Business Showcase South West – Bristol at it’s best

As a Bristol Product Design Agency, we take local business seriously. We know that the world’s economy is failing and something that presents a real opportunity for us to dig ourselves out of this period of economic instability is the vibrant local business scene.

When it comes to supporting the local economy, Bristol is head and shoulders above a lot of the country (even the rest of the world!) and on October 10th Realise Product Design visited the Business Showcase South West: An event that celebrates the enterprising and entrepreneurial spirit of developing companies in Bristol and the surrounding area.

South West Business Showcase Welcome Sign

The event was a resounding success with it’s delegates. With talks from experts at Google Digital Garage, LinkedIn and even a TEDx, the value a single visitor could get from a day at the show was almost overwhelming.

So if you were unfortunate to miss the show, not to worry! Here are the key trends Realise Product Design picked up on:


Outsourcing Agencies:

Companies in a line at the Bristol Event

The industrial age brought a disconnect from a complete task. Train 100 individuals to do a single task each and you have a 100-step fully finished product at the end of the production line. There was no need to have an expert in building, cutting and finishing, you could segment the risk into smaller independent actions with less margin for error.

The digital age brings us a similar fabric of economy. Not so good at marketing? No problem, outsource it to a set of experts. Need help with your finances? Get a team of accountants to manage your books.

Agency culture gives business owners the ability to work on the parts of the business where they add the most value, avoiding (for a price) the time saps and pitfalls of working on aspects of their company where they are essentially having to learn an entirely new skill (think 30+ hours rule!) before they can start to solve their problem.

With internet speeds getting faster, and more smart people within easy reach than ever before, the falling prices of hiring someone to do your admin for you or post on your social media feed, provides a very attractive option to a time-stretched upcoming business owner:


Sustainability (not just the environmental kind!)

Speaker at TEDx Talk

Ahh the “S” word – As a Local event, and one in Bristol, creating a more sustainable social, economical, and environmental climate was a key focus for many businesses at the South West Business Showcase. Bristol 24/7, the leading news platform for information on Bristol’s vibrant culture, is leading the charge on creating a what it calls a “Better Bristol”: An initiative to encourage local businesses to sign up to a programme geared around making positive change within the city.

B24/7 Better Bristol Campaign Stand

It’s something that strikes a chord with a lot of business owners. Better Bristol gives companies looking to understand what they should do about the ever growing, multi-faceted issue that is “Sustainability” an opportunity to grab hold of something and get direction on how to make positive change that can be injected directly back into the local economy.


Social Media (Yes, it’s still kicking around…)

LinkedIn Speaker at an event

Do you know what the average attention span of a goldfish is?

3 Seconds.

Do you know what the average attention span of a human on a mobile device is?

2.7 Seconds.

Social is a minefield. It’s an ever growing monster of possibilities, decisions, pitfalls and business-killing traps that constantly morphs into something completely different in the blink of an eye.

It’s a time swallowing monster that welcomes you in with open arms and shiny trinkets, then stuffs you into it’s toy box of algorithmic wormholes; full of ever more shiny things to draw your attention one way or another until you realise you’ve just lost 2 hours of your life to mindless scrolling. (And there was never anything shiny in the first place!)

Patrick Cutliffe, in one of his talks from Google’s Digital Garage, told us to “stay conscious when you are on social media”; to be stay human and be aware of the the journey you are taken on  as you move through the media, making note of why you make each decision. He told us of his own method of wearing an elastic band to snap against your wrist and even suggested pinching yourself when you are browsing social media; to keep yourself “awake” – Such is the power of the UX design these platforms have over our malleable minds.

Speaker at the BSSW Business showcase south west event

Overall, the #BSSW2018 was one of the most energetic and vibrant events we have personally attended: Not only did we come away with a bag of goodies containing fluorescent rugby balls, pens, pads, stress balls and shortbread but we also came back to Realise HQ with a bag full of wisdom and an ignited faith in the future of the local economy. People here are doing big things, interesting things, and at Realise we are proud to be a Product Design Company in Bristol. It’s a fine city we live in and one we should continue to give the respect it deserves…even if we are all a bit quintessentially British with a tendency to avoid the “ostentatious”.


Realise out.