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Grow Together is mainly about being practical, a place where you can learn new things. Almost 200 creative studios and agencies came to the first edition of this event on 24 September to attend the various workshops and presentations. Here is how things went...
Creative studios, web agencies and marketing agencies like to collaborate. After all, exchanging experiences allows them to provide an even better service to their customers. They enrich each other and grow together.
In this context, it is important that you use your own strengths when dealing with your core business, and that you outsource or automate all other matters. A wide range of tools are available on the market to help you do this. But you must know what these tools are, and what the best way to use them is. After all, the right tools make all the difference for the growth of your company.
The right tools make all the difference for the growth of your company. Grow Together is committed to bringing those tools to you.
That is the idea behind Grow Together, a new event created by SiteManager. This company from Ghent provides a ‘full service’ web platform of the same name, which is very flexible. Designers, UX specialists, front-end developers, content specialists and end customers can collaborate very easily using this self-developed CMS, which also allows them to see the results right away.
The SiteManager platform runs entirely on Combell's infrastructure. When Alexander Hoogewijs, CEO of SiteManager, started looking for partners to work on the project together, he appealed to us. We instantly felt very excited, because we too are well aware of the importance of growing together – we always find it fantastic when we have the opportunity to show our customers what their creations look like on our high-performance systems. Other players involved in the project included Feweb, the Belgian federation of web businesses, as well as Teamleader, the creator of the tool of the same name, which combines CRM, project management and invoicing and is used by more than 10,000 SMEs.
By joining forces, a nice program was put together, with particular emphasis on practical matters, so that Grow Together would become an event where you can really learn something. And on 24 September 2019, the time had finally come.
The location chosen to host the event was the Communication House in Ghent. During the morning, several workshops were held on themes such as UX, SEO, AI and smart content – concrete topics that really help agencies in full growth. For each time slot, participants were given the opportunity to choose from three different workshops. All 45-minute workshops provided answers to concrete issues, including ‘How to optimally report to the customer?’, ‘How to earn more with copyrights?’, ‘Online payments’, ‘Taking care of SEO yourself’ and ‘Outsourcing’.
During the presentations in the afternoon, managers from the community explained how they have adapted their organisation, business and service model, taking into account new market conditions. Incidentally, the fact that Belgium is a country where cycling is very popular was once again proven when both Alexander Hoogewijs, CEO of SiteManager, and Thomas Joos, CEO of Hypernova, made a nice comparison with a cycle race in their talk. After all, it is the peloton that ensures that you can win – proof that collaboration brings you to your goal much better, faster and more efficiently.
The peloton in a cycle race proves it: collaboration brings you to your goal much better, faster and more efficiently.
As for Alexander Vuylsteke, he stressed that humanity must remain the central focus in a digital world. The CEO of digital marketing studio Yools showed how you can combine customer intimacy and efficient business processes.
Marketing Expert Andy Coomans, entrepreneur at heart, concluded the series of presentations by sharing 5 key takeaways inspired by his own growth story. His journey from self-employed to entrepreneur was quite a dazzling experience!
Time was also allocated to a marketplace and product demonstrations under the name of ‘Agency in a box’. Merijn and Lieven, for instance, arranged a product demonstration of Microsoft 365 (Office 365) on behalf of Combell. They showed how this solution can help agencies optimise their own working methods. But also those of their customers: as a Combell partner, they can have their customers use Microsoft 365, so that customers no longer have to bother them with IT-related problems. This means one less headache and more time to take care of other aspects of the customer relationship.
Flexmail, one of Combell's sister companies, was also present on the marketplace. Our colleague Bart gave a fine demonstration of the features of this customer-oriented e-mail marketing tool.
Of course, the day ended with a networking cocktail reception. And since Grow Together's target group is very similar to Combell's, we saw a lot of familiar faces, and it was a very pleasant reunion!
In other words, this first edition of Grow Together was a hit, as it was practical and inspiring at the same time. The level of the workshops and the presentations was really impressive. And that means a new edition will come in the future. But in what form? And how often? We are still debating these issues... But we will keep you informed!
Check out the pictures taken during the first edition of Grow Together on our Facebook page.
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