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.

PM Declares Support for Superfast Broadband

The Prime Minister has declared her future support for High Speed Broadband in Parliament today (September 7, 2016).

Teresa May, who came to office in July, gave her backing to the UK-wide rollout of internet connectivity in the first Prime Minister’s Questions since the Summer recess.

Her statement came following a call for continued Government backing for the Superfast Broadband schemes across the country from James Heappey, MP, who supports a rollout in his Somerset constituency.

Mrs May said: “I am very happy to give my Right Honourable Friend that assurance and also to join with him in paying tribute to his Council and the work that they are doing and indeed all those involved in that innovative scheme. High Speed Broadband is an important part of the 21st century infrastructure and we will be doing everything we can to ensure it is there and available for people because that will enable us to develop jobs and grow prosperity in this country”.

The Digital Awards is working with and fully supports Superfast Broadband rollouts in Essex, Surrey and Cambridgeshire through Superfast Essex, Surrey Connects and Connecting Cambridgeshire.

 

 

 

ESSEX: Superfast Essex Digital Conference in June

We’d like to let you know about an upcoming conference organised by friends of the EDAs, Superfast Essex.

The SuperConnected Business Conference will take place on Tuesday 7th June at Chelmsford City Racecourse to showcase why Essex is a great place to do business and highlight the importance of connectivity in driving business success.

The event is FREE and you will need to register to attend here.

The SuperConnected Business Conference brings together key policy makers, innovative and inspirational business leaders and cutting-edge experts in digital broadband provision and is a great opportunity for small to medium sized businesses in and around Essex to listen to what they have to say, as well as having the chance to network and view demonstrations.

Sponsorship packages and speaking opportunities are also available for businesses or industry specialists wanting to get involved and have a platform to share their digital knowledge and experience.

Anyone interested in sponsorship should contact Marit Hendriks ([email protected]), the conference co-ordinator, for more information.

The above link will display further details about the exciting programme at the SuperConnected Business Conference.

ESSEX: EDA16 – The Winners

THE online achievements of businesses, charities and schools across Essex have been celebrated at the third Essex Digital Awards.

Accolades across 15 categories including “Website”, “Mobile App” and “Use of Social Media for Business” were presented to deserving organisations at the Weston Homes Community Stadium, Colchester, on April 14.

Compering the event was former BBC broadcaster Robin Bailey who presented Gold, Silver and Bronze prizes to a host of worthy winners.

Special guests included Miles Alvis, from the headline sponsor Lookers Volvo Colchester, Alan Woods of the Essex Chronicle, Patrick Maynard from Essex Chambers of Commerce and Danny Hall from associate sponsor Freelance SEO Essex.

The Essex Digital Awards was set up in 2013 to recognise the online achievements of businesses, charities and schools from across the county.

Brentwood-based firm, Countryside Properties scooped Gold in the flagship ‘Website’ category.

The property developer also walked away with Gold in the ‘Responsive Website’ category, matched only by double-gold winner Burrows, a Shenfield design company, who picked up the top awards in the ‘Use of Social Media for Business’ and ‘Use of Video for Business’ sections.

Havering College won the top prize in the ‘Website: School, Education or Charity’ and skillful.co, in Black Notley, came out on top in the all-new ‘Website: B2B’ classification.

Other winners included North Essex Parking Partnership by Colchester Borough Council in ‘Blog: Business’ and fashion and lifestyle writer Deborah Stubbington in the ‘Blog: Entertainment’ area for her Bang On Style blog.

Taking the plaudits in the ‘Mobile App’ category was My World of Atoms designed by Boswells School students Ben and Rebecca Jilks, while Colchester-based Bulk Powders, an online sports nutrition shop, walked away as the first placed ‘Online Retailer’.

EDA16 was headline sponsored by Lookers Volvo Colchester and backed by the Chronicle, Freelance SEO Essex, Essex Chambers of Commerce, Superfast Essex, Essex Employment & Skills Board, Seetec Skills and Capricorn Media.

Also victorious were the Skinners of Tunbridge Wells website designed by Ongar-based MC+Co in ‘Website: Small Business’ and Polar Creative, from Chelmsford, in the ‘Website: Marketing & Creative’ section and Visit Essex in the ‘Website: Tourism & Hospitality’ category.

‘Website: Sports & Entertainment’ Gold Award went to Monkey Madness Play Centre by Laban Brown Design of Beaumont and Essex Baby won ‘Website: Lifestyle & Culture’ for its events and advice guide for parents.

The special ‘Spirit of Essex’ award was presented to Essex County Cricket Club who were commended for ‘going above and beyond the call of duty for the betterment and promotion of Essex’ through their digital work.

There was also presentation of a ‘Future of Essex Award’ in collaboration with the Essex Education & Industry STEM Programme which went to talented teenager Isreal Genius of Chase High School.

Atlas Computer Systems picked up a ‘Digital Skills For Growth Award’ for their successful commitment to developing talent and plugging a skills gap in the digital sector, which was arranged by the Essex Employment & Skills Board.


Essex Digital Awards 2016 – The Winners

Blog: Business in association with Freelance SEO Essex
GOLD – North Essex Parking Partnership by Colchester Borough Council
SILVER – Fireplace Products
BRONZE – Birkett Long LLP

Blog: Entertainment
GOLD Bang On Style
SILVER Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy by Skyblue Creations
BRONZE Pritchard’s Point of View by Colchester Borough Council

Online Retailer in association with Superfast Essex
GOLD – Bulk Powders
SILVER – Solopress
BRONZE – The Bra Closet

Mobile App
GOLD – My World Of Atoms
SILVER – Pro Tax Accounting
BRONZE – Eye-sign

Website: Small Business
GOLD – Skinners of Tunbridge Wells by MC+Co Marketing
SILVER – Laban Brown Design
BRONZE – JandJ Cleaning Group by Digital Reflow

Responsive Website
GOLD – Countryside
SILVER – iHeart Essex
BRONZE – Geekeey

Spirit of Essex
GOLD – Essex County Cricket Club

Use of Social Media for Business in association with Seetec Skills
GOLD – Ford by Burrows
SILVER – Essex Baby
BRONZE – Big Cars

Use of Video for Business
GOLD – Ford by Burrows
SILVER – Vidoo
BRONZE – Angela Makepeace Motion Graphics Studio

Website in association with Lookers Volvo Colchester
GOLD – Countryside
SILVER – Spiffing Covers
BRONZE – TGV

Website: B2B in association with Essex Chambers of Commerce
GOLD – Skilful.co
SILVER – Urban Network
BRONZE – Fisher Jones Greenwood LLP

Website: Marketing & Creative
GOLD – Polar Creative
SILVER – Spiffing Covers
BRONZE – TGV

Website: Sports & Entertainment
GOLD – Monkey Madness Play Centre by Laban Brown Design
SILVER – Darkworld Gaming
BRONZE – DPL Production Lighting by Digital Pie

Website: Lifestyle & Culture
GOLD – Essex Baby
SILVER – Skinners of Tunbridge Wells by MC+Co Marketing
BRONZE – UK Caravan Centre by Skyblue Creations

Website: Tourism & Hospitality
GOLD – Visit Essex
SILVER – Aussie BBQ Co
BRONZE – Chaffeur Drive London by MC2 Marketing

Website: School, Education or Charity
GOLD – Havering College
SILVER – Creative & Cultural Skills
BRONZE – UK College of Business & Computing by Whitefish Marketing

Future of Essex Award in association with Essex Education & Industry STEM Programme
GOLD – Isreal Genius of Chase High School
SILVER – Robbie Kinghorn of The Stanway School
SILVER – Sarthak Das of Westcliff High School for Boys
SILVER – Ben Bave of Westcliff High School for Boys

Digital Skills for Growth Award in association with Essex Employment & Skills Board
GOLD – Atlas Computer Systems
SILVER – CAD Bureau Southern
SILVER – Project Skills Solutions

ESSEX: EDA16 – One Month To Go

The Essex Digital Awards 2016 Presentation Evening is just one month away.

The event, which is being held at Weston Homes Community Stadium, Colchester, will take place on April 14.

Finalists of EDA16, which has 15 categories, were announced last month.

Guests will enjoy an arrival drink, two-course meal, 1/3 bottle of wine person and live entertainment at EDA16, which is being covered by the Essex Chronicle.

Tickets are selling fast and organisers have already confirmed that EDA16 will be the busiest event yet.

EDA16 is being supported by Lookers Volvo Colchester (headline sponsor), Freelance SEO Essex (associate sponsor), Essex Chronicle (media partner), Essex Chambers of Commerce (key supporter), Essex Employment & Skills Board, Superfast Essex, Seetec Skills, Capricorn Media.

To book tickets click here https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/essex-digital-awards-2016-tickets-22277851654

ESSEX: EDA16 Finalists Announced

The finalists of the third Essex Digital Awards, the county’s only scheme dedicated to celebrating online work, have been announced.

The remaining contenders in each of the categories at the Essex Digital Awards 2016 are now in with a chance of clinching Gold, Silver and Bronze accolades at the Presentation Evening on April 14 at Weston Homes Community Stadium, Colchester.

Tickets are available now and expected to shift quickly following last year’s event, which was hailed a tremendous success.

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

EDA organisers claim this year’s event will “break new ground” with an array of networking opportunities and entertainment lined up alongside the grand ceremony.

Iain Johnson from the EDA team revealed that 2016 has been the “most exciting” competition yet.

He added: “What a few months it been for the EDAs and what an impressive group of finalists. Organisations of all sizes from a broad range of industries are represented and the Presentation Evening promises to be a thriller.”

EDA16 is supported by Lookers Volvo Colchester (headline sponsor, Freelance SEO Essex (associate sponsor), Essex Chronicle (media partner), Essex Chambers of Commerce (key supporter), Superfast Essex, Essex Employment & Skills Board, Seetec Skills and Capricorn Media.

To celebrate today’s announcement, all finalists are advised to watch out for an exclusive offer from associate sponsor, Freelance SEO Essex, which will be sent out shortly.

The Essex Digital Awards 2016 Presentation Evening tickets will include an arrival drink, two-course meal and a complimentary third of a bottle of wine person. The event will be hosted by the former BBC presenter Robin Bailey.

Tickets are priced at £59.95+VAT or £539.50+VAT a table of ten. Click here to purchase tickets.


Essex Digital Awards 2016 – The Finalists

 

BLOG: BUSINESS in association with Freelance SEO Essex

Birkett Long LLP
Copperfox Model Horses
Fireplace Products
North Essex Parking Partnership by Colchester Borough Council
Silkstream
The Authentic Branding Company
Voodoo Creative

BLOG: ENTERTAINMENT
Bang On Style
Carousel Diary
Debbie Knight
Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy by Skyblue Creations
Julia M. Hammond
Pritchard’s Point of View by Colchester Borough Council
Project: Wanderlust

Mobile App
DF2020 Author
Eye-Sign
Fallen by Teaboy Games
My World Of Atoms
Pro Tax Accounting


ONLINE RETAILER in association with Superfast Essex

Bondara
Bulk Powders
Ingatestone Saddlery Centre by Graphic Evidence
Solopress
The Bra Closet
The Lampshade Company
Visit Essex

RESPONSIVE WEBSITE

Countryside
Creative & Cultural Skills
Geekeey
iHeart Essex
Keith Ashton Estate Agents
TGV

SMALL BUSINESS WEBSITE in association the Essex Employment & Skills Board

Buy Essex
Essex Security Gates
JandJ Cleaning Group by Digital Reflow
Laban Brown Design
Paperless Wedding
Skinners of Tunbridge Wells by MC+Co
Truly Chocolates


USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA FOR BUSINESS in association with Seetec Skills
Big Cars
Ford by Burrows
Countryside
Essex Baby
Masuri by Digital Reflow
Radio Essex
The Parachute Regiment, HM Forces


USE OF VIDEO FOR BUSINESS

Angela Makepeace Motion Graphics Studio
Birkett Long LLP
Birketts LLP
Colchester Borough Homes
Ford by Burrows
Photo Booth Party Hire
Vidoo

WEBSITE in association with Lookers Volvo Colchester

Countryside
Laban Brown Design
Solopress
Spiffing Covers
TGV
Thompson Smith and Puxon by Graphic Evidence

WEBSITE: B2B in association with Essex Chambers of Commerce

Business Crowd
Fisher Jones Greenwood LLP
IAC Service Group by MC+Co
Skilful.co
TGV
Think1Marketing
Urban Network

WEBSITE: LIFESTYLE & CULTURE
Essex Baby
Guru Circus
Monumental Ink
Ranfields Brasserie by Skyblue Creations
Sarah Everett Photography
Skinners of Tunbridge Wells by MC+Co
UK Caravan Centre by Skyblue Creations

WEBSITE: MARKETING & CREATIVE
Bright Lights Creative
CliQQ Photography
Laban Brown Design
Polar Creative
Shout Design
Spiffing Covers
TGV

WEBSITE: SCHOOL, EDUCATION OR CHARITY in association with Essex Chronicle

Creative & Cultural Skills
Drapers’ Multi-Academy Trust
Havering College
Panathlon by Graphic Evidence
The Cornelius Vermuyden School by The Grow Creative Co
Thermoplastic Designs & Lines by Ryde Digital
UK College of Business & Computing by Whitefish Marketing

WEBSITE: SPORTS & ENTERTAINMENT
Bulk Powders
Darkworld Gaming
DPL Production Lighting by Digital Pie
EWTO-Essex by Omni-Defence
Monkey Madness Play Centre by Laban Brown Design
The Cake Escape by Design Chambers
Total Fishing Tackle by Green Tornado

WEBSITE: TOURISM & HOSPITALITY
Aussie BBQ Co
Chauffeur Drive London by MC2 Marketing
iHeart Essex
Livedosa
The Cake Escape by Design Chambers
The Kilns Hotel
Visit Essex

ESSEX: Finalists Of EDA16 Announced Monday, February 29

Finalists for the Essex Digital Awards 2016 are to be announced on Monday, February 29.

The selected businesses, charities, community organisations and schools who have made it to the  final stages of EDA16 will be unveiled on this website at 10am.

All finalists – who will be competing for Gold, Silver and Bronze awards across 15 categories – will be offered the opportunity to attend the Presentation Evening, which takes place at Weston Homes Community Stadium, Colchester, on April 14.

Tickets for the event will become available on the day finalists are announced and demand is expected to be extremely high.

EDA16 is sponsored and supported by Lookers Volvo Colchester (Headline Sponsor), Freelance SEO Essex (Associate Sponsor), Essex Chronicle (Media Partner), Essex Chambers of Commerce (Key Supporter), Superfast Essex (Category Sponsor), Essex Employment & Skills Board (Category Sponsor), Seetec Skills (Category Sponsor), Capricorn Media, Noise PR, designsixtyfour.

 

 

ESSEX: Superfast Essex Connects With EDA16

Superfast Essex is to sponsor the “Online Retailer” category at the Essex Digital Awards 2016.

The Superfast Essex broadband programme, co-ordinated by Essex County Council, recognises that Superfast broadband is set to transform the way businesses operate from enabling global enterprise to reducing costs and increasing efficiency with Cloud-based services.

Connie Kerbst, Senior Programme Manager said: “Superfast Essex wants to encourage businesses to make the most of superfast connectivity when it arrives as part of our fibre broadband rollout across the county.

“So far our rollout has reached over 60,000 homes and businesses – the halfway milestone in the overall programme rollout and just 5,000 away from the total set to be reached by the end of the first phase of work, this summer.

“Sponsoring the Essex Digital Awards for a second year helps raise the profile of up and coming Essex-based businesses who have embraced the many benefits that a superfast broadband connection can offer their business. It also lets other businesses know that superfast broadband services are more readily available than ever before across Essex.”

Iain Johnson, from the EDA team, said: “We are delighted to be working with Superfast Essex for the second year running.

“Speedy broadband underpins Essex’s business community and we proud to play our part in promoting the new service that is being made available because of the brilliant Superfast Essex project.”

Superfast Essex has also recently launched a series of free expert-led Digital Business Workshops and an online toolkit to help small businesses improve their digital know-how.

The workshops will cover a range of topics including increasing online sales, attracting new customers, social media, blogging and the importance of Cloud-based systems.

The digital toolkit includes a Digital Health Check, to identify any areas where businesses can improve their digital expertise, and ‘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 find out more about the Digital Business Workshops, visit www.superfastessex.org/digitaltoolkit

Other 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, and Waste & Recycling, on Broadband Improvements in Essex can be viewed by following this link 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 register their demand for superfast broadband by completing the Make the Connection Survey at www.superfastessex.org/getinvolved

To enter the Essex Digital Awards – the first and only scheme to exclusively recognise the online achievements of businesses, schools and charities across the county – click http://www.essexdigitalawards.co.uk/enter/

ESSEX: 1 Week Left To Enter EDA16!

There is just one week left to enter the Essex Digital Awards 2016.

The entry window for the awards – which is the first and only scheme dedicated exclusively to celebrating the online achievements of businesses, charities and schools from across the county – will close on February 19, 2016.

Once all entries have been received the finalists will be announced, ahead of the Presentation Evening at Weston Homes Community Stadium, Colchester, on April 14.

This year, for the first time, a “Website: B2B” award has been added to the list of categories which include “Mobile App”, “Online Retailer”, “Use of Social Media for Business”, “Use of Video for Business”, “Responsive Website”, “Website: Small Business”, “Website: School, Education or Charity”, “Website: Marketing & Creative”, “Website: Sport & Entertainment”, “Website: Tourism & Hospitality”, “Website: Lifestyle & Culture”, “Blog: Business”, “Blog: Entertainment” and the flagship “Website” category.

A panel of independent judges will preside over the entries and decide the winners of the Gold, Silver and Bronze awards in each category.

EDA16 is sponsored by a range of leading businesses and organisations from across the county including Lookers Volvo Colchester (Headline Sponsor), Freelance SEO Essex (Associate Sponsor), Essex Chronicle (Media Partner), Essex Chambers of Commerce (Key Supporter), Essex Employment & Skills Board (category sponsor), Superfast Essex (category sponsor), Seetec Skills (category sponsor) and Capricorn Media (category sponsor).

Entry is free, easy to complete and can be made here http://www.essexdigitalawards.co.uk/enter/

A Few Minutes With… Essex County Council’s David Wilde

A Few Minutes With…. with a regular feature at the Essex Digital Awards when we discuss a hot topic from the digital world with an expert or influential big wig from around the county.

We recently caught up with David Wilde, an EDA 2015 judge and the Director of Information Services at Essex County Council to get his thoughts on how they use social media at the local authority.

Could you describe your organisation’s activity on social networks?
We’re very active on Twitter, it’s great for alerts on services.  Facebook is great for keeping in touch with some of the people we support and LinkedIn really good for engaging with businesses across Essex. ECC also has its own YouTube channel and is increasingly using videos to share information with people in Essex alongside using it extensively for internal training and communications. We also do a lot on collaboration sites and colleagues in Libraries, Visit Essex and Essex Records Office are active with our residents across social media.

On big projects social media offers a smart and easy way of linking up with external partners and organisations to work together. Superfast Essex is a good example of a countywide project doing just that. It’s building up presence across all these social media channels to reach both residents and businesses and gaining support from other local authorities, the Government, and our commercial partners, BT and Openreach, through a simple retweet, or Facebook tag.

 

  • The first ECC social media account was set up in December 2008 – the corporate Twitter account (@Essex_CC). There are now 28 active Twitter accounts. (Superfast Essex (@SuperfastEssex) was set up only last year.)
  • The current active ECC social media accounts have:
    • Over 2,065 Facebook likes
    • 80,700 Twitter followers
  • The most popular tweet in 2014 was “#tweetyourfeet” for the Domestic Abuse campaign

Are there elements of your organisation now that would not have been possible without social media?
It isn’t about social media doing something totally new, but it is about being able to connect much more easily, quickly and informally with residents, visitors to Essex and businesses. I think we have only scratched the surface though, the more we get into collaboration with communities the more exciting social media will get.

How has your relationship with your customers/clients changed with the dawn of social media?
Hugely. Response times are much quicker, people will not wait a week for an answer and why should they? Also,  two way engagement can be much more effective. The darker side however is the speed with which misinformation can be spread and of course safeguarding our vulnerable residents is tougher in this environment.
Which social media campaigns or accounts have really caught your eye recently?
The Orange and O2 flash mobs were great and a lot of the netmums stuff is really good.
What have you found to be the most positive and negative aspects of using social media for your business?
Most positive has to be better engagement, most negative is misinformation.
What advice would you give to businesses or other organisations looking to improve their social media activity?
Be really clear who your target audiences are, pick the right media to reach them,  don’t  overdo it and humour only works in some contexts so be careful!!