School by School Website
GOLD – Utilize by MC+Co Marketing

Use of Social Media for Business
BRONZE – Wedding Day Angel
SILVER – The Good Vet & Pet Guide
GOLD – Amateur Photographer by Prime Creative

Use of Video for Business
BRONZE – The Robin Cancer Trust
SILVER – KPMG by Main Media
GOLD – Harry Flashman’s Tattoo Parlour by aQ2

Website
BRONZE – Lumen Archaeology
SILVER – MC+Co Marketing
GOLD – Euroline

Website: B2B
BRONZE – Inntel by Valiant Design
SILVER – Euroline
GOLD – Miru 3D

Website: Lifestyle & Culture
BRONZE – The Green Apron
SILVER – Katie Murphy Permanent Make-Up by Digital Reflow
GOLD – Marriage’s Flour

Website: Marketing & Creative
BRONZE – Photographer Liam Gillan
SILVER – MC+Co Marketing
GOLD – Polar Creative

Website: School, Education or Charity
BRONZE – The Linnean Society of London by Enovate Design
SILVER – Seymour House Day Nursery by Twist Interactive Design
GOLD – Felsted School by School Website

Website: Small Business
BRONZE – The Lampshade Company
SILVER – The Green Apron
GOLD – Miru 3D

Website: Sports & Entertainment
BRONZE – Colchester Leisure World by Colchester Borough Council
SILVER – JP Tackle by Twist Interactive Design
GOLD – Chelmsford City Racecourse

Website: Tourism & Hospitality
BRONZE – Orsett Hall Hotel, Restaurant & Spa
SILVER – Wild Essex
GOLD – Compleat Caterers by Skyblue Creations

Spirit of Essex
GOLD – Wilkin & Sons

People’s Choice Award
GOLD – The Green Apron

Future of Essex
SILVER – Rebecca Jilks, The Boswells School
SILVER – Ross Aylen, Tendring Technology College
GOLD – Nathan Banks, The Gilberd School

ESSEX: Barclays Sponsors EDA17 “Social Media” Category

The Essex Digital Awards is proud to announce Barclays is to sponsor an award at EDA17.

The multi-national bank will sponsor the “Use of Social Media for Business” category and attend the Presentation Evening on May 18 at Boreham House, Chelmsford.

Barclays has a long history of event sponsorship and supporting the business community.

From 2001-2016 Barclays was Title Sponsor of the English Premier League and will continue as its Banking Partner until at least 2019.

Under the Barclaycard brand it also sponsors the British Summer Time Hyde Park festival in London, the O2, The Donmar Warehouse, Barclaycard Arena, Birmingham and the Barclays Center – a state-of-the-art sports and entertainment venue in New York City and home to the professional basketball team the Brooklyn Nets.

In 2014 the bank launched Barclays Digital Eagles, an initiative to support people and businesses in achieving digital literacy.

Last year it also set-up Eagle Labs, a rollout of fully resourced, community-based, workspaces across the UK to help businesses grow and to enable collaborative innovation and digital empowerment for all.

Eagle Labs is a “a space to create, innovate and grow”, according to labs.uk.barclays

Peter Laight, Relationship Director, Essex and North East London SME, at Barclays explained why the bank chose to get involved.

He said: “We are proud to support the Essex Digital Awards and welcome new technology and the opportunities they offer for business and our society”

The Essex Digital Awards is the first and only scheme to celebrate the online achievements of businesses, charities and schools from across the county.

It is one of six separate Digital Awards schemes alongside those in Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, Kent, Surrey and Sussex.

Robin Bailey, Chairman of the independent Digital Awards Judging Panel, said: “We are absolutely delighted to welcome Barclays to the Essex Digital Awards.

“Barclays has pioneered many successful new digital services and continues to support the small business sector and wider community by offering free training during this ‘digital revolution.

“Barclays is the perfect fit for the Essex Digital Awards and we are proud to be working with them.”

For more information about Digital Eagles click here

 

Ends

 

 

 

 

ESSEX: People’s Choice Award Launched For EDA17

The Essex Digital Awards will present a People’s Choice Award at EDA17 for the first time.

Finalists for the Awards were announced on March 24, across 15 categories, and winners of each will be chosen by a panel of independent judges.

But for the first time in Essex Digital Award’s history, a new award will be presented to one of the 2017 finalists, and this time it will be voted for by the public.

Each of the finalists in the following website categories will automatically be entered into the People’s Choice Award and voting is NOW OPEN.

Entry will close at 5pm on Wednesday, April 12.

Click here to open the People’s Choice Award voting page.

“Website” – in association with Nimbus Hosting
“Website: Marketing & Creative”
“Website: Small Business” – in association with Essex Employment & Skills Board
“Website: B2B”
“Website: Tourism & Hospitality”
“Website: Sports & Entertainment”
“Website: Lifestyle & Culture”
Responsive Website
Online Retailer – in association with Superfast Essex

The Essex Digital Awards 2017 Presentation Evening will take place at Boreham House, Chelmsford, on May 18.

Tickets are on sale here

Voting closes on February 10, 2017 at 5pm.

ESSEX: EDA17 Finalists Announced

The finalists of the Essex Digital Awards 2017 have been announced, following a record-breaking number of entries.

Entrants across 14 categories will now compete for the Gold, Silver and Bronze accolades at the Presentation Evening on May 18.

For the first time at the EDAs there will also be a “People’s Choice” award, where finalists across all website categories will go head-to-head in a public vote.

Further details of the People’s Choice Award will be announced on March 31, when voting for that will open.

Winners across all other categories will be chosen by an independent judging panel.

The EDA17 Presentation Evening will take place at Boreham House and tickets are expected to be snapped up quickly following last year’s sell-out event.

The event will include a complimentary welcome drink, two-course meal, 1/3 bottle of wine per person, live entertainment and the ceremony.

It will be hosted by former BBC broadcaster Robin Bailey.

To book tickets click here

The Essex Digital Awards 2017 is sponsored and supported by Nimbus Hosting, Freelance SEO Essex, Heart Essex, Essex Chamber of Commerce, Essex Employment & Skills Board, Superfast Essex, Department For International Trade, Essex Chronicle, Brentwood Borough Council, Basildon Council, Rochford District Council, Maldon District Council, Southend-on-Sea Borough Council. Clare Reeves Voiceovers, Noise PR and Capricorn Media.

Essex Digital Awards 2017 – The Finalists

BLOG: BUSINESS in association with Freelance SEO Essex
Changing Course by Spinnaker Global
Creative Quills
Darkworld Gaming
Fireplace Products
Keep It Mum
Local Business Domination
TwoFeetMarketing

BLOG: ENTERTAINMENT
All Things Spliced
Carousel Diary
Club Forty
Crafty Arts
Dreamwave Events
Greedy Gourmet
Project: Wanderlust by Langley Media

MOBILE APP
Dagenham Sunday Market by Chris Woodman Designs
Landmark Place by Pelican Media
Maths Test by Andrew Suttle
My Eye Spy by Morris Projects
Plume Maldon’s Community Academy

ONLINE RETAILER in association with Superfast Essex
Colchester Events Company by Colchester Borough Council
Fireplace Products
Love Pleasure
Premier Print & Promotions
Roof Lantern Solutions by Essex Web Design Studio
So Gorgeous Beauty
Yumchaa by Graphic Evidence

RESPONSIVE WEBSITE
Creative Quills
Felsted School by School Website
Invest Southend on Sea
Next Chapter Homes
Silkstream
Utilize by MC+Co Marketing
Zentura by Graphic Evidence

USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA FOR BUSINESS
Amateur Photographer by Prime Creative
Chelmsford City Racecourse
Essex Baby
Secret Hamper
The Good Vet & Pet Guide
The Social Geeks
Wedding Day Angel

USE OF VIDEO FOR BUSINESS
Harry Flashmans Tattoo Parlour by aQ2
KPMG by Main Media
Ozone by Main Media
Polar Creative
Shout Design
The Robin Cancer Trust
WeBelieve Media

WEBSITE in association with Nimbus Hosting
Colchester + Ipswich Museums by Colchester Borough Council
Euroline
Felsted School by School Website
Finest Bed Linen by Website Design
Lumen Archaeology
Marriage’s Flour
MC+Co

WEBSITE: B2B in association of Essex Chamber of Commerce
Euroline
Fisher Jones Greenwood LLP
Haul In One
Inntel by Valiant Design
Lucentum by Bright Lights Creative
Miru 3D
Oakpark Security

WEBSITE: LIFESTYLE & CULTURE
Colchester + Ipswich Museums by Colchester Borough Council
Essex Baby
Katie Murphy Permanent Makeup by Digital Reflow
Lumen Archaeology
Marriage’s Flour
Miss Woo by Ryde Digital
The Green Apron

WEBSITE: MARKETING & CREATIVE
Bright Lights Creative
Brown Owl Creative
MC+Co
Photographer Liam Gillan
Polar Creative
Resourceful Marketing by Blue Serif
Sony Freelance and Corporate Video Production by Blue Serif

WEBSITE: SCHOOL, EDUCATION OR CHARITY
Coggeshall Montessori by Skyblue Creations
Felsted School by School Website
Seymour House Day Nursery by Twist Interactive Design
Sir Charles Kao
The Linnean Society of London by Enovate Design
The SEAX Trust by Twist Interactive Design
The Worrinots

WEBSITE: SMALL BUSINESS in association with Essex Employment & Skills Board
A Box by Twist Interactive Design
Bright Lights Creative
GreenSpur Renewables by Ryde Digital
Miru 3D
The Conneely Group by Brown Owl Creative
The Green Apron
The Lampshade Company

WEBSITE: SPORTS & ENTERTAINMENT
Branded Teamwear by Skyblue Creations
Chelmsford City Racecourse
Colchester Leisure World by Colchester Borough Council
Gym Fit Clacton by Switched On Marketing
Horsemat by Skyblue Creations
JP Tackle by Twist Interactive Design
Wass’s Fishing Tackle by Studio Link 11

WEBSITE: TOURISM & HOSPITALITY
Compleat Caterers by Skyblue Creations
Love Southend
Lunch Colchester
Orsett Hall Hotel, Restaurant & Spa
Rossi Ice Cream by Revive Digital Media
Visit Essex
Wild Essex

ESSEX: Superfast Essex Backs EDAs For Third Year

Superfast Essex, Essex County Council’s broadband improvement programme, is pleased to be sponsoring the Essex Digital Awards for the third year whilst continuing to extend faster broadband to over 120,000 premises in the county by 2019.

The Superfast Essex programme is to sponsor the “Online Retailer” category with the winners of all 16 categories being presented with their awards at the EDA17 Presentation Evening at Boreham House, Chelmsford, on May 18.

Superfast broadband is benefitting homes and businesses across the county and transforming the way Essex businesses operate, from enabling global enterprise to reducing costs and increasing efficiency with cloud-based services.

Superfast Essex is part of the Government’s national Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme to increase superfast broadband connectivity across the UK, led by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

The programme is delivering improved broadband in phases.

Phase 1 was completed three months ahead of schedule in June 2016 and saw 65,000 premises provided with access to better connectivity.

Phase 2 is currently being rolled out and so far the total number of homes and businesses able to achieve internet speeds of 24Mbps and above is 73,000.

The programme is aiming for 120,000 Essex premises to be connected to superfast broadband through their current plans with an additional Phase 3 being planned to extend broadband coverage even further.

More information about where the next phase of work will be rolled out will be announced in Spring/Summer 2017.

David Wilde, Essex County Council’s Executive Director for Place Operations and Chief Information Officer, who is also on the judging panel for EDA17, said: “The benefits of faster broadband shouldn’t be reserved for only large businesses.

“The Superfast Essex programme aims to bring improved connectivity to businesses of all sizes around Essex, helping them to make positive advancements and changes to the running of their business.

“Teaming up with the Essex Digital Awards is a natural choice for the programme and I look forward to finding out more about the nominated businesses in each category this year.”

Robin Bailey, Chairman of the Judging Panel at the Essex Digital Awards, said: “A fast broadband connection is vital to the tens of thousands of businesses based in Essex and we are delighted to be working, once again, with Superfast Essex who are rolling our broadband across the county.

“Superfast Essex is a brilliant and essential project and we are proud to be involved with it.”

In addition to providing information and tools associated with the programme rollout, the Superfast Essex website also hosts an online toolkit to help small businesses improve their digital know-how.

The Digital Toolkit contains a series of business blogs, vlogs and webinars on a range of topics including increasing online sales, attracting new customers, social media, blogging and the importance of cloud-based systems.

It also includes a Digital Health Check, to identify any areas where businesses can improve their digital expertise, and a ‘Fast Tips’ download which provides information and advice around a range of digital developments, such as cloud-based Services, Search Engine Optimisation and Social Media Marketing.

To view the Digital Toolkit and for more information on business broadband, including a short film with David Bell, Essex Chair of The Federation of Small Businesses, and Essex County Councillor Kevin Bentley, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Economic Growth, Infrastructure and Partnerships, on broadband improvements in Essex, visit www.superfastessex.org/forbusiness.

 Find out the latest broadband rollout information for your area at www.superfastessex.org/maps. Anyone not covered by the Superfast Essex programme can check if they are eligible for inclusion in Phase 3 at www.superfastessex.org/whatshappeningnext and can register their demand for superfast broadband by completing the Make the Connection Survey at www.superfastessex.org/registerdemand.

ESSEX: Heart Radio Tunes In For EDA17

The biggest radio station in the county has tuned into the Essex Digital Awards 2017.

Heart Essex has signed up as “Broadcast Media Partner” for EDA17 following a successful tie up between the Digital Awards and its sister station in Milton Keynes.

Heart Essex – which boasts a weekly audience of 415,000 (RAJAR Q.3 2016) – is part of Global, the media and entertainment group, which is home to a host of other household names including Smooth Radio Classic FM, LBC and Capital.

The station is home to long-running breakfast show presenters Martin and Su along with Essex favourite Mark Wright and Emma Bunton.

The EDAs is the first and only awards solely to recognise the online achievements of businesses, schools and charities and now has the largest following of any awards in the county.

Entry for EDA17 closes on February 17, 2017.

In recent years, Heart Essex has grown its multi-platform business with a popular website as well as establishing an influential presence on social media platforms.

Every day Heart Essex delivers breaking news, travel, showbiz and competitions to more than 32,000 followers on Twitter and more than 110,000 fans on Facebook.

As broadcast media partner, Heart Essex will share news on the Awards through social media and www.heart.co.uk/essex

The EDA17 Presentation Evening will take place at Boreham House on May 18, 2017, and members of the Heart Essex team will attend.

Robin Bailey, Head of the EDA Judging Panel, said: “We are delighted to have teamed up with Heart Essex for EDA17.

“Their migration across to digital platforms over the past few years has been executed with great energy and imagination, they have a substantial online reach and we are delighted to be getting involved with them.”

Katy Flower, Commercial Director at Heart Essex, added: “We are thrilled to be working with EDA17.

“Essex is a vibrant county with so many digital entrepreneurs and it’s great that we’re able to help celebrate this culture of innovation.”

ESSEX: Nimbus Hosting Is Headline Sponsor of EDA17

Nimbus Hosting – a company that specialises in providing web hosting services to digital agencies and ecommerce sites, has signed up as Headline Sponsor of the Essex Digital Awards 2017.

The appointment underlines the company’s commitment to supporting the digital sector and encouraging more businesses to improve their website infrastructure.

One of Nimbus’ missions is to allow digital professionals to focus on core projects rather than dealing with “hosting headaches” and the, often, complex details of IT.

Hosting services form the backbone of the internet as we know it, from simple HTML files to databases, all that data needs somewhere safe to call home.

While the cost is important, reliability is invariably the key factor for web designers and developers when choosing a host.

Nimbus ticks both boxes.

The company prides itself on offering a “personal and competitive service” in cloud hosting, dedicated servers and third party applications such as Magento, WordPress and XenForo.

To celebrate their connection with EDA17, Nimbus is offering a special promotion just for entrants of the scheme, which is the first and only awards in Essex dedicated to celebrating the online achievements of businesses, charities and schools from across the county.

Meghan, Marketing Manager at Nimbus Hosting, revealed that her team is “very proud” to be involved with the EDAs and offer two exclusive deals as a result.

“We are delighted to be Headline Sponsor of the EDAs, having previously taken the same position at the Digital Awards in both Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire.

“To celebrate working with the EDAs, we are offering all entrants of EDA17 a free migration to cloud hosting, so we’ll move all your sites over for you and we’re offering to migrate as many websites as you’d like us to.

“We’ll also throw in the first month free on any VPS (Virtual Private Server) or cloud based hosting packages and this is all covered by our six month guarantee.

“This is just our way of saying thank you to the businesses, charities and schools of Essex who have put a lot of work into developing their digital platforms.”

As Headline Sponsor, Nimbus Hosting will enjoy a range of benefits including the opportunity to present the flagship “Website” award at the EDA17 Presentation Evening at Boreham House on May 18.

Meghan added: “Both launching a new sites or transferring existing websites can be one of the most critical tasks in its lifecycle, but the our team are specialists at ensuring the transfer happens quickly, carefully and professionally.”

Robin Bailey, Chairman of the EDA Judging Panel, said: “Having known Nimbus Hosting from a number of the Digital Awards events now I can say they are a real pleasure to work with.

“They are also highly successful and respected in offering website hosting solutions, so if you are considering this or want to find out why it’s worth doing, I’d recommend you contact them.”

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To get in touch with Nimbus Hosting about the EDA17 promotion email: [email protected]