Don’t let digital eat you for lunch! – introducing our second InspiringBusiness2018 seminar08-05-2018
He’s very likely to claim he’s actually not all that interesting and has experienced more failure than success, but don’t be fooled by David Keel’s humble demeanour – our second Inspiring Business 2018 seminar keynote speaker has oodles of lessons to share about embracing technology and carving out your niche in this digital age.
Born and bred in East Hull, David is co-founder and was Global Innovations Director of Hull-based company Sonoco Trident, which was founded in 1993 with just five staff and now employs 750 people worldwide, creating and managing the digital packaging assets for some of the world’s best known brands. He is also the Chair of Hull’s C4DI (Centre for Digital Innovation), which forms the heart of Hull’s digital and tech community, helping other local businesses achieve similar objectives.
“Every single business, whether they know it or not, is digital,” said David. “If you don’t take some steps to understand and harness this technology, it will eat you for lunch. The key is to become part of it instead of waiting for it to be done to you.”
Spotting the opportunities
David has had his fair share of ups and downs along his career journey and says it’s important to persevere despite the knocks and find what works for you. Starting out as a graphic designer, which by his own admission he ‘wasn’t particularly good at’, he then turned his attention to computers and was similarly underwhelming, but then ‘stumbled into’ a sweet spot somewhere between the creative and digital world where suddenly everything clicked into place.
He said: “It’s about being prepared to try things and if they’re not quite right, having the nowse to spot the opportunity that is right. You don’t have to be brilliant at everything, I wasn’t very good at a lot of stuff! But I did manage to find a niche between creative and digital that was extremely valuable.”
Another key lesson he’s keen to impart to fellow businesspeople is to think big, stay positive and not fear failure. “It’s important not to be afraid to fail, you can learn a lot more from the failures than the successes,” David added.
City’s thriving tech hub
Hull’s digital industry is booming and David will be explaining the role C4DI is playing in this, as well as the future of digital and its impact on small and medium-sized businesses. “There’s a wealth of digital opportunities in the city and C4DI has really elevated the awareness of these,” he said. “We have a thriving digital community and there’s lots of advice and support available for small businesses. At C4DI we have all the expertise in one place to help businesses be more successful by using technology more effectively.”
Sonoco Trident may have offices across the globe and count some of the biggest brands in the world among its clients, but its headquarters – and David’s heart – will always remain in Hull. “This is a great place to run a digital company, and a great time to learn about how tech can help you reach your business goals,” he added.
Also sharing his own story will be Alex Hall, ‘scaffolding entrepreneur’ and founder of hugely successful local property development company Halltech, and scaffolding company Bambu. And Ricky Field, Director of InspiringBusiness2018 campaign partner cbaSadofskys accountants, will also be sharing his own experience, as well as some useful hints and tips for delegates to take away.
Arrival & coffee: 10am for 10.30 start
10.30 to noon: David Keel and Alex Hall speaking
Noon to 1pm: Light Buffet Lunch and Networking.
David and Alex are the latest speakers in our ‘Inspiration Series’ of seminars, in which we are hearing from the Yorkshire & Humber region’s most successful business people about how they did it, through the challenges, successes and pitfalls. All part of our InspiringBusiness2018 campaign aimed at doing our bit to promote business success locally. Book your FREE place on the seminar here.