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Business In Oxford 2015 Not just an event – a platform for integration, innovation and business growth. Sharing knowledge, experience, expertise and enthusiasm. Thank you to all of our sponsors. CONTRIBUTORS: MATT WRIGHT, JOHN KENNEDY, MATTHEW SMART, JO SENSECALL, NICK STEAD PHOTOGRAPHY BY: ROB SCOTCHER

There are numerous business conferences throughout the year which are opportunities to listen and learn to “experts” or network with potential clients. Business In Oxford 2015 aspired to be both a knowledge sharing platform and to provide both insights and opportunities. Building on the 2014 event the energy and enthusiasm was evident from the very start of the day. The Saïd Business School had just been awarded a prestigious prize for its Entrepreneurial MBA - effectively sending the message to the BIO 2015 delegates and indeed the world that it was the best business school within 3000 miles. Business In Oxford takes place in one of the leading global knowledge centres in the world – Oxford.

Oxford is facing its challenges and moving forward in terms of infrastructure, business growth and entrepreneurial thinking. BIO 2015 showcased some of the best businesses and enabled great networking on many occasions throughout a beautiful June day. The challenge for us all as sponsors, speakers, delegates and business people is to use the platform to share ideas, create business and drive our businesses forward, lead our teams more effectively and connect to similarly driven colleagues for greater growth and profitability.

65 for more information or call the team on 01865 742211. Here are some highlights from our reporters who attended the various presentations during the day – thank you to them all for their time. We weren’t able to cover all presentations but if you would like to get involved as a reporter for BIO 2016, please do get in touch.

‘Art & Culture’

As a business event it was a success – as a platform for continued innovation it is still creating opportunities and connections and will continue to do so over the coming years.

Speaker: Tish Francis, Co-Director, The Story Museum. Reporter: Matt Smart, Knowledge Exchange and Impact Team, University of Oxford ( keit)

To get involved in 2016’s event, see pages 62-

Pulling together arts and business is a passion

for Hedges Law. Arts sponsorship brings kudos. There are 700 UK music festivals this year, with Oxfordshire expecting 50,000 spending visitors. In 2016 ‘Shakespeare Oxford’ will see 37 theatre companies perform every play. Why not sponsor one? Add Shakespeare’s sharp quotes to your company’s message, and boost your branding impact.

generate 50% of districts’ income.

Fine art yields about 10% annual return. Masters like Picasso auction for millions. Business syndicates buy art as investments that showcase companies’ ethos and passion. Art and Culture enrich us, and business.

Speaker: Nicky Atkin, Contract & Procurement Specialist, Oxford City Council. Reporter: Matt Wright, Writer, Noble Word (www.

‘The Future of Oxford’

Public sector procurement can be a complex process, but initiatives such as disaggregated contracts and quick payment schedules are designed to help.

Speakers: Mark Fransham, Social Research Officer, Oxford City Council; Richard Venables, Director, VSL & Partners; Helen Marshall, Director, CPRE. Reporter: Matt Smart, Knowledge Exchange and Impact Team, University of Oxford ( keit) What makes Oxfordshire desirable? Businesses need connectivity. 40% of the region’s industrial buildings are vacant. Our Business Parks developed from airfields, and need accessibility. Plans to increase Oxford’s 58,000 homes by 50% reflect pre-2011 figures of 1,500 more immigrating inhabitants per year. Affordable housing may mean reducing the value of residents’ homes, but Governmental ‘New Homes Bonuses’ could

Oxford Direct Services. Reporter: Matt Wright, Writer, Noble Word (

Sir Patrick Abercrombie designed London’s post-war reconstruction, and conceived of the Green belt, planning for commerce, while conserving natural beauty and resources. Sir Patrick lived in Oxfordshire.

Any revenue generated is invested in Oxford to create a ‘world class city for everyone’.

‘Public Sector’

Central government funding will cease in 2018, so the Oxford Direct Services division has been established by Oxford City Council to generate income rather than cutting services or staff.

South East Business portal: Procurement opportunities for over £5,000 have to be shown here, as well as on ‘Tenders Direct’. European Procurement Rules were revised in Feb 2015: Any spending over £180k needs to be advertised in an official EU journal... although Oxford hasn’t been inundated with overseas bids to date. Encouraging local suppliers: Currently 25 of Oxford City Council’s top 100 suppliers are local to Oxfordshire, and there are requirements for a quote of local tenders depending upon contract size.

‘Public Sector’ Speaker: Tracey Vigor, Business Sales Executive,

Offering 6 sectors to leverage on existing capabilities: 1. Building maintenance, 2. Highways (e.g. drains) 3. Motor transport workshop (e.g. fleet servicing), 4. Commercial waste (e.g. green recycling), 5. Environmental (e.g. pest control), 6. Street cleaning (e.g. graffiti).

‘Public Sector’ Speaker: Dipak Mistry, Development Manager, Oxford City Council Culture. Reporter: Matt Wright, Writer, Noble Word ( Investing in culture promotes higher level skills, fosters new partnerships and is a cost-effective way to help grow your brand. Culture develops over time: It is not an instant fix. Culture represents ‘bang for your buck’: Private investment represents c.20% of arts funding, so for every £1 your business puts in, the government is contributing £4. Culture presents opportunities; e.g. the Museum of Oxford Event (Sep 2015) provides opportunities for technology companies.

‘Public Sector’ Speaker: Shamus Donald, Chairman, Oxford Town Team. Reporter: Matt Wright, Writer, Noble Word ( Oxford Town Team is essentially a private organisation working with Council. Business Improvement Districts ‘BIDs’: Oxford doesn’t have one (yet) but there are 210 active BIDs in the UK, which are 5-year privately-funded partnerships with government.

(OxLEP) is a credible driver in promoting business growth at grass roots level upwards. One of 39 LEPs: Local Enterprise Partnerships were set up to promote engagement between businesses, councils, and colleges. Oxfordshire is vibrant: The population has grown +10% over the last 10 years, which is set to continue along with against the backdrop of low unemployment and market-leading institutions. OxLEP has 4 core initiatives: 1. People. 2. Place, 3. Enterprise, 4. Connectivity.

‘University of Oxford’ Speakers: Dr Anne Miller, James Murray, Leah Thompson, Mim Saxl, Prof Susan Bright, Dr Russell Layberry, and Dr Anne Augustine, University of Oxford; Andrew Goff, Head of OU Consulting, Isis Innovation. Reporter: Matt Smart, Knowledge Exchange and Impact Team, University of Oxford ( keit) Oxford University files more patents than any other UK University. Its software incubator hosted 40 enterprises since 2011. 20 have incorporated. Rated No.1 in Europe, Saïd Business School’s ‘Launchpad’ has 600 networked business participants. Energy prices affect customer relationships. University-built technologies provide real-time environmental monitoring at a fraction of the cost of traditional meters. ‘Agile-ox’ works with businesses, Councils and community, shaping a sustainable Oxfordshire. The University delivers business training, worldleading academic consultancy, and R&D-boosting research equipment. Contact enterprising Uni people through or the Uni’s Innovation and Partnership portal.

‘LEP’ Speaker: Nigel Tipple, Chief Executive Officer, OxLEP. Reporter: Matt Wright, Writer, Noble Word (www. A net contributor to finances, Oxfordshire LEP

‘LEP’ Speaker: Phil Shadbolt, Board Member, OxLEP. Reporter: Matt Wright, Writer, Noble Word (www. Oxfordshire Business Support offers online and telephone support for both start-up and established businesses. Online and Telephone support: Businesses can access help online via the Oxford Business Support website, or over the phone via the ‘Triage’ service. Network Navigators: Around 10 who are experts in their field. Extensive range of products: From free starter seminars (how to write a business plan) through to Innovation Support Vouchers (£1.2m already allocated, with typically £25k match-funded).

‘LEP’ Speaker: Richard Kennell, Board Member, Oxfordshire Skills Board. Reporter: Matt Wright, Writer, Noble Word ( Oxfordshire Apprenticeships and O2i (Opportunities to Inspire) are designed to help with apprenticeships. They are funded through Oxfordshire’s City Deal, and offer online help (www.oxfordshireapprenticeships. with finding the right apprentice through to help with funding (£1,500 grants available).

O2i (Opportunities to Inspire) are volunteers from businesses providing advice to young people on career choice options.

‘Your Brands’ Speakers: John F. Kennedy, Managing Director, Wildbore & Gibbons; Phil Strachan, Founder and Owner, Strangebrew; Anthony Lloyd, Managing Director, Fallowfields County House Hotel; Rickie Sehgal, Chairman, Crises Control; Chandni Lodhia, Senior Marketing Executive, Transputec. Reporter: Jo Sensecall, Owner, Marketing Sense (www. Your brand is the value of your business so build it, make it stand out and protect it! Take control of your brand – perception is reality so what does your brand stand for and why should people choose your brand? A brand is more than just a logo or a name – no one buys a logo, they buy what that logo stands for. Your brand makes you stand out against your competition and become the go-to brand.

‘Future Business Value’ Speakers: Wendy Hart, Corporate Finance and Strategic Advisory Partner, and Mark Bishop, Assurance Manager, Grant Thornton. Reporter: Matt Wright, Writer, Noble Word (www. Corporate Finance valuations are not an exact science, but they are an art. Standard business valuation: Equity value = enterprise value (profit number ‘EBITDA’ x multiple) + cash - debt. Focus on what drives value: Both now and in the future; e.g. corporate giants who fail to plan are just as susceptible to failure; e.g. Kodak. The Change Equation: For change to work, the Cost of change (resistance factors) < Dissatisfaction with the status quo x Clarity of vision (what the world will be like afterwards) x Simplicity of the way ahead (how easy to arrive at change).

‘Smart Oxford’

‘Tourism & Hospitality’

‘Tourism & Hospitality’

Speakers: Sebastian Johnson, Manager, Oxford Strategic Partnership; Dr Bryan Marshall, Research Fellow, Nominet; Philip Shadbolt, Owner and Founder, Zeta Group; Tony Hart, Network Navigator, OxLEP. Reporter: Nick Stead, Business Development Manager, Storm Internet (

Speaker: Hayley Beer-Gamage, Chief Executive, Experience Oxfordshire. Reporter: Matt Wright, Writer, Noble Word (

Speaker: Sam Pace, Estate Manager, Oxford Castle Quarter. Reporter: Matt Wright, Writer, Noble Word (

Hotel City Centre accommodation remains a constraint on overnight stays, given the profitability of overnight versus day tripper visitors.

A 24-hour Oxford involves businesses working together to encourage a seamless visitor experience, converting daytime visitors into nighttime ones.

Oxford’s competitiveness has fallen dramatically: It has now fallen to the 7th most-visited destination behind London, Edinburgh, Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow, and Liverpool (although it’s still ahead of Cambridge!).

Oxford has 9 million visitors annually, however most of these are day visitors - if each one could stay a little longer and spend £10m = £90m increase.

Smart Oxford Project - Tackling growth challenges via: Smart: Parking, Ticketing, Signage & Apps & making @OxfordSmartCity. Oxford is growing because of success, but growth brings challenges. Smart Communications, Data Analysis & Transportation management are helping to deal with these challenges and keep Oxford successful. Oxford Strategic Partnership: Combining capabilities to address big issues for Oxford as a “living laboratory” and share what works with other Smart Cities.

‘Confidence, Motivation, Impact’ Speakers: Alison Haill, Owner, Oxford Professional Consulting; Thomas Alden, Founder, TLA Fitness; Angus Grady, Managing Director, Customeyes Media; Charles Wilson OBE, Director, Bosideon Consulting. Reporter: Jo Sensecall, Owner, Marketing Sense ( Anything is achievable if you commit, from standing up and delivering a presentation to rowing the Atlantic! Confidence and success are business boosters when presenting, online in your LinkedIn profile and leading a team. Body language and your visual appearance give you confidence when presenting by hiding that you are nervous. Your LinkedIn profile is a mini-website, so make sure it is good – would you be recognised as a potential client by your photo? Add descriptions of what you actually do and a value proposition, not just your job title. Create leadership, good followership and motivation at every level in a business - just like they do in the military.

In the past, Oxford has assumed that ‘visitors will come’ and hasn’t invested or promoted itself as a destination in a more competitive environment; e.g. 10-15yrs ago, visitors were planning a 10-14 day trip to the UK v now, they are planning a 7 day trip to Europe. Oxford needs to improve its digital platform - it needs to be a year round destination with a worldclass welcome for customers; e.g. only 15% of international investors ever leave London!

‘Tourism & Hospitality’ Speaker: Brendam Hattam, General Manager, Westgate Centre. Reporter: Matt Wright, Writer, Noble Word ( The Westgate redevelopment is a major step forward to promoting Oxford as a shopping destination in its own right. Westgate is currently not a “place where you want to spend a long time”. When it was opened, Westgate ranked 19th in the UK as a shopping destination, but is now ranked 49th (behind Walsall & Wolverhampton). October 2017 scheduled opening: The new Westgate Centre will be will be about 2.5x larger at 800,000sq ft, with 100 retailers & restaurants (many of them new), opening for 18 hours a day. The new Westgate will start to ‘interact’ with you when you enter; e.g. discounts on price and ride, offers in restaurants, click & collect enabled.

Oxford has been awarded the ‘Purple Flag for Excellence’ for safe nightlife for the 2nd year in a row. Oxford needs to challenge perceptions. Visit the Oxford Castle Quarter to find out where Oxford began, and when visitors arrive, ‘We’re all about telling stories and providing a world-class visitor welcome’.

‘Tourism & Hospitality’ Speaker: Emma Righton, Managing Director, Righton Group Limited. Reporter: Matt Wright, Writer, Noble Word ( Business (and academic) tourism remains a big draw, hence the need to promote closer links with the Universities to help visitors ‘fully understand their environment’. Changing model from short-let to serviced accommodation: UK serviced apartments generate £500m revenue p/a and are ideal for business visitors, but require higher standards & attention to detail. Knowledge is paramount: “We aim to offer a visitor experience beyond the normal so they have a full understanding of where they’re staying”. Righton Group feels the need to differentiate themselves from Airbnb: However, Airbnb do not offer dedicated services which Righton is capable of offering, so it is essential to differentiate in this Sharing Economy. CONTACT DETAILS 01865 742 211

Business In Oxford 2015 review  
Business In Oxford 2015 review  

Business In Oxford 2015 review