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Knowing where the customer decision-making process starts and ends let alone how and when to start engaging with customers is more than a challenge but a necessity.

During the last few years the customer decision-making process has been turned on its head.

Gone are the days of fixed customer planning and budgetary cycles where the customer had little choice but to come to you. Buying has gone from a static process to a dynamic rollercoaster of decision-making. The web and social media now offer a rich seam of intelligence for customers to do their own research on vendors, putting them firmly in control like never before.

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One of Wales’ rising technology experts is celebrating International Women’s Day by encouraging more women into technology roles.

 

Karen Boparoy, a successful businesswoman and director of technology company Locality Solutions, wants to see more female STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) role models engaging with young people and encouraging them to seize the opportunities that a career in STEM holds.

 

Boparoy, who is originally from Malaysia, gained two degrees in commerce and technology from the University of Auckland before spending the next 10 years working for global companies, including Fortune 500s, in New Zealand, Australia and America. She is now product director for Cardiff-based specialists Locality, providing innovative case management software to tackle anti-social behaviour, hate crime and domestic abuse.

 

Recent research from the Institute of Engineering and Technology shows that 50% of parents believe that engineering is a ‘boy’s’ profession. Only 45% of parents with a daughter said they would consider engineering as a suitable career for her, yet this figure increased to 67% when it was demonstrated to them how diverse and creative the profession could be.

 

Boparoy wants to see more young technology professionals engaging with schools and young people directly and talking about the breadth of opportunities on offer – from creating apps to working on huge space projects.

 

“We are soon to launch initiatives in schools, which is something we are incredibly excited by,” she said. “The schools we have engaged with so far have been extremely supportive and understand the importance of our agenda; to display how creative and exciting the world of technology can be and how a career in STEM is accessible to everyone.”

 

The UK needs an extra 1.82m engineers in the next decade, leading to excellent career prospects for engineering graduates and some of the highest starting salaries offered.

 

“For decades to come there are going to be creative & wonderful jobs within this diverse sector,” says Boparoy. “There is this incredible opportunity within technology to be out there making a real difference to the way we live and work and to the planet.”

 

You will be a key member of a small, growing development team in an exciting period of a flourishing startup. We are currently planning the next version of our application and want a creative, forward-thinking developer to contribute and revel in its success.

Building on already solid foundations, we are focused on ensuring that our application is using the latest emerging technologies to establish scalability for our growing client base.

What we’re after.

  • Good core knowledge of:
    • PHP
    • HTML/CSS
    • Javascript
  • Experience with OOP Frameworks such as CakePHP/Laravel/Symfony2
  • Javascript Frameworks, preferably AngularJS
  • Source Control, preferably GIT
  • Experience within an Agile environment
  • API Development

A little about us.

 

Founded in 2011, we’ve quickly established a reputation as the go-to provider for cloud based solutions in case management. As well as achieving great savings, both financially and timewise, for clients, we’re unique in the emphasis we place on individual service users.

We’ve recently won several high-profile public sector clients, enabling us to improve services in anti-social behaviour and domestic abuse cases with our highly configurable and intuitive case management software.

We’re based in Cardiff’s Creative Quarter, set above the historic Royal and Morgan Arcades and home to a community of Creative businesses.

So if you think you’re up for the challenge, get in touch.

Email a copy of your CV to enquiries@localitysolutions.co.uk – We look forward to hearing from you.

Last week I found myself navigating through a conference exhibition hall, comparing stands and displays of others and wondering whether we’d done enough to make our visual display effective in drawing people to us; or whether we’d fade into the background or worse still encourage people to look at the ground as they scurried passed.

 

In truth, this was only one of the considerations that I had for the success of the conference, whilst the stand is crucial you can do so much more in terms of being a ‘voice’ at a conference. Within this there are methods to draw people to your message. I guess its very much a matter of marrying it all up against the audience. 

 

Know your audience.

On telling my brother where I would be for the few days, I had the following rather surprising and vivid statement.  

 

‘It’ll be full of men dressed across the spectrum of grey with the personality of deep beige!’

 

Needless to say, this didn’t form the basis of our customer persona mapping and it’s not an opinion I agree with but it did make me chuckle, conjures up quite an image. Anyway, first point reiterated, ‘know your audience!

 

In this case an audience of buyers, who have strong opinions of what they want. Refreshingly some strong and purposeful views were shown at the panel debates and there was the impression that the conference was attended by those keen to exchange views and best practice as opposed to those conferences where people appeared to have been sent against ‘their will’ by line management (we’ve all attended those) … You can usually spot the tactical individuals that are only too happy to request literature as a proof of attendance but they also love a free pen!

 

Be Social.

Following social media timelines in the run up and during exhibition viewings can give you just a little bit of a headache . The endless calls to ‘Come & Visit us at Stand blah blah and we’ll show you blah blah blah. Perhaps a necessary evil? But engaging with the conference on social media can be INCREDIBLY effective, so how can you stand out from the crowd without being too ‘gimmicky’ or ‘needy’, my message …

 

‘Be Bold, Balanced in Message, Unique in Approach’

 

#meetpoco

dress2dress1

 

 

Armed with a 6 foot teddy bear and a ‘hashtag’, we went about ‘breaking the internet’, or in this case encouraging delegates, speakers and other exhibitors to #meetpoco. Perhaps all that was missing was dressing our furry chum in an outfit that some thought blue and other gold.

 

 

In truth its a balancing act; on one hand you are trying to showcase case management software that is central to tackling ASB and domestic abuse on the other you’re encouraging delegates to give your teddy bear a Big ‘Ol hug. Never has the phrase ‘Know your audience’ seemed more appropriate.

 

But, we had tremendous uptake and we made sure that we turned that ‘opening’ into some purposeful and ‘human’ conversation about our product and the conference.

 

Unfortunately, This interest led us to an inevitable one upmanship of Bear puns, which culminated in the rather embarrassing exclamation that I didn’t have the Koalafications. Well this was one step too far, and lets be honest not wholly accurate, for Poco is clearly not a Koala. Sometimes caution is best practised and wisely those ‘puns’ stayed on the cutting room floor.

 

Buy into the conference.

So in our case the friendly folk at NHF were only too pleased to issue Poco with his official delegate badge. 

We also took time to talk about the conference with delegates, attend panels debates and contribute to sessions through social media. In order to be credible suppliers you need to have passion and knowledge of the sectors you’re working in, why wouldn’t you contribute!

 

 

Make friends with your neighbours.

They are going to be as busy as you are — but they may be your very best accomplices. This is not entirely a selfless act of friendship. You may well have a spare power cable to lend or a spare bit of adhesive tape, and so may they!

But let them know also about what you do and find out what their business is. You will want other non-competing exhibitors to refer visitors to your stand when appropriate, just as you will want to refer others to theirs.

 

Don’t pounce.

Some visitors will know exactly what they are looking for, and if you don’t frighten them away, they will tell you in their own good time. Many more may not know what they were looking for, at least, not until you have told them what you have to offer! But even so, please don’t pounce on them?

Engage in eye-contact with all you can and smile; be human.

 

Stand display, again.

You will have your own ideas about what works best for you and what doesn’t. You can also learn much from other exhibitors, good and bad.

But here are some initial thoughts that apply universally:

 

  • Avoid clutter! (That includes half-drunk cups of coffee!)
  • Know your product — be an expert on what you specialise in and what you offer.
  • Avoid having too much on display, it can serve to confuse;
  • Well lit displays are really important — don’t forget, you are after your visitors’ ‘eye-share’ first!;
  • ‘Make it Clear what you do!’ don’t let visitors guess what your business is all about;
  • Avoid a mish-mash of odd assortments thrown together, think it through thoroughly.

 

Be human, we’re all unique.

 

 

conference   

 

Please let us know if you have any other tried and tested methods or ideas that you haven’t dared yet to try,

failing that why not send us some bear puns

Creating compelling and engaging design is crucial to a brand. We utilise the services of Jessica Morgan to help realise the Locality message.

 

Jess is part of the team at Jessica Draws Media and recently sat down with the folks at Business Wales to give her top tips on running a Small Business, all from our lovely Creative Quarter offices. Jess explains how she got started, how she generates clients and markets the business, some great insight!

 

“It was such a great experience and I hope it helps anyone looking to start their own business.”

 

 

 

Further Information

 

Jessica Draws is an experienced designer and illustrator who recently took home a runner up trophy in the Creative Industries category at the Entrepreneur Wales Awards and nominated for Freelancer of the year at the 2016 Regional Awards.

Jess started out as a surface pattern designer for a major greetings card company. She has also worked as a mobile app and web designer, and as part of the Advocate Art agency. Jess has since gone on to establish her position as the go-to designer for some of Wales’s most successful businesses as well as global brands, charities and organisations.

CIPFA (Chartered Institute for Public Finance & Accountancy) recently held it Annual Wales Conference, a key event for those working within and looking at improving performance within public services in Wales.

 

The expressed consideration and highlighted theme was how we can make effective use of cost and performance information to deliver value for money service. The conference aimed to address how finance professionals can be at the forefront of change, working in partnership with service managers, to move the focus from financial and budget data to using broader information to inform the transformation of service delivery. 

 

For us it was extremely positive to hear the Auditor General reference the importance WFG Act (Well Being of Future Generation Act) in such strong terms.

 

“The well-being of future generations act puts the individual at the centre of public service policy instead of the organisations that deliver the services, it’s about shaping the future of public services by providing a framework for making better decisions which could set Wales on course to become more prosperous, equal, resilient and healthy.

The question is whether all of us; politicians and public sector officers alike really understand the behavioural change that is needed for this legislation to have real impact.

All our organisations need to embrace the spirit of the act and we all need to play our part in achieving in what the legislation is trying to do in reality.”

 

The WFG Act is a hugely important piece of Welsh Government legislation and will require public bodies listed in the Act to think more about the long term, work better with people and communities and each other, look to prevent problems and take a more joined-up approach.

This new law will mean that, for the first time, public bodies listed in the Act must do what they do in a sustainable way.

Public bodies need to make sure that when making their decisions that they take into account the impact they could have on people living their lives in Wales in the future.

It will expect them to:

  • work together better
  • involve people reflecting the diversity of our communities
  • look to the long term as well as focusing on now
  • take action to try and stop problems getting worse – or even stop them happening in the first place.

 

Improving Performance

In his presentation ‘Beyond the Numbers’ Huw Vaughan Thomas, Auditor General for Wales outlined how performance features as part of the forward plane for the Wales Audit Office. They’ve recognised that challenge facing public bodies in Wales to find new ways to design and deliver better public services.

 

 

 

The full presentation can be accessed on our media page.

 

We are celebrating after it was announced last night that creative female entrepreneur Jessica Draws Media is a finalist for the Creative Industries Entrepreneur of the Year 2015 in the Entrepreneur Wales Awards, sponsored by Business Wales.

The inaugural Entrepreneur Wales Awards, produced by the organisers of the Great British Entrepreneur Awards and the publishers of Fresh Business Thinking, is a national celebration of entrepreneurship and has welcomed over 230 applications from businesses and entrepreneurs across Wales.

There are many categories but the Creative Industries Entrepreneur of the Year 2015 award looks for an entrepreneur with an inspiring track record in combining creative flair with entrepreneurial ability, this entrepreneur will know exactly how to harness talent, others or their own, to bring ideas to life. Building intellectual property and effectively managing the creative process, their business will be making a significant contribution to the creative Welsh economy.

The short-listed entries are now being considered by an all star line up of Welsh entrepreneurial minds including Hayley Parsons, founder and former CEO of Go Compare and Jonathan Davies, editor of Fresh Business Thinking.

Francesca Russell, founder of the Entrepreneur Wales Awards, said:

“The Awards Ceremony itself, which is being held at the National Museum on November 12th will be a night to remember, with VIPs from the world of business and entrepreneurship gathering to celebrate the entrepreneurial spirit in Wales.”

Economy Minister, Edwina Hart said :

“Entrepreneurs are vital for creating growth and jobs in the Welsh economy. I am always impressed by the talented and hard working entrepreneurs we have in Wales and these awards recognise and celebrate the role they play. The Welsh Government is a pro-business government and supports our entrepreneurs to create a more prosperous Wales.”

 

Additional Information

For more information about Jessica Draws Media Lts please contact:
| info@jessicadraws.com | www.jessicadraws.com | @jessicadraws |

For more information on the Entrepreneur Wales Awards please contact:
E: kate@freshlymadecontent.com | P:08455000327
www.entrepreneurwalesawards.com

This post was written by jessicadraws

Disappearances are a reality. They happen for different reasons: during war, when people migrate, due to natural or man-made disasters. For the families of the disappeared, the anguish of uncertainty is the same.

30th August was International Day of the Disappeared. We share this video to raise awareness of this disastrous circumstance but also to acknowledge specialist agencies and the work they undertake with affected families. In this video, the ICRC (International Committee of the Red Cross) meet three people from different corners of the globe. Each has a unique story about someone close who has gone missing – a man in Uganda searching for his son; and two women, one in Mexico and a woman in Georgia, both looking for their brothers. Through their eyes we see the emotional, economical, and social impact that this situation has on their lives.  

 

For further stories and to find out further information on the work of the Red Cross in tracing and reuniting families both in the UK and abroad, please read these two success stories.

 

Susan-family-photos

Susan’s dad disappeared after WW2. 50 years later, she found a new family

 How we helped Alfred find his long lost brother in Germany

 

  1. World Humanitarian Day should inspire action and make a clear stand in solidarity against conflict, torture, disease, famine, suffering and the poor leadership that often turns a blind eye. This day is a great opportunity to get involved and do something to help those who need it the most. This year as part of the #ShareHumanity campaign we chose to share a story.

     

    From Philippines to Nepal : Messages of Hope

On 12th August we celebrated International Youth Day by researching and promoting the efforts of Organisations into Social Good, supporting Youth & Civic Engagement and Gender Equality. This involved finding out about many personal stories and efforts to further understand both the successes and challenges faced by Youth People throughout the World.

One such story that has inspired us is the work of UN Youth Representative Jilt Van Schayik.

Jilt and his friend Teun founded the cycling project Building Bridges to focus on learning and broadcasting the priorities of young women and men at a grass-roots level.

From Amsterdam to Cape Town, across northern and western Europe, and along Africa’s western coast­, Jilt and Teun completed a cycling odyssey through 20 countries to hear what youth have and want to say.

 

“Far away from our realities, far away from New York, there is a world of young people whose voices have never been heard. As a youth delegate and a citizen of the world, I feel it is my duty to connect young people from all walks of life with the United Nations. My grandfather used to say to me: ‘Actions, not Words’. Therefore I do not only use nice words, but also decided to act,” says Jilt.

 

A further aim of the six-month quest from Amsterdam to Cape Town was to hear young people have there say about the new United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. A quest which ultimately culminated in a ceremony to mark the journeys end on 12th August, International Youth Day. UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka and Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille greeted Jilt and Teun.

Along the way Jilt and Teun worked with young ambassadors in each country to organize forums and consultations discussing issues such as gender equality in order to understand the specific development priorities of young people in each country.

 

 

 

SouthAfrica_BuildingBridges_Jilt_CrowdSelfie_400x267

UN Youth Delegate Jilt Van Schayik and a young man snap a selfie on stage, at the final celebratory event on International Youth Day. Photo courtesy of Jilt Van Schayik.

 

Jilt and Teun spent International Youth Day in Cape Town township – speaking with young people about gender issues, capturing their portraits and stories, and discussing there top MY World priorities. Students called for an end to gang-related crime, particularly violence against girls and women in public spaces.

We’d encourage you to visit the Building Bridges site and further find out about the work of Jilt and Teun’s epic journey.

 

 

Additional Information

Sources and Extracts : UN Women Website

Further Reading : UN My World Website

Follow Jilt on Twitter @JiltvSchayik

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