Last week, we held our very first in-person mentoring event at the NatWest Conference Centre in London. Over 100 small business owners and founders joined us to experience the power of mentoring in person.
It was an amazing day, and we wanted to take you behind the scenes and show you the impact that a mentoring event like this can have on small business owners!
Our community absolutely love the mentoring and Masterclasses that we offer virtually through our platform and we kept that in mind when we started thinking about what we wanted our first-ever in-person event to include.
Mentoring is what we do best, so we wanted our audience to experience the power of in-person mentoring at this event! But we also know how integral our Masterclasses are in helping our founders to deepen their knowledge and digital skills.
And most of all, we knew we wanted this event to help our community take action. So many small businesses struggle to put their learning into action, so we wanted everyone to leave our event knowing their next steps to grow their business 💪
And so we thought what better way to bring our platform to life than by facilitating an event where guests experienced in-person mentoring and live Masterclasses!
Over 100 founders and mentors came down to London for a day of Masterclasses, mentoring and networking. As with everything we do here at Digital Boost, the day was totally free! Thanks to the kindness of our partners at NatWest we were able to provide an amazing breakfast and lunch reception which went down a treat with our guests!
It was extremely important to us that there were no barriers to accessing this event. Absolutely everyone was welcome; whether you were someone with a dream, someone building a side hustle alongside their full-time job, or someone working full-time in their business looking to scale: everyone was welcome. This is what makes us different, there are no barriers to our support and we’re proud that we were able to stay true to that with our mentoring event.
For this mentoring event, everything we designed was to help our small businesses to take action. So we set out to cover five main topics we thought would have the most bang for their buck.
We kicked off our mentoring event with a Masterclass all about mindset. Having the right mindset as an entrepreneur can be the difference between success and failure.
Lisa got everyone thinking about what a growth mindset looks like and how you could achieve it. Our guests worked through a series of prompts to reflect on their own mindset and how they could reprogramme some of the beliefs they had!
Getting out of the weeds of the day-to-day can be really hard for business owners, so we knew that we wanted to create a really simple yet actionable business strategy session for our guess.
Karen, Managing Director of Digital Boost (and mentor / Masterclass host extraordinaire!), hosted this session and showed our guests how they could use a simple prioritisation matrix and SWOT analysis framework to grow their business. Our guests loved this session because they immediately highlighted areas of their business that they could prioritize and see huge growth in quickly!
Ian, one of our awesome volunteers from BT, led a session all about branding. Branding can often be overlooked as the colours you choose for your business – but it’s so much more!
Ian led our guests through a series of exercises to help them really think about what their brand is *actually* saying to their audience. All our guests left with a clearer idea of how they wanted their brand to be perceived. And they left with a framework for creating a brand positioning statement to help guide their next steps as they grow their business!
We were delighted to have Emma, one of our incredible volunteer mentors and founder of Fresh PR join us to host our Marketing Masterclass on the day. Emma joined us when we started way back in 2020, so it was a real full-circle moment to be able to invite her to our first in-person event!
Emma gave an amazing Masterclass on the importance of Marketing for small businesses. Digital Marketing is a huge topic and one that can often leave founders overwhelmed and stuck in analysis paralysis. But Emma did an amazing job of stripping things back and sharing simple tips and ideas to leave our guests feeling empowered and ready to supercharge their marketing. For example, Emma spoke about the importance of having a plan for your marketing. Even if that plan is simply to post once a week on Instagram, just having that plan creates accountability and momentum.
To round of the day, we wanted to bring all of the things we learned together. So Lucy Guthrie from NatWest ran an incredible interactive session on how founders can create a captivating 30-second pitch.
Our guests went away and used Lucy’s framework to work on their pitch and then some of them came on stage to put their pitch to the test. It was amazing to see so many of the guests step out of their comfort zone and pitch to a room of hundreds of business owners! The energy everyone brought to this session was incredible and everyone left saying how energised they felt afterwards.
As mentioned at the start of this blog, we really wanted mentoring to be the focus of this event. As a business focused on 1:1 mentoring, we know just how powerful it is for small businesses, but we also know it can be daunting trying something for the first time.
So we decided to try something new with this event, and put on a series of mini-mentoring sessions! These sessions ran for 20 minutes, just enough time to dig into a mentoring topic with a mentor and get quick tips to apply to their business, but quick enough that it didn’t feel too overwhelming for someone trying this for the first time!
This was totally new concept for us, and we were so grateful to our amazing volunteer mentors who joined us on the day. They threw themselves into these sessions with passion and energy and they helped to deliver over 100 mentoring sessions in one day which was incredible.
Our guests absolutely loved the mentoring sessions and we received amazing feedback. Many of our guests went on to book follow-up mentoring sessions with their mentors, to continue learning and also stay on track with the plans that they set!
Meeting the founders
A highlight of this mentoring event was having the opportunity to invite founders that we’ve already mentored to join us on the day and share their experiences of building a business.
Being a small business owner can be lonely, and often you’ve not got peers you can look to for inspiration or guidance. So it was really special to have some of our mentees join us for this event!
They shared advice on how they’d built their businesses, lessons they’d learned along the way and how our mentoring had helped them to grow their businesses. The inspiration and energy that our mentees brought to the event was something else, and our guests absolutely loved hearing their inspiring stories!
We’re delighted to report that our first event was a huge success! Our guests left the event feeling ‘energised’ and inspired to keep working away on their businesses. Our volunteer mentors were blown away by the founders that they met and the conversations they had in their mentoring sessions. And as for our team, we were just over the moon to have brought so many amazing people together and see so much magic happen! We see this magic happen every day on our online platform, but there was something extra special about seeing it happen on such a big scale before our very eyes.
We’ve had such an overwhelmingly positive reaction to our first event that we’re planning to host more in the future! If you’re interested in joining us for future events, make sure you’re in our community to be the first to hear 🥳