Training is the main event for Keighley business
A Keighley events company is celebrating success following an investment of over £16,000 from the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) to train their staff and grow their business through skills development.
Simply Better Events is a full service corporate events agency which currently employs 17 and has worked with well-established brands since its incorporation in 2001, with clients including ghd, Maplin, Skipton Building Society and Virgin Trains East Coast. The business is growing fast and is aiming to more than triple turnover as part of their growth strategy, and it has recently attracted a string of new high-profile contracts including another large bank and a national retailer.
In its beginnings, the company bought and leased audio-visual (AV) equipment to venues and event organisers, expanding into stage backdrops. As customers’ events increased in size and scope, it was trusted with bigger briefs and extra responsibilities. It invested in extending the team and began advising on venue selection, design, speaker coaching, video and photography, listening to clients’ strategic objectives and working with them to create themes and ideas that communicated key messages in a memorable way.
The company approached the LEP for support and funding for training through the LEP’s Skills Service after realising they needed to reposition the company to ensure customers were clear about the full range of services now offered, and to target a wider market. The company has aspirations of growing the revenue by over £4 million through targeting larger contracts than it had previously.
They have invested heavily in staff training and in addition to the grant awarded to them by the LEP, the company have invested over £17,000 of their own. Training undertaken by staff was wide ranging and included Microsoft Dynamics CRM training, a management and development position programme, sales training and sales support training programme.
Key members of the senior management team undertook a management and development positioning programme, which, coupled with staff undertaking a positioning training programme, enabled the wider team to gain knowledge, skills and expertise on how to position the business and target more valuable contracts.
The sales training has enabled employees to target new business as well as retain existing clients and increase repeat business. The advanced sales techniques gained from the training programmes have resulted in improved sales levels and client growth. Additionally, the understanding of the more complex Microsoft Dynamics, coupled with more advanced sales training, will put the company in a strong position to both target and manage bigger events contracts.
Rob Woodhead, Managing Director of Simply Better Events, said: “The LEP Skills Service funding has been incredibly helpful to us as a company and I would highly recommend any business owner to utilise this funding that is readily available.
“The service has been incredibly beneficial to us and everyone who has helped out has had a genuine desire to empower and upskill our team to help drive our business forward. We’re now in an incredibly strong position to grow the company and target the much bigger contracts.”
Stephanie Burras CBE, Chair of the LEP’s Employment and Skills Panel said: “We’re delighted to see that our funding and training has had such a contributing factor to Simply Better Events and we can now see they are going from strength to strength.
“The company has taken advantage of the funding available from the Leeds City Region LEP Skills Service with a huge variety of different training aspects and used it to implement the business to go in a different direction. They’re a great example of a company based within the region that is taking advantage of the funding that is available to help them grow and thrive.”
The funding is time limited and applications must be submitted by 31st March 2017.