Junior Ministers Megan Fearon and Alastair Ross joined 200 delegates at Google Digital Garage on Tour – Northern Ireland with Google Digital Garage’s Zoe Hartill in Belfast today.
Junior Minister, Megan Fearon said: “25 years since the World Wide Web was launched, the internet is not just at the heart of the global economy but is at the centre of society. As the North’s population becomes more digitally active and aware, the need to engage with technology has never been greater.
“Businesses of all sizes benefit from being online and for small business it opens up a world of opportunities, allowing them to compete in global markets.
“Today’s event is helping equip businesses with the digital skills they need to boost growth and use the internet to their advantage. I encourage everyone to take what they learn today and embrace the technology to help propel their businesses to new levels.”
Junior Minister, Alastair Ross said: “Technological advances mean the world is connected in a way that wasn’t even imaginable 20 years ago, and we as consumers can buy virtually anything we want, from anywhere in the world, no matter where we are through smartphones, tablets and laptops. That is why events such as this are so important in order to support businesses in making the most of what technology has to offer.
“Northern Ireland is already an exemplar region being recognised as the first in Europe to provide 100% broadband coverage and the Executive is committed to a programme of digital reform. In an age of growing demand and tighter budgets we need to be smarter in how we use technology to deliver services and connect with the public.
“Everyone can benefit by improving their digital presence online, be that business owners, entrepreneurs, small businesses, the private, public and community sectors. By improving visibility, new customers can be reached and growth accelerated.”
Designed to support and advise businesses regardless of their technical expertise and aimed at business owners, entrepreneurs, small businesses, those in IT, e-commerce, digital marketing and communications roles in the public, private and third sectors, Google Digital Garage on Tour – Northern Ireland addressed topics including telling your story online, how to reach new customers online and knowing your business with Google analytics.
Eileen Naughton, Google’s Managing Director for UK & Ireland, said: “In the digital age, a basic understanding of how the online world works is useful; and when it comes to business, it’s essential. We welcomed all attendees to this seminar delivered by Google’s Digital Garage experts to learn more about how digital can help them grow.”
The free to attend seminar was hosted by Belfast Met’s e3 campus on Springfield Road, Belfast, and partners included PwC and Traction Finance.
Principal Partner PwC welcomed Google Digital Garage on Tour – Northern Ireland. PwC Digital Director Niall Lavery said: “For businesses seeking to remain competitive, opting out of the new digital age is not an option. As home to one of only three Google labs worldwide, we understand what drives the digital world and how companies and individuals can gain competitive advantage. We’re delighted to sponsor the very successful Google Digital Garage on Tour – Northern Ireland.”
Event organisers, Chartered Marketers Nicola Bothwell and Nuala Murphy, say there is a real appetite for learning digital marketing skills directly from Google having both graduated recently from Google’s We Are Squared programme and that’s why they brought Google to Belfast.
Nicola Bothwell said: “Nuala and I attend monthly breakfast briefings at Google in Dublin and the learning is unparalleled. We wanted to share our learnings with the business community in Northern Ireland and Google Digital Garage on Tour – Northern Ireland has provided attendees with crucial skills which anyone in business need to harness if they want to successfully do business in this digital age.”
To find out about the next Google Digital Garage on Tour – Northern Ireland contact Nicola Bothwell, nicola@nbcharteredco