Your feedback is important to us

For us to make continual improvements, we need to hear from you.

Would you like to –

  • Email or message us your thoughts?
  • Have a chat on the telephone or Zoom?
  • Fill in a survey?
  • Take part in observational learning?
  • Take part in peer groups?
  • Other?

These are some of the many ways that we are considering collecting feedback from you.

We are currently asking –

What do you know about the HD8 Network?

Complete your answer here – https://survey.zohopublic.com/zs/FiCsFG

Find us onIf you would like to book a telephone or Zoom call, we have started using Calendly to book the sessions, if you are comfortable using that please click here

However otherwise please email info@HD8network.co.uk or message us through social media (or whatsapp if we are already connected).

We’re data cleaning

We are constantly trying to ensure the contact data we hold in our systems are current and up to date, and that we only make contact with people that want to be contacted.

This month we found we could connect our Eventbrite account and our CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software.  However by doing this, it added all the contact details of the people who had previously booked on to one of our networking events …. Yes all (almost) 8 years worth!!!

Now we know that just because you booked an event once, you might not be interested in hearing anything more from us, and we didn’t want to assume that you might.  So whilst you might have been added to our system, we didn’t subscribe you to our mailing list … however, you might have already subscribed through another channel.

Since connecting the accounts we have sent a number of emails to the people concerned, to let them know what has happened and to invite them to ‘update their preferences’ and let us know if they would like us to stay in touch with them.

However while doing this and checking whether people had responded, we then also realised, to be cyber secure, it is always recommended to never click on links in emails – even if you are sure it is from who you think it is from … what a Catch 22 we found ourselves in …

So in our final email reminder – before deleting them from our records – we have advised that they can find an article on our website, in the News Section (what you are reading now) where they can click on the button (below) to update their records, so we know we can stay in touch.

Update your preference button

If you would like to update your records, even if you have never attended one of our events – we are SO MUCH MORE than a networking event – you can also do so here, by clicking the button (now above).

If you would like to unsubscribe and/or be deleted from our records, whilst we will cry and take it personally (only slightly joking) we would rather you did so, as we would hate to be a nuisance and we would much rather have a higher open and click rate, than we would have number of people sent to.  To unsubscribe please click here or email us to let us know.

Account Manager Meetings

Account Manager Meetings are included in our Silver and Gold membership packages, so we thought we would highlight how this benefits you.

When you are a Silver or Gold #HD8member we work with you, to help you find and tell your story, using our platform and further afield.

The HD8 Network offers you a platform for communication in this wonderful corner of Huddersfield.

The directory listing offers one way for your business to be found, however our website offers you many other ways to be discovered.

The Village pages provide an overview based on location.  So, if you are a Scissett based business, you would be found on the Scissett page, alongside upcoming events.

The Events section gives a free space for activities to be added and be discovered by date or category.

The News section provides a space for articles from a wide range of contributors.

We also run several Social Media profiles and Groups, these are invaluable ways for sharing news, updates and reminders of your activities, products, or services.

As part of Silver and Gold membership you can send us or simply tell us what you would like us to communicate about you, on your behalf.

And as part of your Silver and Gold membership, you are also entitled to an account manager meeting.

These sessions are intended to

  • Find your story
  • Build your profile
  • Identify content for the newsletter, News section and wider social media.
  • Promote events if you have event listings
  • Create marketing communications
  • Identify current ROI and how you can improve it
  • Report on exposure and engagement
  • Create a plan for the membership

Why wouldn’t you use your account management meeting?

 

Gold members are entitled to quarterly account management meetings, Silver members receive a one-off meeting typically at the beginning of their membership, with the option, like Bronze members as an add-on when desired.

In 2021 we have decided to offer existing members the Gold experience for 3 months for free.  However, this offer is not available to everyone and is not with immediate effect.  If you are interested, please book a meeting to discuss the options.

 

To book yourself an account managers meeting, please click here and pick a session that suits your availability.

 

Not already a member of the HD8 Network?  Find out about the different membership packages available

 

 

Buy a Ko-fi on Mad Friday 2020

3 acres December 2020It’s Mad Friday 2020 and the pubs are not allowed to open.

We have been out over the last week, hand delivering our Christmas Postcards – because nothing says Christmas like a postcard … And it’s broken our heart not being able to go into the pubs, restaurants and cafes to hand deliver our postcards.

Many other organisations have been affected, either being able to, or restricted in how they are able to trade.

The situation was especially heightened when trying to deliver to churches and community centres – most of whom don’t appear to have letter boxes by the way.

Please support these organisations wherever you can.

Earlier in the year we inspired by the Unpretentious Network, who have run superb networking events throughout #thistime and asked for you to simply buy them a coffee via @kofi_button.

So, we created our own Kofi button and welcome you to donate to a fund to be used to support these organisations.

ko-fi.com/hd8network

Buy HD8 Network ko-fi appTo support this campaign please buy the organisation at the heart of our communities a coffee, a pint, maybe a round.

If you are one of the #affected organisations, please get in touch and let us know how we can support you during these extremely hard times. Tell us why you deserve it and what you can do in reciprocation and we can talk free membership during these tough times.

 

Want to shop local and buy amazing Christmas gifts?  Visit our Virtual High Street and watch our HD8 does QVC on our YouTube Channel.

Or catch up with us on the variety of social media platforms we chat and share on.

 

 

How different is your Christmas going to be?

SinterklaasWe understand that Christmas is all about traditions, but when I (Merewyn, creator of the HD8 Network) lived in the Nederlands, I learnt about different Christmas traditions and found out about Sinterklaas.

This guy is a bishop that rides a horse through the towns, with his ‘helper’ giving out sweets.  If you want to find out more about that, it is an interesting tale, especially the Dutch attempts to normalise it.

The legend has it that Sinterklaas sets off on a boat from Spain on the 11th November, and the children (when I lived there) watched the journey on the tv – now I guess it will be apps on phones ….  and he comes to the houses of the children who put a shoe by the front door.

When the child hears the knock at the door, they race to see who is there and then by the fire place in the main room, they would find a chocolate, in the shape of the letter of the child’s first name …. Or something like that … and this all happens on the 5/6th December.

We know our Christmas this year is going to be different, so how are you going to make the best of it?

Let us celebrate, but in moderation up until Christmas Day – The Dutch have their big dinner on Christmas eve – but there is no way I am giving up my Christmas Dinner, all 75 courses of it!

However, lets spread-out the Christmas cheer.

Yes, throughout December, but also amongst our local community as well.

Shop local, buy less, but buy more into the local people that produce these items, and provide the services we all depend on to have a comfortable life.  Because that is what important; being comfortable and surrounded by others who also are.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are great for deals, but while you are shopping online this Christmas, why don’t you also check out the amazing things available in our local area at the moment, which are available for delivery or click and collect locally in the HD8 area.

The HD8 Network offers you a platform for communication and we have a plethora of businesses who want to tell you about what they have to offer.

The Christmas Virtual High Street has, and would love to have businesses like –

New businesses are being added all the time and will be featured on our social media as well.

Plus

 

  • Also look out for other wonderful events and promotions happening this Christmas.

If you are organising any of these wonderful events, please feel free to add them to our events calendar and reach more people.

HD8 Virtual High Street is Live

We literally went live in under a week, following an after meeting conversation and so we are proud of our outcomes so far.

But now we need you to make it a  success.

Please keep coming back to browse as Businesses are being added all the time

Tell us what you want to buy!  Do you want to play a Christmas Shopping game?  Join us on Facebook and Insta.

Should your business be on there?

We are looking to connect with local producers and retailers, artists and fitness instructors, know anyone that wants to sell more, we provide a platform to be seen locally in HD8.

All they have to do is fil in a form here and wait for approval. 

However to stay Live on the site you also need to send us any images and text you want to appear in there. If you have those already, Great. We don’t need it just yet. We can get you Live and showing on the Virtual High Street.  BUT – to be of any benefit to anyone, it needs to be right while its live.

A reasonable admin may apply if you need assistance to get it right.  First chat is free.

It costs just £20 to list your business on the HD8 Virtual High Street which is will be available from now, over the Christmas period.

Or become a Bronze member for £30 for the full year.

Silver and Gold packages available too.

 

Want EVEN MORE – Join the FSB for £49* if you employ under 10 employees and are based in West Yorkshire.

Christmas Shopping Game

Let’s play a Christmas Shopping Game! Okay so we can’t go out.  We are stuck in.

Many have danced through lockdown to djs, I am sure we have all done a quiz and most certainly a meeting or other call using virtual technology.  Well here is your virtual christmas shopping experience.

Get yourself a drink, maybe a slice of cake and play along – What about a Baileys?  You know it is Christmas when you get the Baileys out! (Skip to short version)

Get comfy and let’s go Virtual Christmas shopping in your local high streets, lanes, back lanes and estates around where you live.

Well what’s the first thing about Christmas Shopping?  It’s your list!  Well don’t worry about not having a pad and pen, this is a virtual game!  Comment on our Facebook Instagram posts and help create a big collaborative list.

Ready?

Lets go Christmas Shopping HD8

on  Facebook and Instagram

If you could buy anything what would it be?

Chat with us on Facebook and Instagram and play our Christmas Shopping Game.

Share suggestions, wants and the products that are available.  Don’t spam though.  Get a listing.  Don’t be rude – unless you are giving me freebies.  In that case SPAM away!

Lets go Christmas Shopping ChildLets go Christmas Shopping WorkLets go Christmas Shopping Friends and FamilyLets go Christmas Shopping YourselfLets go Christmas Shopping hashtags

 

In this game we ask that you imagine you are shopping for certain items like for a child, or for a work connection, for a family member or for yourself.  Then we ask about the food and drink you would normally like to eat and share with your friends.

 

However there are hundreds and thousands of local businesses that we can give a shout out to instead, of the big guys.

That’s the beauty of small businesses, we aren’t after market share.  We want enough to sustainably grow our business, to sustain a good lifestyle for us and the people around us.

There are some local businesses that you see all the time, but there are many more behind them.

The legal people and others who providing professional assistance.

When you need to fix up the car, the delivery driver, the manufacturers and engineers producing good that are distanced to first depart our area.

There are so many millions of businesses behind the things we we shop and buy, so use us as a go to guide for all your needs whether you work, rest or play here.

Use our main directory to find local to HD8, businesses and organisations which want you to support.  Helping you to support local, to shop local and to support the local community of the HD8 area.

Chat with us and others who actually work, rest and play here on our Facebook Groups and other social media.

 

So, anyway, what about this Christmas Shopping? Where you going to shop now?

Check out our Virtual High Street in HD8 area of Huddersfield, West Yorkshire.

Lets go Christmas Shopping for a Child

In this imaginary shopping game …. (See previous post)

If you were buying presents for a child, what would you be looking to buy?

Maybe you have got some recommendations of what others could buy a child …. Obviously, it is all going to depend on age, interests etc

But we are playing make believe here, there is no right or wrong answers!

Maybe, if you can cast your mind back far enough #cheeky – what was your favourite gift as a child?

I always remember my baby brother only being interested in the boxes! It really did not matter what had been in there!

Lets go Christmas Shopping ChildFacebook

InstagramLets go Christmas Shopping Child

 

 

Christmas Shopping Game

 

HD8 Christmas Virtual High Street

Lets go Christmas Shopping Work Connection

So, continuing our imaginary shopping trip … (See previous posts)

If you were buying for a work colleague, supplier or even an employee, what would you be looking for or considering?

What have you bought in the past and what have you been given, that you could recommend to others as a suggestion?

Was it a novelty, small inexpensive item or a statement piece?

Did you simply opt for a bottle of something and Christmas nibbles?

Again, obviously, it all depends on who you are buying it for!

A few years back we did HD8 Network branded mugs for Meetup attendees and suppliers (of course the Mother in Laws got one as well) which went down very well!

FacebookLets go Christmas Shopping WorkLets go Christmas Shopping WorkInstagram

Christmas Shopping Game

 

HD8 Christmas Virtual High Street

 

Lets go Christmas Shopping Friends and Family

Are you up for more imaginary shopping? (See previous posts)

What about for the in-laws? Or wider family? Maybe for friends and neighbours?

Do you have a budget that you try and stick to? Are you just trying to tick them off the list or is it about finding the perfect gift for them?

Between me and my siblings, because we only have one little person to buy for, over the past few years we have been doing Secret Santa. This means we each get a present to open, but don’t have to go crazy buying for everyone.

We have also tried experience days and vouchers amongst the family, with the aim of bringing us together – which has had mixed response and success.

What is worked for you in the past and what would you recommend?

Christmas Shopping Game

 

HD8 Christmas Virtual High Street

Lets go Christmas Shopping Yourself

But what about for yourself?

Is it just me? But whenever I go out shopping for other people, all I can see is things that I want to buy for myself!

So, continuing this imaginary game of shopping …. (See previous posts)

Whilst we have been thinking about what we would buy everyone else, what have you put in your mental shopping basket?

Most years, while Christmas shopping for gifts, I’ll tend to try and buy a Christmas outfit for myself – but this year if we’re not allowed guests or to go visiting, will we be having a loungewear Xmas?

Do you write a list of presents that you want? Drop (massive, big) hints? Or do you just trust that they know what you want?

Chat with others in the HD8 area about it here on social media –

Christmas Shopping Game

HD8 Christmas Virtual High Street

HD8 Christmas Shopping Directory launched

HD8 Christmas Shopping DirectoryAt HD8 HQ we’ve always been really passionate about small business and buying local.

This year because of lockdown there seems to be even more demand and need to buy local.

Even though some shops on our amazing high streets in our wonderful villages such as Denby Dale, Skelmanthorpe and Kirkburton may be closed – we’re excited to be partnering with the Denby Dale Centre to create a virtual high street this Christmas.

We are offering local businesses the chance to to appear in the HD8 Christmas Shopping Directory.

Want to appear on the HD8 Christmas Shopping Directory?

Your listing will appear on the HD8 Christmas Shopping Directory showing your business name, image and business categories, along with a short description to introduce your business and symbols demonstrating whether you offer facilities such as delivery, click and collect or vouchers.

When clicked on, visitors will be taken to a full page for your business, which will also display your contact details, including links to your website and social media.

This HD8 Virtual High Street will be available until the end of 2020.

This Special Christmas Shopping Directory will be available

  • on our website – https://www.hd8network.co.uk/christmas-directory/
  • referred to directly by the Denby Dale Centre helpline call handlers
  • available as a printed version,
  • sent out to those contacting the Denby Dale Centre without internet access
  • of course promoted on our social media channels
  • emailed to our subscribers

Plus many more exciting promotional opportunities

 

Individual products and more details can also be added, however an admin charge may apply.

Sign up for the HD8 Christmas Shopping Directory Listing and take advantage of the benefits included in our Bronze package until the end of December 2020.

OR sign up for one of our other carefully created membership packages for the full year AND receive the benefits of the HD8 Christmas Shopping Directory!

Sign up to appear on our HD8 Christmas Shopping Directory

Measure the traffic received

Did you know that you can track the amount of traffic you receive from the HD8 Network?

Providing that you use Google Analytics (or similar software) on your website.

Listings on our directory provide information to enable people to get in touch with you.
This includes contact details and links to your social media and website.

The HD8 Network can measure how many views your listing receives. As well as the links that are clicked, the email addresses that have been clicked on to be used, and the downloads that have occurred. Silver or Gold Members receive reports of this activity as part of their membership.

However, did you know that you are also able to measure the activity at your end?

Log into your Google Analytics account; click on Acquisition, All Traffic, Source/Medium.

The traffic from us should show with descriptions like –

HD8network?utm_source=HD8network / Directory_Listing

HD8network / Directory_Listing

During a recent member’s account management meeting we were discussing their membership, helping them to optimise their exposure and the traffic that their listing had generated.

This is copy of the report that the member produced in their Google Analytics, which shows the traffic their website has received from us.

If you would like to find out more about the HD8 Network Membership benefits please visit – www.HD8network.co.uk/Join or get in touch.

 

Do you know we have a Events Calendar?

I thought I would remind you about our Events Calendar on the website.

It is free for organisations to list their events on our online events calendar.

Ordinarily you would have found lots of interesting things to do … however a small pandemic had us delete all pre-standing events and now it is looking a bit empty and boring.

Currently we only have some business networking events and the sling library socials.

But we know that there is a lot more happening than that!

List your event or activity now for free – https://www.hd8network.co.uk/add-your-event/

You do not need to be a member of the HD8 Network to make use of the calendar.

We say if it is of interest to those who work, rest and play in the HD8 area it is okay to upload your event.

So, you might also find events further afield too.

HD8 Network Events CalendarCome and find different events for you and your family.

Whether you are looking for activities for the kids, a new skill you want to learn or a day out.

Normally there would be groups, events and fairs listed all the time and we want to get back to this.

So please tell everyone about the events calendar, add your events and keep checking back to see what else is going on.

We offer promotional packages for events who want further promotion outside of the events calendar.  If this might be of interest to you, please get in touch.

If you were a member of the HD8 Network, we would remind you to send us content to share on your behalf and offer you the opportunity to work with us to help you find your story

To find out more about our listing and membership packages please visit – www.hd8network.co.uk/join/

Wow! I didn’t know all that was available!

HD8 Network Wow! I did not know all that was availableDo you know how often we are told this when we finally get a chance to speak to people and explain what we offer?

So many people have a preconception of what it is we do and do you know how hard it is to overcome a preconception?

Most people know us for our networking events and we realise that this is probably entirely our fault, as we need to regularly promote them to make sure that we get the bums on seats … especially now they are happening twice a month!

But I think the association to these type of events is due to us having #Network in our name (Even my daughter calls it HD8 Networking Event – but I think she does it to wind me up).

But a Network is exactly what we are.
We are a platform for communication in the HD8 area of Huddersfield.

Other people think that we are just Facebook Groups and many possibly don’t realise that we manage a range of them. We have recently changed our posting policy in the Facebook Groups, so that now only members of the HD8 Network can promote their business in there … but do you know how much confusion that has caused? LOADS!! Especially, we think because you can be a member of a Facebook Group, as well as a member of the HD8 Network. And we often have people tell us they are a member of the HD8 Network when they are not even subscribed to our mailing list – possibly haven’t even visited our website.

One of the things that nearly everyone thinks that we do – which we definitely don’t – is publish and distribute the magazine through your door #DefinitelyNotUs

What most people don’t realise is that we ALSO have an online events calendar, business directory, share content via our news page on our website and on our social media channels, have a mailing list of engaged subscribes, offer a range of membership packages for businesses to promote themselves, as well as provide account management to help our members get the exposure they desire.

We are also developing packages for the larger businesses in the area, to compliment their CSR and employee benefit policies and we go out of our way to help community groups and charities.

Did you know we did all of this?
What did you think we did?
I would love the opportunity to discuss this further with you.

HD8 Network Social Meetup

We are well known for holding events for businesses Meetups, however our Social Meetup will purely be a social event and have a strict no selling policy.

This event is focused on those who rest and play in the area.

To talk about what we have been up to for leisure and pleasure. Or how homeschooling is going. What walks people have been on. The wonderful sights they have seen in the HD8 area.

Perhaps you might want to talk about the places you have been able to buy things, however this is not a promotional event – by all means let people know if you run a business. But think about this as the pub or church coffee morning – this is purely a social event.

Icebreaker

It is always easier to start a conversation with an ice breaker.

It would be good if you came prepared to the Social Meetup with an ice breaker.  A suggestion from literature is to share 1 very interesting thing, 2 moderately interesting things, 3 very dull things

… or more simply you could have an example of why you love the HD8 postcode area of Huddersfield, and share positive news and stories.

If, however, you fancy joining, but do not wish to participate other than listening, that is okay too.

Format

We have the option of having one big conversation, or splitting into groups. Depending on number of attendees.

We also have the option of holding a speed social (similar to speed dating or speed networking – but we are not looking for proposals for marriage or business!), just to talk to some different people.

Speed Social would allow you to have lots of mini conversations, instead of open discussion in front of everyone at the same time.

Feel free to message us either through Facebook or email if you would like to understand more or express any preferences.

Tickets

Book your ticket here – hd8networksocialmeetup.eventbrite.co.uk

Our first Social Meetup event on Thursday will be free to join

We have created a JustGiving Page for you to be able to donate a contribution. www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/hd8network

Our suggested ticket price is £5-10 but please give what you can.  Your generosity will be much appreciated.

Our aim is to build a community fund which can be used to provide support to local groups and organisations in the area.
Whether it is to help groups go back to normal or provide services in the meantime.

Future Social Meetup events

We would love to host lots of other social Meetups.
Would you like to volunteer to be part of it?

Did you previously run a mother and baby group? We are actively seeking volunteers to tune in and help run Mother With babies session.  These are aimed at mums getting together and not the activity of the child.

We have also considered Parents with homeschooling chat.

Perhaps a book clubs, or movie review night.

Would you like to volunteer to be part of it?

You can be demonstrating or passionately talking about your business which can help promote it.

We are hatching a plan for a HD8 Network Show and Tell, where we are inviting people to provide content for our event …. If you are an entertainer, dancer or gym instructor, or a Painter, Builder or Plumber giving DIY tips, or reading poetry or stories, exhibiting a photo collection … what would you like to watch or maybe offer?

You can be promoting a business (but don’t be too salesy, as no one likes being sold too) or just passionate about what you do.

Never used Zoom before?

Get in touch before the meeting and we can do a practise run and talk you through it.

Virtual Meetups now free for Silver Members

It is an unprecedented world at the moment and because of this, we are having to be ever evolving.  We are trying to adapt so that we can continue to support the local area.  One of the ways that we have been doing this, is by transferring our business networking events to Virtual Meetups – which are now FREE for Silver members, as well as Gold members.

Our virtual Meetups give local businesses the opportunity to introduce their products and services.  However we have also found the Meetups are having a positive impact on attendees social life as well as mental health.

Virtual Meetups on Zoom are free for Silver MembersThe Meetup sessions are held on Zoom on Thursday mornings starting at 10am

We had initially agreed to hold the events fortnightly – more regularly than our normal monthly events.  However, it was not as easy to set this up on Eventbrite (how we process the ticket purchasing).  So we have decided to hold these weekly.

Once a month these events will be supported by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), whereby their members can attend our virtual Meetups for free.

These Virtual Meetups will cost

  • £10 to non members,

  • £5 for Bronze members and FSB members (if it is not the ‘Supported by FSB’ Meetup),

  • Free for Silver and Gold Members.

At our Virtual Meetup on Thursday 16th April, we were able to replicate our unique Speed Networking format, as seen at our physical Meetups over the past 7 years.  All agreed that they liked the format and it had been productive for them.

Survey results showed that attendees thought these events were –

  • useful for their business, enjoyable and that they will attend further ones.

  • also beneficial to attendees social life and mental health.

If you would like to join us for one of our Meetups please visit our Eventbrite profile to book your ticket – HD8network.Eventbrite.co.uk

However if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us (during reasonable hours) on 07790705223.

If you would like to find out more about our membership packages and to sign up please visit – www.HD8network.co.uk/join

Membership could be part of your CSR policy

Have you considered that membership of the HD8 Network could be as part of your CSR policy and your way of supporting the local community?

Are you a big business in the #HD8 area of Huddersfield?

For many businesses, the HD8 Network provides them a way to promote their services and products locally.

Many people know us for our networking events, others know about our social media groups and channels, however there is much more that we offer.

Whilst big businesses in the area might think that the HD8 Network and our membership is irrelevant to them – as their customers are not here – their other key stakeholders are; for example their employees, their neighbours, their councillors and other authorities making decisions which affect their business, all of whom are part of the surrounding communities.

The HD8 Network membership, used as part of your Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policy, would enable you to communicate effectively with these other groups that impact on your business.

By becoming a member and paying the membership fees, you enable us to run our website and free online events calendar, as well as manage our social media communities.

We have many hopes and dreams for the HD8 Network and taking large profits is not one of them (despite my husbands frustrations).

Everything we have so far earnt (and more) has been reinvested into building the ‘business’ and we have no intentions of stopping there!

Clayton West Baby and Toddler Group
Clayton West Baby and Toddler Group
Photo taken by John Steel Photography

In the past we have

  • given discounted membership to charities and non-profit organisations, enabling them to come to our meetings and promote their messages.
  • sponsored a toddler group’s sign – by paying for and organising a vinyl banner to be printed, which let more people know where they met.
  • communicated a local rugby club’s campaign  for sponsors and trustees to enable them to acquire their desired new changing rooms.
  • provided space for a local newsletter to be accessible online.
  • annually supported a internationally recognised music festival that happens locally.

This is just a few examples of how we have helped the locally community. And we want to do more and to help more.

If you would be interested in learning how your membership could help the local area please get in touch.