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Interdirect Chosen as Communications Partner for Making a Business of Tourism 2015

Making a Business of Tourism, Millbrook Venues, 27 March 2015

Interdirect is proud to announce it has been chosen to be part the organising committee for Making a Business of Tourism.

The expo, created by Destination Milton Keynes, Experience Bedfordshire, the Tourism Partnership and supported by SEMLEP, will take place at Millbrook Venues on 27 March 2015 and is hoped to become a must attend event in the business and tourism calendar.

The free to attend event will provide an ideal opportunity to meet buyers from key local tourist attractions, hotels, restaurants, suppliers and independent businesses, network and hear advice from key industry experts.

Having worked with Destination Milton Keynes for a number of years, Interdirect was chosen as the communications partner for the expo to create a bespoke website using its advanced content management system SiteMachine, devise an email campaign to target exhibitors and visitors, manage social media output and coordinate all PR activity.

Making a Business of Tourism has also teamed up with the Milton Keynes College's new creative studio, The Design House. The student-led facility, which offers graphic design and photography services to local businesses, has designed the logo and brand identity for the event.
Making a Business of Tourism logo, designed by MK College's Design House

Viviane Vayssieres, CEO of Experience Bedfordshire said: “Following the success of a similar exhibition held in 2013, we have identified a huge demand for this type of event in the region. Working with Destination MK and Interdirect will enable us to take the event to the next level and offer exhibitors and visitors from both counties the opportunity to network and share their knowledge, experience and best practice.

To find out more, visit www.biztourism.co.uk, follow @biztourism on Twitter, visit the Facebook event page or join the LinkedIn group.

Merry Christmas from ID

 

Merry Christmas from Interdirect

 

Merry Christmas from all the team at Interdirect!

 

With the festive season well and truly upon us, it's time to eat, drink and be merry as we close for Christmas.

Interdirect’s offices will be will be closed from 1pm on Tuesday 23rd December and will re-open for business as usual at 9am Friday 2nd January 2015.

For our clients with digital services, there'll be emergency support arrangements in place during the Christmas closure.

If you experience any urgent support issues during this period, please e-mail helpdesk@interdirect.co.uk This e-mail address will be checked regularly by the support team.

If the issue is of a critical, hosting related nature, for example your website is not visible please call 033 33 200 507 to reach a member of the support team.

We'd like to thank all of our clients, friends and family of Interdirect for your valued business and support during 2014 and look forward to what the New Year has in store.

Responsive Web Design: just a pretty marketing face?

In recent months, all we hear in the digital marketing world are the words “responsive web design”. Okay, perhaps not all we hear, but the growth of the latest web trend has certainly taken the industry by storm.


But for all the noise, just how many websites are truly responsive? A recent report showed that only 18% of the top 10,000 websites according to Alexa  are responsive, and that percentage decreases to just 11 % when you analyse the top 100 – a shockingly low statistic if you ask us!

This is possibly because smaller companies can respond to market trends faster and with less fuss, whereas market giants may have to trawl through layer upon layer of proposals, forecasts and approvals to get their website up to date.


One thing that is undeniable however, is the speed at which responsive web design is catching on, even in recent months. The top 1,000 company websites (determined by Alexa) were crawled in 2013 and the same URLs again in 2014, and of those companies almost 7% have ‘gone responsive’ in the last year (if they weren’t already).
 
The world is waking up to responsive design, and in the last few years some stunning websites have surfaced. But whilst Suitsupply and Sony may have created a beautiful interface, what about the inner workings of responsive sites?

 


Requests are also an important factor to examine when talking about responsive websites. Requests are essentially your computer asking the website server to give it the information you’re looking for (text, image, etc.) and the server responding with the files. Responsive websites use fewer requests – just 74 compared to 95 for basic websites on average – meaning that the server and your computer don’t need to ‘chat’ as much.


However page weight (the total number of kilobytes including HTML files, images, audio or video, Flash animation, etc.) and consequent load time for responsive websites is much higher. Chrome Developer Tools measures processing time in CPU seconds at 5,966ms for responsive sites, compared to 3,265ms for traditional sites.


Page weight is not specific to devices, meaning that although a mobile device may display less content (lower quality images, fewer icons), it loads the same amount of bytes as a full-screen desktop display. These statistics aren’t commonly advertised in the world of responsive web design, however for some they may be vital – companies must decide on the type of site their users need and expect.


Whilst responsive websites have some cons, the pros of responsive websites are undeniable – customer-focused navigation, retina images, easy to maintain and a seamless user experience across all devices – all of which service to increase conversions, drive profit and improve SEO. Responsive websites drive themselves.


Responsive websites now almost equal the number of mobile sites on the web, but what we must focus on is not compromising on performance whilst pursuing aesthetics. We’re excited to see what 2015 brings to the world of web design, and responsive websites in particular.

 


Keep up to date with industry news and trends on our Blog, or follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

ID Completes the Endurance Mann Challenge for Giving Tuesday

This week, the ID team was proud to take part in the UK’s first ever #GivingTuesday event by completing the ID Endurance Mann challenge.

Nick took on as many extreme sports activities as possible in eight hours to raise more than £300 for the Milton Keynes Community Foundation’s Surviving Winter fund. The fund supports elderly and vulnerable people during the winter months through initiatives such as the Food Bank and the Winter Night Shelter.

Nick and the team began the day with a two mile swim at David Lloyd Leisure before taking to the slopes at the SnoZone, followed by a three mile run in Campbell Park. The afternoon saw him reach new heights as he scaled the Ellis Brigham climbing wall at Xscape MK before getting blown away at AirKix, finally Nick completed the challenge on a high at the new indoor trampoline park in Bletchley, Bounce.

If that wasn’t enough, Nick then ran down Midsummer Boulevard to meet the Milton Keynes Community Foundation team at The Hub’s Missoula to be crowned the most creative fundraisers in Milton Keynes, where he was treated to an expert cocktail making master-class as a reward for his Endurance Mann efforts.

“I would like to thank everyone that was involved in our #GivingTuesday ID Endurance Mann challenge; those that supported us by watching and donating, the team that took part, and also the companies in Milton Keynes that donated their time and instruction to help this fantastic cause,” said Nick.

“Interdirect has supported the Milton Keynes Community Foundation since the agency’s inception in 1998. We were incredibly proud to raise money and awareness for them as part of the UK’s first ever #GivingTuesday event and are already thinking of ways to go bigger and better next year.”

See all the photos from the challenge on the Interdirect Facebook page, and head to MKFM to listen to the interview from the climbing wall!

 

ID Giving Tuesday Endurance Mann Challenge

Interdirect is excited to announce it will be taking part in #GivingTuesday! On Tuesday 2nd December, our MD Nicholas Mann will be taking on the Interdirect Endurance Mann Challenge (see what we did there?!) as he aims to take part in as many sports as possible in just 8 hours to raise money for the Milton Keynes Community Foundation as part of their #GivingTuesday Challenge Cup.

Nick will be swimming, indoor sky diving and rock climbing his way through the day, as well as some more surprise extreme sports activities, to raise as much money as possible between 8am and 5pm with the ID team joining in for different legs of the challenge.

All monies raised on the day will go to the Milton Keynes Community Foundation’s Surviving Winter campaign which supports elderly and vulnerable people during the winter months, such as the Food Bank and the Winter Night Shelter. Just £50 enables MK Food Bank to provide supplies to feed a family for a week, and the Foundation's aim is to raise £40k by the end of March to suppor the most vulnerable people in Milton Keynes to heat their homes, and to receive emergency food and shelter.

The company that raises the most money will be crowned the most generous workplace in Milton Keynes at a fundraiser event at Missoula in The Hub, Milton Keynes.

“I’m excited, if a little apprehensive, to be taking on the ID Endurance Mann Challenge”, says Nick.

“Interdirect has supported the Milton Keynes Community Foundation for a number of years and we’re now in the process of setting up a named fund to continue our support in 2015 and many years to come.”

“I can’t encourage you enough to give anything you can on #GivingTuesday and help us raise awareness and funds for this fantastic cause.”

“I’d also like to thank David Lloyd Leisure, AirKix and Ellis Brigham for donating their facilities in support of the Milton Keynes Community Foundation.”

To support Nick and the team in the Interdirect Endurance Mann Challenge visit www.justgiving.com/IDEnduranceMann or watch out for him out and about in MK as he takes on his challenges. Keep up to date with his activities on Twitter at @Interdirect using #IDEnduranceMann or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Interdirect.

Customers Aren't For Christmas


It’s that time of year again – Christmas. Boom time for brands. But whilst you might be thinking that your business will be lost in the excitement of larger, perhaps pricier marketing campaigns, there are many reasons why your online marketing strategy a gift that keeps on giving to your business!

People spend more of everything at Christmas. More money, more time, more care. They want to make other people feel special, and they want to feel special while doing it. Isn’t this just the point of marketing in the first place; making the customer feel special? We don’t think that this should differ with the date.

When you start planning, or likewise evaluating the impact of your Christmas online marketing strategy, think about it as if you were planning a bricks and mortar shop – firstly your shop or office itself, aka your website. Despite the flurry on and offline, first impressions stick and this is a great opportunity to make a good one in the hope of bagging some return customers or advocates.

Think about your website as a shop floor and how well it responds to the things your visitors are looking for. Whilst the Halloween costumes should be firmly in the stock room for the next 9 months, the festive knitted sweaters should be centre stage. Your website needs to stand out from all others but it also needs to be practical, clear and focused on profit all year ‘round; content should be current and visitors should be able to find what they’re looking for with ease.

What about Christmas lights? They make your brand visible, sure, but what you should really be considering is whether you want to buy new lights each year or invest in ones that burn bright past December 25th. Social media is a light that shouldn’t just be lit at special times. Whilst you may have more exciting things to say at Christmas, connections don’t follow calendars and neither should your business. Growing an engaging platform with an interested community is no small task but is well worth the investment for your brand.

And, how will people discover your offering? SEO, and in particular PPC, might seem more worthwhile at a time when other brands threaten to drown your business’ voice, but a strong effort to make your website crisp and clear to search engines should be an ongoing effort. Google increasingly offers less information on your target market for free, and competition for higher rankings is getting fiercer and fiercer. Getting on board with search engines at Christmas is even harder if you haven’t got an SEO angel looking out for your business outside the holiday period.

In short, Christmas should be a time when marketers consider whether their online outlets are capable of making the best possible impression at any time of year – not just milestone months. If the hard work is put into your online strategy during the other 11 months, you’ll see that customers aren’t just for Christmas.

Are you feeling the limitations of your website, social media strategy or visibility to search engines? Give us a call on 0345 121 5566 or email us at info@interdirect.co.uk