Almost 18 months after winning the SBS award from Theo Paphitis (Entrepeneur and ex Dragon’s Den star) we finally got to attend our first SBS event and what an event it was!
If you aren’t sure what SBS is or how we won the award check out our previous blog post ‘The Perfect Touch on Twitter’ before reading on….
The 2021 event was understandably cancelled due to Covid so we couldn’t wait to get to the 2022 event when we heard about it however we almost couldn’t go at the last minute as I was rushed into hospital 2 weeks before the event. Thankfully I was home from hospital just a few days before and stocked up on painkillers galore so I was able to go with Sarah being my fantastic chauffeur.
We decided to stay over on the Thursday night and Friday night as with Sarah driving from Rotherham via Stockport it would have been a really long day for her to drive at either end and too much for me too.
We stayed at the Premiere inn near the ICC and soon found our first Twitter friends in person in the dining room and laughed over introducing ourselves by Twitter handle rather than name “Are you YourNorth?? We’re Theperfecttouc4” it’s a very strange feeling meeting people you’ve known and speak to all the time on social media but have never met in real life but they are all such amazing supportive people.
The big day was finally here. We headed out to the ICC in Birmingham covid test results in hand nervous and a little apprehensive about being at such a large gathering after such a long time hidden away in sheilding for vulnerable family members but we are all jabbed up and have both had covid in the past few months so we felt our personal risk was low and seeing how strict they were being with checking covid tests on entry made us feel a bit more at ease.
We registered and got our badges and meandered into the big hall. Sarah being a Yorkshire lass through and through spotted freebies on the sponsors stands so she was off!
First stop was the Rymans stand and their fun hit the button game which it seems is neither mine or Sarah’s forte as we were absolutely smashed by the players against us but we got a lucky dip prize anyway so we were happy with that.
We had a good chat with the team on the SumUp stand and amused them when Sarah pulled our SumUp card reader out of her handbag declaring “I never leave home without it, you never know when you might get a sale in person”
We spoke to HP about A3 printer options for expanding our range of prints in the future and they were amazingly helpful.
We entered the Natwest video competition on both Instagram and Twitter which you can watch below and set up a call back to discuss their Business builder programme to help TPTOH to grow in 2022.
A bit of chatting and networking as we went around the stands led us to the lovely Laura of Bombs & Bubbles galore and eventually to Ian Lawn Master Notts after stalking him round the hall for a while lol. He is one of our biggest social media supporters and an actual customer too. He had bought from us again just before the event and had also asked about a sign for his new garden office cabin affectionately named ‘The Shed’ It wasn’t something we normally do so we decided to surprise him with a handpainted sign at the event.
We had planned to try and meet up with a few people from the #MHHSBD network to try and get a pic so we grabbed a few of the ladies at the start of lunch for a group pic. The MHHSBD network are an amazing supportive group of small business owners (as well as SBS of course) who we work with everyday accross Twitter and Instagram to boost each others interaction and visibility as well as actively seeking sales connections between businesses for specific gift requests or small biz stationery etc. If you are interested in joining MHHSBD you can click here, it’s only £10 per year too!
During the lunchbreak we got chatting to the lovely couple infront of us who make up @sillydaddy and @Mommyknowsbest who are fellow etsy sellers and create fantastic QR code labels for networking events and packaging to quickly link people to their socials and etsy shop which we thought were a great idea. They were really bright colours too so caught our eye and started the conversation.
After eating from the delicious buffet we decided we fancied having some fun with a 360 degree video, we were a bit nervous but is was a real laugh and the finished video is full of super cheesy grins.
The afternoon was time for Theo & Touker’s fireside chat which was full of inspiration, great advice and so interesting. Touker has certainly led an amazing life in business full of not just success but steep learning curves and a few failures that taught him vital lessons along the way too which he shared with us all.
After the fireside chat it was time to make a dash for the queue to receive our certificate and have our photo with the man himself!! This was the moment we had waited 18 months for. We presented Theo with a gift of one of our personalised gonk prints of us meeting him and he laughed when we pointed out that he was a gonk in it. He has been fantastic in sharing all the businesses across social media and the gifts he received too. Can you spot our print?
For anyone who has a small business and hasn’t entered #SBS yet we 100% reccommend that you do as it has given us not just the initial boost on socials but a fantastic network of other small businesses who support each other and opportunities for training and expert advice to help us to continue to grow.
You can either enter by tweeting or via instagram now too as below: