North Pennines Tourism Forum 2019: Digital Landscapes: developing, integrating and interacting

Thursday 2 May 2019: 10am to 2.30pm (arrival, registration, tea/coffee from 9.30am)
Blanchland Village Hall, £10 attendance cost (includes lunch and refreshments).
Don’t know your Facebooks from your YouTubes? Or your blogs from Googlemaps? Do you need some pointers to help you to navigate the digital landscape? This event in early May will demystify digital, enabling you to harness practical tools to communicate with potential visitors.
The purpose of the forum is to assist businesses working in the visitor economy to embrace digital marketing in their work. We will also explore some of the ways in which digital approaches can help us to develop the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and UNESCO Global Geopark as a tourism destination.

Keynote speaker 
We are delighted that our keynote speaker (‘Digital marketing for microbusinesses’) is Susan Briggs – from Tourism Knowhow, based in Masham, North Yorkshire. Susan has been working in tourism marketing for over 30 years and has helped in excess of 7,500 businesses to attract visitors and become more profitable. In her ‘spare time’ she runs a holiday cottage and is involved in her local community and somehow manages to run tourism networks in both the Yorkshire Dales and the North York Moors. Find out more about Susan at

In the spotlight 
Our business spotlight is the North East Business Woman of the Year Alison Raper from Teesdale Cheesemakers. Alison, who will be speaking about how digital has helped her business, has had an eclectic career including fiction writing, CEO of a charity and running her own complementary health centre. Three years ago, her career took a foody turn when she set up Teesdale Cheesemakers with her husband Jonathan. Since then the couple have won nearly 30 cheese & business awards, supply almost 40 outlets across the region and have just bought a smallholding which they have plans to turn into Cheesedale.

Expert panel
After our keynote speaker and business case-study delegates will be invited to put their digital marketing questions to an expert panel.

Get involved
We will be taking a look at some of the ways in which the AONB Partnership has been using digital to enrich and deepen the visitor experience in the North Pennines AONB & UNESCO Global Geopark. We will also launch the new North Pennines Tourism Toolkit – a suite of online tools and resources to help tourism businesses position themselves in this internationally recognised and protected landscape. After a networking lunch delegates will be able to pick up valuable hints and tips in two ‘how to’ sessions – ‘blogging about your business’ and ‘getting along with Google’.

Shane Harris, Responsible Tourism Lead for the North Pennines AONB Partnership, said: “The marketing landscape has dramatically changed over the last five years – the days of being able to rely only on print and other traditional channels is past. Tourism businesses will increasingly need to embrace this new world to reach potential visitors. But we know that over 80% of tourism businesses in the North Pennines are small – employing five people or less – so they’re short of time to devote to marketing. Our forum this year is designed to help with some practical, cost-effective, advice to get you started on your digital journey.”
Forthcoming Dates
North Pennines Tourism Forum 2019: Digital Landscapes: developing, integrating and interacting Blanchland Village Hall