Edinburgh Connections White

SCOTTISH BUSINESS LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE

Reinvent the Future

Wednesday, 24th June 2020 → 10am-2pm UK BST

Conference Coverage

BizShowEdi2019 19-2
Edinburgh Connections 2-2

Colin McKeand 
Bart Kowalczyk
Founders,
Edinburgh Connections

 

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Challenge & Opportunity

Scottish businesses are adapting to the changes of a locked down society: working, meeting and conferencing from home, trading online or contactless from existing premises.

But leadership is about more than adapting to changes. It’s about creating the conditions we will all need in order to thrive in the post-Covid 19 “new normal”.

A recent report from Consultancy UK reveals that consumer confidence and trust is shifting away from global brands towards local companies. This trend towards localisation presents opportunities for Scottish SMEs and entrepreneurs. This is our time.

Let's build the networks we need to rise together as the business leaders that Scotland needs.

Insights and Tips from the Conference

We have curated all the best insights and tips from our Speakers for you below.

SBLC20 George Mackintosh

Keynote from George Mackintosh

George shared his business journey and his top three business tips:

  1. Do not shy away from changing horses through the journey of business life.
  2. A lot of businesses do not have ‘big hairy goals’. So be different, set goals, make plans and measure against them. 
  3. Speed!!!! Do everything a little bit quicker! 
watch it again

4 Discussion Panels

Key discussion points and top tips from all panelists and links to watch it again.

SBLC20 Commercial Property panel

'We seem to be in a better situation than in 2008 when both commercial and domestic property market collapsed simultaneously.

What we have now is a real package of economic money being pumped into the economy. It looks like the government supports businesses to stay above the line so they can more quickly return to being profitable. So that we don't dip into a real recession.' Iain Mercer

'Adapt and future-proof. The key advice we can be implementing right now is to make sure your buildings can be easily repurposed for several types of uses.' John Toms

WAtch it again
SBLC20 Tourism and Hospitality Discussion Panel

'When thinking about increasing prices to make the business sustainable, remember that quality will be remembered longer than the amount paid.' Andrew Scott

'When reopening the business, the key point to remember is that it is not just about making a profit, we must think about maintaining the jobs for our staff. Therefore finding a balance and building communications with local communities is very important to us'. Tanja Lister

'We must start to boast about Scotland and what we have to offer. The return may be slow, but there are ways to help build confidence among our clients and visitors'. Andrew Scott

'The businesses need a lot of support from Government in terms of reinstalling the confidence in the general public about buying from businesses again'. Tanja Lister

'There is work to be done with local communities and new strategies for consumer engagement.' David Whiteford

How to show the customers that they are coming into a safe environment?

  • appoint a leader among your staff, to take ownership of this project
  • visual information is a must - but not overwhelming because the guests would like to relax and forget for a few moments about the reality
  • good to go scheme will be launching this week by UK Hospitality
  • only accept prebooked guests, so it is easier to manage operations
  • explain the flow to your guests when they walk in, with stickers and signs. however, this can be done in a fun and approachable way, for example, add a straw to the glass of wine, so your guest wearing a face mask can still drink it.
WAtch it again
SBLC20 Changing Workforces panel

'The workplace is not dead, but it is definitely different.' Ombretta Mancini

'In terms of looking after the mental health of your staff and colleagues - this is not hard work. This is human skills. I work with businesses that found it easy to go up a few levels in terms of how they care for their people.' Gin Lalli

'Initially there will be very little money invested in training for leaders and managers. Businesses are trying to keep the cash in to cover losses. But training for leaders and managers is a must in the long term so they are equipped to support the staff well.' Neil Bradbrook

'To all leaders out there: You cannot choose what kind of leader you want to be. You need to adapt your leadership style to what type of leader your staff needs. To guide them and to support them in being at their best.' Ombretta Mancini

'To leaders and managers: Be very clear on your values, look after yourself and your values first. Even before you communicate with your team.' Gin Lalli

WAtch it again
SBLC20 ECOMMERCE panel

The retail is not going to die. It is going to transform'. Kumaran Adithyan

'The next big opportunity in eCommerce that I see is that more and more people head nine. Including mature people, who have never before purchased online'. Ann-Maree Morrison

'What I learnt is that asking for feedback is crucial. So keep asking for feedback and use it to improve what you produce, sell, customer journey and every aspect of your business.' Russell Dalgleish

'We experienced great success in sales for our business. We also observed a lot of success in our competition. Which shows again, how strong and full of opportunities eCommerce is becoming.' Sara Roberts

'We have definitely seen a shift in the recent months. The numbers will almost double for the end of the year according to the predictions. We are observing that in stronger than UK markets, where the lockdown has been lifted already, online selling continues to maintain its strong position. On top of that we are observing that consumers are less demanding in terms of delivery.' Kumaran Adithyan

'I enjoy the fact that there is a competition popping up, this means there is demand for my products. Also, whether you are just starting or already established in eCommerce, you can't ignore data and statistics.' Ann-Maree Morrison

WAtch it again

Platform for networking and conversations

The first annual Scottish Business Leadership Conference is a platform created for businesses to network and discuss the possibilities with fellow business professionals from across the country and hear and learn from business leaders in our discussion panels.

BizShowEdi2019 113-1

4h Event with interactive online business sessions including discussion panel, workshops and networking

Edinburgh Connections 62

Great opportunity to network with the supportive business community of Edinburgh Connections Members and guests

BizShowEdi2019 186-1

Business Owners, Entrepreneurs, SMEs from Construction & Property;  Tourism & Hospitality; eCommerce & Technology

Speakers

Screenshot 2020-05-21 15.34.27

George Mackintosh
Keynote Speaker

Kumaran Adithyan

Kumaran Adithyan
Senior Director, UK Trading
eBay

Malcolm Currie 21

Malcolm Currie
Workplace Negotiations Consultant
Strathesk Resolutions

Gin Square

Gin Lalli
Solution Focused Therapist

Sara 2

Sara Roberts
Founder & CEO
Healthy Nibbles

Screenshot 2020-06-03 20.57.09

Ann-Maree Morrison
Founder & Managing Director
Labels4Kids

DSC_9465_cropped

Ombretta Mancini
Owner
Own Your Step

Emma

Emma Wolfe
Regional Property Manager
Pillow Property Partners

Screenshot 2020-06-04 17.57.33

Andrew D Scott MiH
Managing Director
Victus Catering Consultancy


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Tanja Lister
Director
Kylesku Hotel Ltd

Screenshot 2020-06-11 17.26.20

Neil Bradbrook
Managing Director
Ahead Business Consulting

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Andrew Pollard
Managing Director

Ahead Business Consulting


David Whiteford 02

David Whiteford
Chair
The North Highland Initiative

Screenshot 2020-06-04 17.33.38

Dave Till
General Manager
Skyeskyns


Russell Dalgleish

Russell Dalgleish
Chair
Scottish Business Network


Iain Mercer

Iain Mercer
Director for 
Commercial Agency (East)
Allied Surveyors Scotland plc

IMG_4048

John Toms
Client Relations
IOTA Ltd

 


Agenda

Over 4 hours full of exciting keynotes, a panel discussion, time for your questions and networking helping your business thrive during this crisis.

09:45 AM
WAITING ROOM IS OPEN

10:00 - 10:15 AM
OPENING

Colin McKeand & Bart Kowalczyk, founders, Edinburgh Connections

Edinburgh Connections 2-2

10:15 - 10:45
KEYNOTE SPEAKER: GEORGE MACKINTOSH, ENTREPRENEUR, NED, MENTOR, ADVISOR & HERITAGE SITE DIRECTOR

george mackintosh 020 a sa  (1)

Serial entrepreneur in IT. Managed businesses with equity involvement since 1992, making acquisitions and achieving several successful exits. Operated in software, services and hardware in Hong Kong and China, the USA, India and Europe, including the UK, Italy, Croatia and Germany. Run self-funded, partnership, VC and PE-backed businesses. Skills in marketing, sales and general management with early 10 year corporate "apprenticeship" and 24 years running SMEs. 

 


10:45 - 11:30 AM
DISCUSSION PANEL: FUTURE OF THE TOURISM & HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY IN SCOTLAND

Scottish tourism will be hit hard this season by Covid-19. What are the long-term prospects for the industry if social distancing rules remain in place?
In a post-Brexit, post-pandemic Britain, with quarantine requirements for international travel, could domestic tourism provide an answer for both the travel and hospitality sectors?
Scotland can offer green space, fresh air, history, culture, as well as world-quality visitor attractions and cuisine to tourists from the big cities in the UK.

Panel Members:

Emma

Emma Wolfe
Pillow Property Partners

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Dave Till
Skyeskyns

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Andrew D Scott
Victus Catering Consultancy

David Whiteford 02

David Whiteford
The North Highland Initiative

Screenshot 2020-06-11 17.23.34

Tanja Lister
Kylesku Hotel Ltd

11:30 AM - 12:15 PM
DISCUSSION PANEL: COMMERCIAL PROPERTY - IS IT TIME FOR A RADICAL RETHINK?

Edinburgh is already a crowded place and there are plans to implement Green Zones. Post-pandemic we might not need so much office space or traffic in Scottish city centres. But we will still need to socialise. What is the future for Commercial Properties? Flexi Office Space, hotdesks, or perhaps adopting the trend of coworking space by day and restaurant by night? Can these solutions fit social distancing and infection control?

Screenshot 2020-06-11 17.26.44

Andrew Pollard

Ahead Business Consulting

Iain Mercer

 

 

 

 

 

Iain Mercer

Allied Surveyors Scotland plc

IMG_4048

John Toms

IOTA Ltd

12:15 - 1:00 PM
DISCUSSION PANEL: INDUSTRY 4.0: CAN EVERYTHING BE SOLD ONLINE?

e-Commerce has been growing steadily for the last few years but has rocketed as a result of Covid-19, with online sales up by 146% in the period to April this year. What is the future for eCommerce?
Will delivery drones become a common sight? Do they have limitations? Can drones deliver everything to us in our gardens?  Could we see Deliveroo take to the skies?
On a logistical level, is Scotland’s infrastructure ready for Industry 4.0: warehousing, technology, legislation, etc?
Do we have the skills?

Panel Members:

Sara 2

Sara Roberts
Healthy Nibbles

Screenshot 2020-06-03 20.57.09

Ann-Maree Morrison
Label4Kids

 

Kumaran Adithyan

Kumaran Adithyan
eBay

 

Russell Dalgleish

Russell Dalgleish
Scottish Business Network


1:00 PM - 1:45 PM
DISCUSSION PANEL: CHANGING WORKFORCES

New realities demand new tactics and proficiencies as well as a fresh perspective. The Scottish Government has put forward proposals for a radically different immigration policy for Scotland, aimed at attracting and retaining more people from outside the UK to live and work here.
What kind of skills will Scotland need to sustain growth beyond Brexit and the pandemic? What challenges do Scottish businesses face in attracting the best talent?
How will digital technology alter future patterns of work?
What role does the private sector have to play in improving workers’ welfare?

Panel Members:

Malcolm Currie 21.              

Malcolm Currie
Strathesk Resulotions

Gin Square

Gin Lalli 
Solution Focused Therapist

DSC_9465_cropped

Ombretta Mancini
Own Your Step

Screenshot 2020-06-11 17.26.20

Neil Bradbrook
Ahead Business Consulting

1:45 PM
CLOSING REMARKS


2PM - 2.30 PM
NETWORKING SESSON
Paid option £15 - free for EC Members