Social Media For Women 2013

It's not about Gender!
Tuesday 26th November 10am-4pm, Preston
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A recent survey conducted in the UK found that a greater proportion of women are using social media than men. It was also found that women who use social media, tend to be more influential both online and offline. However, it has been noticed that at conferences on social media and the subjects that surround them, the majority of speakers tend to be men.

The aim of The Social Media for Women Conference is to inspire and support more women to feel confident in using social media. It also aims to highlight some of the inspirational women, already working with social media in a professional capacity.

This one-day conference brings together an all-female speaker line up to help delegates take their social media skills to a higher level. It also aims to provide inspiration to women who would like to start their own businesses, take on more senior roles, or just be able to gain skills to support others within their communities. The conference is open to male and female attendees who wish to learn more about how to incorporate social media into their work, or learn more about what the next big thing may be.

Ultimately, the conference organisers, Liz Hardwick ( and Jane Binnion ( would like to see more women speaking at professional industry conferences and see this as the first step to recognising and promoting female speakers, but more importantly based on their level of expertise and not their gender.


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Workshop leaders
Liz Hardwick

Liz has a strong background in digital technology, in particular Digital Storytelling and getting participants to tell their stories with a variety of multi-media technologies – that could be social media, audio, video, photography, graphics, experimental, mixed-media or a mixture of them all.

Liz sits on the National Communications Committee for BECTU, her regional branch in the North West for Freelancers, and a council member for the Community Media Association. She’s a social media surgeon and runs support sessions on a regular basis for non-profit organisations and a variety of geeky events. Liz is an advocate for open source technologies, and regularly speaks on Digital Technology and Women in Technology, at conferences across the UK.

Jane Binnion

Award winning social media and ethical sales trainer. Jane is a qualified and experienced trainer and runs her own business, Jane’s Social Media, near Lancaster. With a background in the public sector Jane specialises in Strategy and Policy.

Jane is the author of The Super Women of Lancashire and, with Rachel Gibson, has created a social media policy training film #think.

Jane runs a monthly social media surgery in Lancaster and is often invited to speak on using social media.

Being a single mum and business owner, Jane also knows a thing or 2 about using your time well.

Becki Cross

Becki Cross set up Events Northern Ltd in 2004, after gaining an Events Management degree from Leeds Metropolitan University and working for event management companies in Manchester and Liverpool. Events Northern Ltd is a professional event and conference management company based in Preston, Lancashire. We go the extra mile to deliver engaging events which inspire, provoke action and deliver results. Becki is particularly passionate about producing stimulating, informative and high quality conferences and seminars utilising conference technologies and social media when appropriate. Becki has also developed a barcode registration system, an event app and is soon to launch a wedding app.

Becki is a category winner of the and Barclays Business Plan Awards and a finalist in the Everywoman Business Awards. Becki has also recently graduated from the LEAD leadership development programme at Lancaster University Institute for Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Development.

Amy Burton

Over the past 5 years Amy has worked within digital media for a variety of organisations. She first discovered her flair for social media engagement during university and hasn’t looked back since. A keen speaker, she represented UCLan in competitions, presenting ideas to a panels of judges at a national level. Whilst writing for a local music magazine she developed her photography and video portfolio. This in addition to her degree in advertising, marketing and communications enabled her to provide advice as a social media surgeon helping others with their social media channels. During her time at Macmillan Cancer Support, Amy provided online support to a large social media audience through two major campaigns and kick started conversation for their new event ‘A Really Good Night In’. Currently working in London for Diabetes UK Amy has been focusing on blogger communities and peer support networks online.

Sally Gorton

Sally Gorton works as an independent consultant, providing social media and reputation marketing advice to commercial enterprises and not-for-profit organisations of all shapes and sizes.

With over 10 years’ experience in corporate communications, relationship management and marketing within and for blue-chip companies under her belt, Sally now focuses on enabling organisations and individuals to make best advantage of new media technologies and communications best practice to engage effectively target and with audiences, manage their online reputation and grow their business.

Sarah Cruickshank

Sarah runs Sarah Cruickshank Media Solutions where she provides a Virtual Assistant service covering audio transcription, copywriting, administrative and social media support to businesses and individuals across the UK. She is also a freelance writer specialising in family life, play, wellbeing and home working.

She has been blogging since 2010 at and has featured as a guest blogger on sites as diverse as and

Outside work Sarah is an Assistant Cub Scout Leader in Lancaster, Assistant District Commissioner for Marketing and Communications at Lonsdale District Scouts and part of the Media Team at WestLancs Scouts.

Tamsin Spain – WISE

Tamsin recently took up a part-time post of Web and Social Media Officer at WISE (Women into Science and Engineering). WISE, a Community Interest Company, promotes female talent in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) from classroom to boardroom, and helps organisations to inspire women and girls to pursue STEM as pathways to exciting and fulfilling careers.

Previously, over 8 years, she worked at the UKRC supporting women to progress in the above sectors, through mentoring schemes, taster days for school girls, and professional development events and projects in partnership with organisations.

She is also director of Thinking Ground, a social enterprise that delivers activities using arts and creative thinking tools to achieve meaningful and practical results.

Denise Armer and Jane Halpin – Unique Kidz and Co

Denise Armer and Jane Halpin are two mum’s of disabled children .In 2008 they met at their school’s parent group, after talking about being unable to return to work due to lack of specialist childcare they decided if you want anything doing do it yourself.

Following over 18 months of extensive market research, legalities, training and business planning, Denise and Jane founded Unique Kidz and Co a registered charity with initial funding from Lancashire County Council. Neither had any previous experience in setting up or running a charity or in childcare, with the support of other parents, and through their own sheer determination, they succeeded. The charity is the first in Lancashire to offer after school and holiday childcare specifically for disabled children.

As well as achieving a rating of Ofsted “Outstanding” Unique Kidz and Co won “New Business” in the 2012 EVA awards and “Small Social Enterprise of the Year “ in Selnet Enterprise in Society Awards 2012 and “Small Social Enterprise of the Year” in Social Enterprise Northwest Excellence in Social Enterprise Awards 2013 .

Conference Photographer
Kerry-Anne Hedges – Snap The Lens

We are going to be capturing the event, but with a difference.

More info soon!

In the meantime, check out Kerry-Anne’s blog


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9:30am-10am            Registration – Sign in, grab a brew and meet other attendees

10am-11am                 Conference opens with keynote speakers

11am-11:15am           Tea/Coffee Break

11:15am-12:15pm      Workshop 1 – a choice of 3 workshops

12:30pm-1:30pm        Workshop 2 – a choice of 3 workshops

1:30pm-2:15pm           Lunch – Hot Asian Veggie buffet and very yummy!

2:15pm-3:15pm          Workshop 3 – a  choice of 2 workshops

3:30pm-4pm                Conference closing session (plenary)

4pm-5pm                      Optional social media surgery. – A Q&A with workshop leaders, on all things social media.


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Session 1 (11.15am-12.15pm) - Choose from
Get LinkedIn or Get Left Out

LinkedIn is commonly regarded as the social media channel for professionals. Do you not yet have an account? Is your LinkedIn account just sitting there because you don’t know what to do with it? This workshop will show you how to build an effective profile, develop an influential network and link with people who can have a positive effect on you and your organisation.

Starting with a strategy

For many their journey into the world of social media begins with a “let’s start and see what happens” approach. However, this is why many organisations fail to see results. The most successful people on social media plan their time, approach and strategy to make the most of their time online. This session with Jane Binnion (Jane’s Social Media) will present an overview on how you can more effectively manage your social media presence. From developing your strategy, to deciding which circles you need to become part of, this session will give you a strong action plan to take away and implement.

Setting Up Twitter and User Interaction

While the world of social media may seem complicated, there has been a great deal of evidence to show that it works and makes a difference to businesses and organisations. Twitter is one of the easiest social networks to get involved with, as it’s designed to allow you to communicate in quick, short bursts. In this workshop Sally Gorton (Bang the Drum Consulting) will talk about how she advises her clients to dip their toe in the Twitter pool and how to start to build an audience. This will be a practical session using computers (bring your own laptop/device if possible) where we will setup accounts, have conversations using hashtags, and attempt to build your following within the hour.

Session 2 (12.30pm-1.30pm) - Choose from
Managing your Social Media in Ten Minutes

More and more organisations are realising that having a social media presence is an increasingly useful part of their marketing strategy, and an exciting new way of connecting with their customers. However for many there is a real fear that Social Media will take up too much of their valuable time. In this session Becki Cross (Events Northern Ltd) will explain how she manages to run a successful business, as well as maintain her social media accounts in small, manageable chunks on a daily basis. Offering tips on how to make use of Social Media Management tools, through to how to prioritise time whilst still having an active presence, this is a session not to be missed for the busy working professional.

Managing your reputation online

Online Reputation Management is a common concern for most organisations. An important part of using social media is listening and of course it is important to deal well with complaints. But what else can you do if a negative comment is hanging around online? Jane Binnion (Jane’s Social Media) will let you in on her tips and secrets to managing your reputation and avoiding the potentials pitfalls of an online presence.

Social Media for Social Good

Charities and Community Organisations are increasingly using Social Media as a route to supporters, advocates and potential donors, but on platforms with millions of users how do you make your brand stand out? Amy Burton (Diabetes UK) will highlight some of the more successful Social Media campaigns delivered on both a local and national level, as well as some of the innovative campaigns being delivered at Diabetes UK. The session will also look at some of the online tools available which you might consider, when fundraising for your organisation.

Session 3 (2.15pm-3.15pm) - Choose from
You want to be known as the Expert, then Blog!

Blogging is quickly becoming one of the most effective ways to stand out from the crowd. By sharing a little of your knowledge, using a free, Open Source blog platform, you can make your reputation spread much further than with an online presence alone. Sarah Cruickshank (Sarah Cruickshank Media Solutions)  is a freelance writer and blogger specialising in Family Life, Learning, Home Working and Wellbeing features for print and online publications. She has also published three e-books and regularly updates popular  blog “A Life More Lived”. Hear Sarah’s thoughts on how to establish and publicise a blog and use the increased presence to promote events and issues close to your heart.

Online Audio and Video – The Next Big Thing

Audio and Video Podcasting is not difficult; anyone with the right equipment and a little bit of tech savvy can do it. What this workshop will help you do is take your podcasts to the next level. Liz Hardwick (DigiEnable) will discuss how to get the best from an interviewee as well as what you can do technically to make your audio stand out. We will teach you how to plan and produce podcasts that will engage your audience. It’s great fun and helps you connect with your audience in a manageable and affordable manner. We will also look at how to use the latest social media tools to promote your amazing content.


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GHS is a great community venue, it’s got a nice sized car park (free) and it’s a ten minute walk from the Train Station. It’s also wheelchair accessible with a lift to the first floor, where some of our workshops will be.

If you have any questions or worries about attending, please just let us know, you can contact the team on

NB. When making your booking, please continue to scroll down to book onto your preferred workshops. Book 1 from each of the 3 sections. You will not be able to chose workshops on the day.

If you have any specific requirements e.g. Dietary or access needs, please let us know in the box provided at time of ordering, and we will do our best to accomodate.