General Business

Digital skills boost for Midlands firms at conference


Coventry will be welcoming international businesses including Google, Facebook and Barclays to help Midlands firms boost their digital capabilities at the Department for International Trade (DIT)’s Selling Online Conference next month.

The free event is an opportunity for business owners to learn about a variety of digital-based skills – from cyber security to app development and handling international transactions – through a series of interactive workshops and 1:1s with digital experts. These include representatives from Google, Facebook, Push Marketing, Bing, Marks & Clerk, Western Union, PayPal, parcelhero and Barclays.

The DIT’s Director of Export & Investment Midlands Engine, Simon Hall, will deliver the keynote speech along with Google, Barclays and PayPal to businesses on how they can reach new markets overseas through trading online.

One company taking advantage of online exporting is Northampton-based Stephensons Online Ltd. Established in 2010, they recently celebrated reaching £10million turnover with support from DIT to boost its digital skills. The business, which primarily sells beauty products, started by selling items through an eBay account and now operates a 7,500 sq ft warehouse and receives an order every 20 seconds.

Ian Harrison, Director of Exports, at Department for International Trade, comments: “Selling online allows companies of all sizes to extend their reach around the world and tap into new markets, something that would have taken an extraordinary amount of effort and investment without e-commerce.

“Midlands businesses can register for free and meet with inspirational speakers from the digital world, finding out first-hand what it takes to become a global success. It’s also a great chance to browse our digital expo and network with other businesses exploring the opportunities online.”

Grant Barber, Head of Marketing at Push Group, commented: “Push is a proud partner of the Department of International Trade and, alongside Google, will be bringing the latest in digital marketing innovation and thinking to the Midlands. At the event, we’ll be addressing topics from boosting your online sales with Google Shopping to staying ahead of your competitors through online lead generation, to help attendees understand how online advertising techniques can drive international expansion and navigate business in a digital world.”

The Selling Online Conference is one of a number of key upcoming events that will provide British businesses with the tools and platform to showcase their strengths to the worlds. Over the coming months, DIT will lead a delegation to Mobile World Congress (26th February – 1st March) and host the GREAT festival of innovation in Hong Kong (21st– 24th March). 

The all-day event will run on 1st February at Coventry’s Ricoh Arena. Businesses can register to attend for free here: