MORE than 300 local business people packed into City Hall yesterday keen to learn how to be highly visible in a digital world.
Bathurst Regional Council’s acting manager of economic development Steve Bowman said the turnout for the Google workshop, which was presented by council, far exceeded his expectations.
He said many business owners told him they were heading straight back to the office to join Google Plus.
“The presenters were very good in explaining the more technical concepts, breaking it down to make it easier to understand,” he said.
“They obviously did their research before they took the stage and tailored their presentation to suit their audience.
“I’d love to offer another one which would build on it. They might also try to get someone from Google US out here to speak to us.”
Celebrant Kris Rose said the presentation was relevant for her because she also does a lot of weddings and funerals in Sydney.
“I thought today was fabulous. It brought me back to basics,” she said.
“It will make me focus and I found it easy to understand.
“Although, having said that, a lot of people here today are not website savvy.
“Personally, I thought it was brilliant and I will absolutely be implementing what I learned.
“I want to congratulate council for having the foresight to do this because we just don’t get this kind of thing out here.”
Gerarda Mader, who runs Settlers Cottage accommodation, said while they already have a website and a Facebook page, it was great to receive advice on how to get customers to see what they do.
“People are looking for conversations online,” she said.
“This seminar was very good, although it has given me a bit of brain overload.
“It will certainly allow me to build on what I already have.”
David Berry of Bathurst Signs also said the seminar was a tremendous help for marketing his business.
“It is one of the best things council has done for many years,” he said.
“By offering this they are really helping the local businesses who are already in town.
“It’s good to see them looking after us.”
Mr Berry said he is already doing a lot to ensure his business is visible online, but the seminar increased his understanding.
“Around 90 per cent of my business is done outside of Bathurst, so an online presence is critical,” he said.
Photographer Danni Evans also enjoyed the seminar. She said online visibility is a big part of her business.
“I know there are things I should be doing, but I didn’t know how to do them,” she said.
Zoe Hida from Appiwork said the main challenge she sees as a local web developer is that people sometimes feel intimidated.
“You need to start somewhere,” she said.
“There are more than 4000 businesses in Bathurst but only a tiny fraction have a website.
“We’d love to have a campaign to get all businesses online.”