Recent message from our CEO at the Visit Somerset Back to Basics Conference

17 Jan 2018

Recent message from our CEO at the Visit Somerset Back to Basics Conference

Opening speech of the conference as delegates joined to support their education in digital awareness. 

“Hello, my name is John Turner I am the CEO of Visit Somerset the official destination management organisation for the County of Somerset, a Chartered Marketer specialising in digital effectiveness and strategy, and 'highly disruptive', as I move through my latest professional digital marketing degree.

There are two things that I urge you to take really seriously if your business is to survive in the future, one is our precious environment, we will be announcing later this year our take on this and plans for the county. The second is ensuring that you have the digital capacity to ready yourself for consumer aspirations.  

Visit Somerset covers the old country boundary of Somerset, ignoring political lines and funding barriers whilst being again 'thoroughly disruptive', shaking the foundations of tradition, in a world that still really hasn’t woken up to the changes that are now shaping the future that’s actually already arrived.  

The organisation which now represents F&D businesses as well as the Visitor Economy supports just under £2 Billion of county income. As you will hear we are only interested in building digital infrastructure, because that’s where we are all heading. 'In fact, I have a vision that I want to build the biggest digital infrastructure in Somerset'.

We are seeing the biggest transformational shift in our economy since the industrial revolution, the Internet of Things is making our economy a smaller place, whilst expanding the horizons of individuals like never before, shifting the power from large conglomerates to individuals.

With so many industries now either contracting or collaborating in a disruptive connected digital world, the internet is driving huge shift change. Somerset is far better working together in a connected digital economy, not only as a physical entity, but also through digital integration.

Visit Somerset started that journey with many of our partners including Hinkley C/ EDF & Weston College, GWR, First Bus and more, growing our digital ambitions, which will soon include a BIG DATA platform, AI and programmatic marketing, with the aim within a year of launching sophisticated digital personalisation services, as we look to start converting some of our 8.5 Million reach annually.

Creating a digital community is where we all need to head now and I am know that you have all come here today in supporting that vision of better together, one digital community. After all that is really all that the consumer will measure us by.

There was a saying once that said, 'the strongest will survive', that has fundamentally changed to, 'the most intelligent will survive', by intelligence I don’t mean in its normal sense, but an intelligence that is almost visionary and can see what is coming – With the Internet of Things and the merging of data highway’s & AI, we all need to be thinking smarter and thinking of a future that’s already arrived.  I, as I am sure you are all aware, see the endless possibilities of brands coming together, today like all our other conferences, we are helping through our key partners to upskill all members and non-members, so that we can all challenge our perceptions, ensuring that we are both ready to support a prosperous future for Somerset’s business community whilst ensuring we are relevant and aligned. You see Visit Somerset doesn’t stand still - our customers don’t, so why should we, especially when they have millions of opportunities at their finger tips.

With cloud-based data developments who knows what will happen next, that’s where Visit Somerset is heading though. The only limitations to our fruitful relationships will be the ones that we put in our minds. Thank you all for coming today and showing your commitment and support and let’s see where the next journey take us, 5G is coming and we need to prepare, like never before or simply get left behind”  

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