After Dinner roundup: Edwin Smith, Women in STEM, Fashion eCommerce and more

edwinWhat a monumental week of dinners we’ve had to finish the month of April on a high. With seven dinners to cover, this is part 1 of 2 (find part 2 here), so we’ll keep this week’s round-up as concise as we can:

Edwin Smith on media coverage for your startup
Our first dinner this week was with freelance journalist, Edwin Smith and our partner Mangostorm Media at the scrumptuous Mint Leaf Lounge. As usual the atmosphere was electric, with everyone having lots to say to each other. Ed delivered a fantastic speech; his top tips for getting good coverage were:

  • Have a really good ‘About ‘ page on your website
  • Know what makes you interesting
  • Don’t always rely on PR agencies – sometimes a personal approach is better
  • PR should be the responsibility of everyone in the company
  • Don’t oversell yourself
  • Think of it from a journalist’s POV

Ultimately, you should ensure that you have a “good, concise, well written, interesting piece with relevant information and specific statistics and figures” available for journalists to review. This is vital for them to try and find info out about a company as quickly as possible.

Women in STEM
This dinner was a first for us, bringing women together from the science, technology, engineering and mathematics industries, however it went down a storm with the ladies. A big thanks to our partner Mendeley for adding a personal touch with branded napkins and chocolates – what a treat! Taking place at The Green in Clerkenwell, Nasrin Hafezparast from Outcomes Based Healthcare spoke passionately about her experiences of being a woman in STEM (and being dual-qualified no less!) she had the attention of the whole room during and after her speech, with the majority of diners burning the midnight oil with her.

bloggersFashion eCommerce with Chloe Thomas
With our partner Attraqt, Tuesday saw a group dining with Chloe Thomas, author of eCommerce Masterplan who spoke about her history in eCommerce and international selling, which has led her to now help other businesses. She does this by absorbing what happens in the market and looking at the options, to find out what can be done by eCommerce business owners. Chloe concentrated her talk on the core of eCommerce, specifically CBT (cross border trading, otherwise known as international selling), as well as understanding the customer.

Did you know?

  • The UK leads the world in eCommerce
  • UK consumers spend on average £1145 each online per year
  • Trust, experience and convenience are the three main reasons that people enjoy shopping in stores rather than online

Top tip:

Take the tactics being used by the big players and use them in the smaller market. E.g. Claire’s Accessories sold on Amazon in three countries to find out which one had the biggest traction so they could set up shops in that country.

The Bloggersphere with Hayley Carr and Jane Cunningham
Tuesday night’s dinner at Jamie’s Italian in Piccadilly Circus took the TableCrowd experience to a whole new level thanks to Hayley Carr (London Beauty Queen) and Jane Cunningham (British Beauty Blogger), who turned our Q&A session on its head by introducing the #honestanswers question box. All our diners got to put questions to our speakers completely anonymously which meant the PR crowd could ask the nitty gritty questions they’ve always wanted to ask!

As independent bloggers, both Hayley and Jane run practically every aspect of their blogs and describe blogging as a 24/7 job, “a regular job would be easier” explained Jane. As the bloggersphere is becoming more commercial, both bloggers predicted that the future will see blogs being primed for sale and sold off as commercial commodities. The main topics stripped bare and discussed were:

  • PRs can be influential in a blogger’s journey, and should focus on up and coming blogs
  • Bloggers know their audience, and they know what works best
  • They do not “play with lipstick all day”
  • A great blogger works really hard across all channels and has constant content as well as their own opinion
  • There’s always a thirst for knowledge and this usually involves a change in the reader’s life initiating a need for knowing
  • Understand the longevity of a blog post, two year old blogs are still being read today

They both agreed that what makes a good PR is someone who listens, someone to create a relationship with and who wants to build on that relationship. But most importantly of all, know who you are pitching to!

Big thanks to our partners Mangostorm Media, Mendeley and Attraqt, along with our speakers Nasrin Hafezparast, Edwin Smith, Hayley Carr and Jane Cunningham.


For a complete list of our upcoming dinners, click here.

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