"The expo aims to bring the tech and creative savvy together in one room to support Lancashire organisations with new digital innovations and make sure they are doing their best for their businesses."
Nichola Howard, Blackpool Digital Expo organiser
The survey, which was conducted by Launch Events NW – who will be hosting Blackpool Digital Expo on Friday, March 18 – showed that although a lot of companies have adopted new digital skills, there are still areas that they do not feel comfortable with implementing.
When it comes to managing information, eight out of ten people were able to identify and assess accurate sources of information and search for new suppliers to find the best deals online but only half of the people surveyed felt confident using simple analytics to understand who uses their website and how that could help with marketing and appropriately reaching their target market.
It was clear that when it came to communicating through social media – businesses were happy to promote themselves and connect with new customers with 80% (eight out of ten people) saying they were confident but supplying product information online and responding to questions was problematic, with only 4 out of ten people feeling happy to do so.
All of the survey participants felt happy making financial transactions online using secure websites but only three out of ten people had confidence in applying for government business permits and licenses online to save time.
When asked about problem solving using digital tools, nine out of ten people said they knew how to competently avoid malicious websites, scams and pop-up windows but only half felt confident in finding accurate sources of support, using video conferencing and knowing how to quickly understand which products and services work best based on online feedback.
Engaging with communities and creating digital content gave diverse results with almost 100% of people saying they were happy to create content including pictures, logos, texts to promote their organisation and reaching customers but only three out of ten knew how to create an informational or e-commerce website. Just two out of ten people felt confident to create help resources and guides for employees for improved employee skills levels.
Nichola Howard, organiser of Blackpool Digital Expo, said: “There has been a lot of digital development in Lancashire and Blackpool Digital Expo, along with other business events across Lancashire, are all working together to support the success of Lancashire’s economy.
“The results of the survey were interesting with people seeming confident in social media for example but still needing better understanding of analytics. The expo aims to bring the tech and creative savvy together in one room to support Lancashire organisations with new digital innovations and make sure they are doing their best for their businesses.
“The expo will educate our visitors on the benefits of using technology in their businesses and showcase the great support and advice that is out there.”
Social enterprise, Digital Lancashire, is just one organisation that is providing support for individuals and businesses working in or aspiring to work in the digital sector.
Michael Gibson, who is on the board of Digital Lancashire, has worked in the media and creative sectors for more than 25 years, and is a passionate advocate for the county.
He said: “I am passionate about the constant progression of digital and how people keep up with that to help their businesses. If you don’t, it can pass you by very quickly. Digital technologies are transforming how people can do business, saving time and money, as well as being innovative and productive. It is all very exciting and I feel like I am learning every day. It is extraordinary how much new digital technologies are coming out and it is important for Lancashire businesses to keep up.”
If you would like to learn more about how you can improve your digital and creative potential go along to the free Blackpool Digital Expo on Friday, March 18, from 10am until 4pm, to register or for more information log on to http://launcheventsnw.co.uk/