Tourism + Tech – virtual ½ day conference

About this Event

Tech East and Norfolk County Council, in partnership with the New Anglia LEP and Norfolk Chambers of Commerce are delighted to announce the rescheduled Tourism + Tech, a ½ day conference aimed at helping tourism businesses recover and grow – how can digital help grow and transform visitor economy businesses?

Originally planned as a face to face event we have shifted to online and will be using the Zoom platform to bring together owners and managers with the best of local tech expertise and business support.

The East of England has a huge tourism industry, one of the biggest economic sectors but one of the hardest hit by COVID-19. With many small and micro-businesses reeling from the economic shock of lockdown, now is the time to discover the potential of doing more with digital.

Learn from some amazing tourism businesses adopting the latest tech to help with:

• Marketing your business

• Sales, bookings and refunds

• Footfall and social distancing

• improve your visitor experience.

Whether you are a hotelier, B&B owner, restaurant, cafe, tour operator, visitor attraction or just interested in learning more about where digital meets business please join our free event.


Tim Robinson, COO, Tech East  
10:05 – 10:10   Introduction

With his passion for innovation Tim has spent his career in technology and media product businesses prior to joining Tech East.  He has successfully grown companies and been responsible for the strategic marketing, business development and product leadership (at Thomson, Informa and RICS), as well as co-founding three startups and served as a Non-Executive Director for 9 years on the board of the Publishing Training Centre. Tim is an alumnus of London Business School and Newcastle University.  Now leading the team and operations of Tech East, an organisation that is aims to make the East of England the next global tech cluster. Tim is committed to bringing the experience he has gained to benefit the region’s high potential digital economy.

Graham Plant, Deputy Leader, Norfolk County Council
10:10 – 10:15   Welcome
Cllr Graham Plant is the Deputy Leader of Norfolk County Council and Cabinet Member with responsibility for Growing the Economy. He is also the Deputy Leader of Great Yarmouth Borough Council and Chairman of the Economic Development Committee.  He served as GYBC Leader and Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Tourism from 2015 to 2019.Graham has held various senior council posts, including Cabinet Member for Travel and Transport on Norfolk County Council.  Outside of politics Graham is an experienced chef and businessman.
Pete Waters, Executive Director Visit East of England
10:15 – 10:35   Overview of the visitor economy and tourism recovery plan  A recovering journalist, Pete is Executive Director of Visit East of England, which also operates Visit Norfolk and Visit Suffolk.  The organisation’s role is to raise the profile of this lovely neck of the woods as a superb visitor destination. Sadly, we’re not top of mind – that accolade is shared by Cornwall, Yorkshire, The Lakes and others. So, work to do.  Prior to tourism, Pete was Editor of the Eastern Daily Press and, before that, Group Publisher for Archant South Lifestyle Magazines, 30-plus glossy titles spread from Kent to Cornwall and including 12 in London.
Adrian Melrose, CEO, Staylists
10:35- 10:50    How booking platforms can give you back control

Adrian is a South African Chartered Accountant by profession and training. He moved to the UK from South Africa just before the millennium. He is an ideas person. He loves the internet for its power to disrupt business models and has nearly 25 years post-qualification experience in technology/software-centric business.  His specialties are startup opportunities, business modelling, capital raising focusing on software driven ventures.

Nathan Lomax, Director and Co-Founder,  Quickfire Digital
10:50 – 11:05   Digital Transformation – Your getaway vehicle for coming out of Covid-19

After starting his first online business at 15 and his next at 18 Nathan always had an entrepreneurial spirit. He co-founded Quickfire Digital back in June 2017. Quickfire Digital is a multi award winning digital transformation agency that has been widely recognised as one of the fastest growing tech based companies across East Anglia. When not working at Quickfire Nathan is often guest speaking around the UK about his business journey, mentoring ambitious entrepreneurs and working on his charity “The Giveaway Gang”.

Callum Coombes, CEO,  Safepoint
11:15 – 11:30   Staying Safe in the Visitor EconomyCallum is the CEO of Safepoint, a tech business focused on providing accessible and straightforward safety to businesses around the world.

James Kindred, Co-founder, Big Drop Brewing Co.
11:30 – 11:45    Creative thinking and how we tackled the effects of C-19 on our businessStarting as a creative director for a number of award-winning regional agencies, James Kindred made the switch to application design in 2013 when he co-founded Inn Style – an easy to use Property Management and booking system for accommodation owners. Inn Style now processes £53m in annual booking revenue for its users.In 2016, James used his design and business skills to co-found Big Drop Brewing Co — the world’s first brewery dedicated to making alcohol-free craft beer. Big Drop now employees 13 people and is available all over the UK, Scandinavia, The Netherlands, Canada and Australia. James also runs Fork, a design and workflow consultancy for Startups and SMEs; clients include: employment consultants, festivals, tourism destinations and services for the film and television industry.


Jason Middleton, Programmes Manager,  New Anglia LEP
11.45 – 12:00   Business Support and GrantsJason is responsible for the design, development and management of the LEP’s business support programmes, including the Growth Hub, Growing Business Fund, Small Grant Scheme, Growth Through Innovation Fund and the LEP’s Start-Up Programme. Working with a wide range of partners, Jason ensures that businesses are provided and have access to the support they need to develop and grow.


Book now
Half Day
Virtual Conference

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