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Growing Your Own Business Conference, NEC, Birmingham 13 - 14 Oct 2017


Growing Your Own Business Conference

The Growing Your Own Business (GYOB) conference & showcase is incorporated within The National Franchise Exhibition on 13 & 14 October at the NEC, Birmingham. 

The event is designed to equip entrepreneurs with the skills necessary to build and sustain a successful business.



When 'going at it alone' and setting up a business, it is important to meet like-minded aspiring entrepreneurs and successful business owners to build your network and gain essential advice.

Meet with representatives from organisations that specialise in boosting business growth, as well as fellow visitors with varying levels of experience, to gain useful insights and first-hand guidance.

Growing Your Own Business Hub

Growing Your Own Business Hub

Get free impartial advice from a range of business experts across both days of the exhibitions. 

Click here for more information>>


Keynote Speakers

Inspiring business leaders will speak about the highs and lows of starting your own business and share the secrets behind their success. 

View our keynote speakers>>


Growing Your Own Business Workshops

Find out how to develop and sustain a successful business at the Growing Your Own Business workshops, with advice on finance, digital marketing, publicity generation and social media.

A full list of workshops is available here>>

Want to get involved? 

If you are interested in getting involved in the Growing Your Own Business showcase, please get in touch. We are looking for speakers and companies with a wealth of expertise in business growth strategies, startups or entrepreneurship.

Email: to find out more.



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Friday 13 October 2017

11:15 - 12:00 | Buy-ology – how to generate endless enquiries from digital marketing and social media

Speaker: Adrian Marks, enjoy! Marketing

-How to create irrationally passionate customers
- How to multiply your online enquiries by ten almost overnight
- How to leverage triggers to get customers spending more money more often
- How to implement a profit-boosting four-step model into your marketing

Dave Dougan


12:30 – 13:15 | 20 sales insights in 20 minutes

Speaker: Jeremy Jacobs, The Sales Rainmaker

- What motivates customers to buy?
- What stops customers from buying?
- What makes your customers tick?


13:45 – 14:30 | Building a profitable business that works for you

Speaker: Jon Asquith, ActionCOACH

- How to increase your profit by 61 per cent
- How to get the most out of your time
- Use the world's best system to build your business

Jon Asquith


15:00 – 15:45 | The thousand-word tweet – making an impact with imagery

Speaker: David GlenwrightJC Social Media

- An evaluation of the different types of media used in social media, and how they typically perform
- Advice on how to both identify and compose pieces of media that are more likely to perform well on social media
- An introduction to some third-party tools and apps that you can use to drastically enhance the quality of your media
- The impact of new and emerging technologies on social media strategies, including live video, 360 images, and virtual reality

Craig McVoy

JC Social media

Saturday 14 October 2017

11:15 – 12:00 | Connecting with customers

- Why 21st century PR is not just effective, but essential for your business
- Knowing your market and growing support for your business
- Building and sustaining relationships with your customers – speaking their language and using their media
- How can I make PR work for me? Practical steps you can take now

Speaker: Andy BrownBlack Sheep PR

Andy Brown

Black Sheep PR

12:30 – 13:15 | Building a profitable business that works for you

Speaker: James VincentActionCOACH

  • How to increase your profit by 61 per cent
  • How to get the most out of your time 
  • Use the world's best system to build your business

Jon Asquith


13:45 – 14:30 | The franchise disruptor concept - how being different will win you business

Speaker: Sarah CarlileCoconut Creatives

- How the franchise disruptor concept generates revenue
- Understand why being positively disruptive is useful in business
- Learn ideas for being different, unpredictable and unexpected
- Stand out from the crowd to win new business

15:00 – 15:45 | Creating a profitable franchise by delivering an amazing customer experience
Speaker: Craig McVoy, Beyond Brand

- The difference between customer experience and customer service
- Why customer experience should be the number one priority of the franchisor
- Why it is crucial to the success of the franchisee
- The difference between success and failure
- Outstanding results deliver sustainable growth

Growing Your Own Business  

Keynote speakers


Michelle Niziol, Founder, IMS Property Group 

Friday 13 October

13:00 - 13:30

A successful businesswoman and self-professed workaholic, Michelle has worked in the finance and property industry for more than a decade. 

Michelle was a candidate on BBC’s The Apprentice in 2016 and earlier this year became Vice-President of ARLA Propertymark.

Michelle manages a very successful property portfolio and in 2015 launched IMS Property Solutions and IMS Letting Solutions due to a high-demand for these services from existing clients.  

You can catch Michelle's keynote presentation on Friday 13 October at 13:00 in Theatre 5.  


Abel Campos, Head of Franchising, McDonald's

Saturday 14 October

12:00 - 12:30 

Abel was appointed Head of Franchising & field services for McDonald’s UK in 2016, following a successful 20-year career with the brand spanning operations and franchising. 

He joined the business in 1995, progressing from a local restaurant team to overseeing a number of restaurants as a consultant in the region.

Abel worked in a number of national and regional roles throughout his time with McDonald’s, and before his current appointment held the position of director of franchising in the southern region, responsible for ensuring high standards of support and operational excellence across his group.

Abel now heads up the UK franchising strategy, field services and oversees the recruitment of new franchisees.

Catch Abel's seminar at 12:00 on Saturday 14 October

Grainne McCoy 

Gráinne McCoy, Semi-finalist, The Apprentice

Saturday 14 October

12:15 - 12:45 

With over 12 years experience, Gráinne McCoy is a highly versatile and multi-talented makeup artist. 

Her career has taken her from roles with international brands such as Laura Mercier, to most recently collaborating with global makeup brand, Trish McEvoy, and working with A list celebrities at the Cannes Film Festival. 

Her unshakeable drive and entrepreneurial spirit saw Gráinne take part in The Apprentice 2016, where she proved that makeup artists can be key business women as she took the semi-finalist place. 

Listen to Gráinne's inspiring story in Theatre 5 on Saturday 14 October at 12:15. 

Keynotes Over The Past Year

We've had some incredible speakers at Growing Your Own Business recently...

Speakers have included: Abel Campos (Head of Franchising, McDonald's UK), Linzi Boyd ( Founder of The BoB Group), Carol Smillie (Model/ star of BBC Changing Rooms), Mark Wright (Winner of The Apprentice 2014), John Aizlewood (CDO Pizza Hut UK & Ireland),  Anil Patel (Starbuck's first franchisee - 23.5 Degrees), Nick Telson (Entrepreneur, DesignMy Night) and Joseph Valente (Winner of The Apprentice 2015), Jason Clark (COO, McDonald's) Steven Bartlett (Founder, Social Chain) and many more!

Watch this space for event updates!

Past keynote speakers

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Opening times:

Friday 13 October | 10:00 - 17:00
Saturday 14 October | 10:00 - 16:00


Hall 3a
National Exhibition Centre (NEC)
B40 1NT

Click here for NEC directions, parking information and map. Call NEC, Birmingham T: +44 (0)121 780 4141.

Thinking of travelling up from London? Visitors can get 25% off their rail fare with Virgin Trains from London Euston direct to the NEC (Birmingham International) in just over an hour! Click here.

Ticket prices:

Tickets will be free of charge if you book them in advance by clicking here

If you wish to attend on the day and do not book in advance, tickets will cost £15 on the door, unless a discount offer code is presented at the exhibition entrance.

FREE tickets can be booked online up until the close of show. 

Click here to book free tickets.


To reserve accommodation please contact our official booking agents Ellis Salsby on +44 (0)1562 829939 or visit

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Book free tickets to the Growing Your Own Business Conference

Book tickets online here or call our hotline: 

+44(0)20 8394 5294 
Lines are open from 10am5pm Monday to Friday. 
Tickets are free when booked in advance, saving up to £15 on the door! 

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