PI LIVE & Influencer Marketing Show Review

PI LIVE & Influencer Marketing Show Review

Time is precious and time is money. Attending a trade show needs to be worthwhile. There are plenty that are not worth the effort. So, is the PI LIVE & Influencer Marketing Show worth the time and money?

I attended the shows to keep myself up-to-date on affiliate marketing, in particular to check out what was new, if anything. The other main reason was to gain a greater understanding about influencer marketing.

As soon as you walk in the friendly, yet professional atmosphere’s there, everywhere. Yes, it’s about showcasing, but you immediately feel like you are among like-minded professionals. There’s little ‘selling’, because the tech and services often speak for themselves.

What’s so special about the PI LIVE & Influencer Marketing Show?

The quality of the attendees and the quality of the businesses presenting is definitely confirmation you are in the right place (as it should be). It may sound obvious, but I’ll say it anyway; this is a show whose focus is around performance and measuring that performance.

Marin Dome stage at PI Live & IMS Show

Marin Dome stage at PI LIVE & IMS Show

This is a huge differentiating factor to other shows as they can lose that type of focus…it’s very ROI-driven. As a self-confessed numbers guy, this excites me. This is one of the main reasons I’ve been two years in a row.

Other reasons to attend? It attracts serious digital specialists from all over Europe. You can have engaging conversations with people you wouldn’t normally encounter; digital professionals whose passion equals yours.

Also, it’s enjoyable. This may seem a moot-point to some, but it has a really good vibe. Full of positive energy, full of positive people who are happy to be there. It makes a huge difference when you compare it to other shows. I had to duck out before beer o’clock as I have a young family and wanted to be home for bedtime…but I was enjoying it and wanted to stay, which is rarely the case at shows.


Top tips for planning ahead

It was a busy Tuesday when I arrived at 9am as doors opened, queues are organised and moved swiftly but they may delay you getting to the first talk or session. So get there in good time.

I highly recommend you plan your day, especially for the talks. When I arrived the Kindred Theatre was on the 2nd floor and took longer than I would’ve liked to find. The case studies only had a certain number of allocated spaces, arrive at least 10 minutes ahead of schedule to secure your place. Sessions at the Main Stage and Marin Dome are going to be just fine as there’s plenty of overflow space.

What about the quality of the speakers?

There’s a variety of topics and plenty to fill up both days of the show. To that end if it’s possible, attend both days to ensure you soak up as much as you can. You may have to make some tough choices between which sessions to attend though.

As there are so many talks it would be a lengthy article to comment on all of them. The one that stood out for me was the first talk I attended: ‘The coming revolution of immersive internet and dominance of virtual influencers’. This was genuinely impressive innovation I had not seen before and un-questionably the future. Like it or not virtual influencers and artificial intelligence will be a major influence on our children and may already have significant influence on many of us. You could not fail to be impressed with how Dudley Nevill-Spencer presented what this future space is going to look like and what is (surprisingly) already in play.

The icing on the cake

Digital Disruptors Final at PI Live & IMS Show

Digital Disruptors Final at PI LIVE & IMS Show

For me the Digital Disruptors Final was the icing on the cake. This touches on a passion and a frustration of mine:

• The passion is engaging with the youth-of-today who have that digital and entrepreneurial mindset and enhancing it
• The frustration with why large corporates and their out-of-date recruitment processes who seem to struggle recruiting in the digital world. I’ve even written an article about it: 5 reasons why large corporate businesses struggle in the digital world

The aim of digital disruptors is to encourage young people to investigate the online space, empowering them think outside the box and about what is achievable. You don’t need degree to be work within the online ecosphere, and digital disruptors embraces this.

Will I attend the PI LIVE & Influencer Marketing Show again next year?

YES. I found the Influencer Marketing aspect of the shows very strong. I wanted to spend more time being talked through demos. Often you don’t need to attend particular trade shows two/three years in a row, but with the technology moving so swiftly, missing the show means you may well miss the next early stage innovation.

…and some admin points

Lunch at PI Live & IMS Show

Lunch at PI LIVE & IMS Show

Dietary requirements – I have a bit of a snowflake diet these days (Dairy, Gluten, Egg, and Potato intolerances are just a few of the no-go foods), but this is not an issue here and plenty of choice even for me

On tap – Complimentary water, coffee and fruit is provided throughout the day and there’s plenty of it
Cloakroom – Complimentary
WiFi – Complimentary
Places to work while at the show – These are provided in The Nookery

How much does a website cost image?

How much does a Website cost? Brochure Site

How much does a Website cost?

Before we tell you how much a website costs we’re going to start with what a brochure website is first, just to add some clarity. A brochure website (loosely speaking) is a website that acts as a brochure and does not have a checkout. The reason for the definition is just to add some clarity on what we’re going to talk about later in this article.

….and before we get to the actual bit about the what a website should cost, we also need to clarify the standard you should look for. This is not to frustrate you (I know you just want to know the £ and you can just scroll down this page) but to guide you on what you can expect from a decent functioning website. It is important, because you don’t want to be plagued with issues later down the line or tied to an agency for eternity.

With this there’s some criteria you need to bear in mind…

Key Website Criteria you must not forget


  1. Do you need a website?

Obvious question perhaps, but do you actually need a website? There are platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, which mean you do not need to go to the expense if you’re only a small business. For example, We would argue a one-person cleaning business, or a community coffee shop does not need a website. Set up Google business to run along you Facebook or/and Instagram page and your good to go.

Top Tip – For Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) make sure you include the town if you’re a local business. i.e. watford-cleaners. You might be surprised how high you appear in the Google search results


  1. Is the Content Management System (CMS) important?

Oh yes, very important indeed. A Wix or Squarespace website will perform poorly in the search results compared to a WordPress or Magento website. Albeit a super easy CMS to set up. A Wix or Squarespace website is suitable for businesses that are not concerned about Search Engines and just need a very ‘basic presence’ online. If you’re serious about growing your business you will need to make sure you get the right CMS.

Top Tip – You can have the most beautifully designed website, but if no one can find it then what real use is it. Make sure you future proof your business’ web presence.


  1. Which CMS do I go for?

If you’re a brochure website, then WordPress is the default go to CMS and for very good reasons. There’s plenty of support from forums and plenty of web developers. It is free to use the open source platform and easy enough to set up if you have some patience. It is also a reasonably cost-effective solution.

Top Tip – whenever you get a quote for a website build ensure you ask what the agency/designer’s hourly rate is. You don’t want to get stung on high fees later


  1. What else is important when building a Website?

    • Content, Content, Content – you need to have great content and plenty of it. This is what Google crawls to see if your website is relevant. Make sure you don’t skimp on content
    • HTTPS – You must be secure, or search engines will punish you. So, ensure you are HTTPS secure. The ‘S’ stands for secure and gives your site a padlock. It also helps with your GDPR compliance as does a Cookie Policy
    • Google Set Ups – Setting up Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Google Maps and Google Business are all free and will really boost your online presence
    • What action do you want your visitor to take? – Make sure you are driving your visitors to take an action and make it super easy for them. i.e. to call you, sign up for your newsletter, contact you by email
    • Testimonials – enhances your trust factor and conversion rate
    • Ownership – Make sure you own the website and have complete control over it. WordPress and most CMS make this easy. However, over engineered bespoke coded website’s that are not open source (such as WordPress) make you reliant on the developer. So, you need to think this solution through carefully

    This is obviously not an endless list, but will give you a good sense of areas you should consider.


    How much does a website cost?

    All our website quotes on the button below are based on a Bespoke WordPress Websites. This type of website future proofs you and offers you added security. The main cost to any website build is the number of pages you want, and the number of pages that need ‘designing’.

    CLICK HERE to view the How much does a Brochure website cost? PDF


    We also offer Content, SEO and Blogger training service as well. This is vital for your site to perform well in search engines like Google. Hence why the service is so popular.

The best e-commerce platforms for a web shop

Which are the best e-commerce platforms for a web shop? There’s a large choice of e-commerce platforms available, also known as Content Management Systems (CMS). So the choice can be vast. However, we always recommend to go with those platforms which are best supported by the online community and with plenty of talent available should you need support.

In this article we highlight the main contenders with the above in mind. Ensuring you’re future proofed and not tied in to a developer or agency that only operates on the CMS they’ve chosen for you.


When it comes to which are the best e-commerce platforms for a web shop? Shopify is a great e-commerce platform for ‘start-ups’, and for a number of reasons which include;

  • Cost effective
  • Looks professional and very smart
  • It’s very easy to use, not just in setting up but also for processing orders and the day-to-day running of a website
  • Has a 24 hour support team and equally as important it has thriving community of independent developers

There are more plus sides than noted above, but these are the key for consideration. However, with all the plus sides there’s also the not-so-great aspect to, which are:

  • Shopify is not open source and as a result you don’t have complete freedom to do what you want. Ultimately, the site doesn’t truly belong to you
  • For products and main pages SEO is okay but you will have to deal with added terms being added to some URL’s, which limits some of your SEO
Sknhead London uses Shopify and looks awesome

Sknhead London uses Shopify and looks awesome

I almost always recommend Shopify for ‘start-ups’ because you can build out a really clean looking, easy to navigate online shop with ease. One thing that can make your shopify store look truly awesome – although you could say this of all stores – is beautiful imagery. So, it’s worth the effort and a little more spend to acquire some wonderful images.

It’s easy to use from a back-end point of view too. It will last you for quite a few years and you may never need to change CMS. In the future you may feel you need to move to another platform like WordPress or Magento.

Big Commerce

Now I have a confession, we mostly work with Shopify, which is Big Commerce’s direct competitor. There’s not much between them so I’ll not go in to too much detail here. Big Commerce is a another solid and easy to use platform, similar to Shopify and you can have more Staff Accounts.

Pricing is practically identical as are many other features. Big Commerce does not have a proposition to match Shopify’s cheapest offering ‘Shopify Lite’, but then if you’re serious about your e-commerce offering, you would not use Shopify Lite anyway – it’s actually too basic.

Design options, User Experience and Extensions on both platforms are very good and in equal measure. Shopify’s just been around longer and is used by online retailers, ‘considerably’ more often. These are the main reasons why we lean towards Shopify over Big Commerce, but you won’t go far wrong with Big Commerce. Ultimately, it comes down to a personal preference.

WordPress & Woo-Commerce

Woo-Commerce is WordPress' answer to the World of e-commerce


WordPress, and of course Woo-Commerce, cover almost every scenario, present and future…and this is why we like it. Your practically future proofing your business. Unless you’re going truly Global with franchise stores then WordPress & Woo-Commerce more than have you covered. You could argue WordPress is better suited to businesses that are no longer start-ups, and are in the SME space.

This is because it will be more expensive to set up and a little more complex, but that’s the price you pay for future proofing your business. You should definitely choose a Bespoke solution. It will make your website more secure and less likely to crash or be hacked. Even more importantly you’ll spend less time and money on needing to update templates etc

Here’s some other good reasons to use WordPress:

  • Easy to use and navigate through the CMS
  • Arguably the best Search Engine Optimisable (SEO) CMS out there
  • Bespoke can mean both beautiful and unique designs
  • Has a 24 hour support team and equally as important it has thriving community of independent developers
  • Open Source and you own all the code

Here’s the downsides:

  • It will take more development time and therefore cost then the Shopify or Big Commerce solutions
  • If it’s not a bespoke design, then you will need to keep on top of updates

If you have a little more budget and you’re certain of success, then a bespoke WordPress & Woo-Commerce is an obvious choice.


Mothercare ecommerce store on Magento content management system

Mothercare ecommerce store on Magento

There’s nothing you can’t achieve with the Magento e-commerce platform. Especially from a customer perspective.

You can tailor product pages, even create service pages (offering a paid service). With the new (not-so-new) community version 2.0 it’s much improved on the older version. Magento is far more heavy weight then perhaps you need though, which is important to bear in mind. Global

franchise company’s like Mothercare use Magento providing their franchises with the correct CMS to use and all its plugins. Samsung, Nike, Harpers Bazar and Olympus are just a few other big hitters using Magento.

Magento was built for e-commerce and e-commerce is its raison d’etre. Fully equipped with a plethora of features where other CMS lack.

Here’s just some of the reasons to use Magento

  • Very customer focused
  • Fast load speeds and high performance, especially compared to the competition
  • Loads of plug-ins for almost every scenario you can imagine
  • If there’s not a plug-in you’ll be able to create customised extensions and work flows
  • Excellent for SEO
  • Multiple stores from one login/back-end making it easier to manage your content
  • It’s Open Source meaning you can modify it to your hearts content

And of course, the downsides:

  • You’ll need a developer, either in-house or via an agency. Naturally there’s costs involved in this
  • It can be clunky to use, not as simple as the other CMS mentioned earlier, but this is to be expected when it can achieve so much more than other CMS

Magento is good, very good. The main questions you need to ask yourself is do you ‘need’ all the bells and whistles a Magento e-commerce platform has to offer?

Other e-commerce platforms you may consider

…and a note on which e-commerce platforms to avoid.

Many people will say Wix or Squarespace are amazing platforms, and in their own way they are. However, when considering which are the best e-commerce platforms for a web shop you want: your website to have the capability of an e-commerce store and the SEO potential for search engines, then they’re just aren’t going to cut it. By all means use them for a ‘brochure website’, but when it comes to e-commerce platforms you need a CMS with more guts.


Main social networks

The Death of Facebook and the new players in Social Media

‘The Death of Facebook’… Sounds a little harsh, but as a social media channel Facebook is dying. There I feel better now I’ve said it out loud. There’s plenty to replace it mind you, so if you’re a social media junky you’ll be just fine.

Why is Facebook dying?

You might think the horrendous data breaches, the court cases in the USA (as well as other parts of the World) and scandalous disinformation would be the top three reasons for the goliath social media platforms downfall. But it’s far simpler than that. Facebook is such a large part of people’s lives it will actually take far more than that to kill off a brand completely. So, what is it…?

The main reason is simply the Facebook generation are using it less. Facebook to a 15-year-old is almost uncool. Unless it’s your local bike or gymnastics club then why would the youth of today use it when their parents use it? It is naturally dying a death.

Having visited two separate school career fairs (October 2018), we conducted some market research with the students. The questions were; “which social media platforms do you use” (aged 14-18). There were no other prompts. Below are the results:

Student Employer Evening

Market research with students from two separate schools

We also asked the students why they don’t use platforms such as Facebook and the top of the reasons were:

  • My mum & dad use it – this makes it very ‘uncool’. The current up and coming social media platforms would do well to address this challenge ASAP
  • Too many adverts – this was also specifically relevant to YouTube

Other reasons Facebook has fallen by the wayside is:

  • start-ups and innovators would utilise Facebook for its ability to project great new innovations/stories for free. This no longer exists and has been brutally restricted to enhance Facebooks advertising offering. This viral ability for great innovative ideas to spread is now contained, you now have to pay! A little bit of its raison d’etre has been lost.
  • the Facebook user has gotten wise to how much time Facebook can take from their day. It is easy to get sucked in to the Facebook feed…and what was meant to be a quick message check turns into ½ hour of your life you will never get back! Facebook users are more disciplined on how much time they allow themselves on the platform.

Social Media is such a large topic, never-ending and constantly changing. To write an article on Social Media requires discipline as to become side tracked is easily done. However, here’s a little more information you should enjoy reading….

A little bit of Social Media history

Each era has its giants that sooner or later are replaced by new ‘heroes’.  The Skype and MySpace era began in 2003 and were soon followed by Facebook (2004) and Twitter (2006), which gradually became leaders in the world of social media. Since first launched in 2003, Skype became a very popular instant messaging and video/voice calling service, whilst Myspace became one of the most popular social network sites in history.


MySpace was regarded as ‘the most visited social networking site in the World from 2005 until early 2008. Myspace was still more recognisable in USA than in Europe. However, in April 2008 it was overtaken by Facebook in the number of unique worldwide visitors. Myspace has never come back to its previous level.


Skype another founding revolutionary social media member, still holds significant influence. This is due to the improvements continually implemented and despite the appearing of some strong competitors; such as Google Hangouts, FaceTime and WhatsApp, Skype has stood the test of time.


So… we come to the gladiator of all social media so far – Facebook. The era of story-telling, strange, innovative, different… images and posts that a whole generation grew up with. Even if you are not the kind of a Facebook maniac who checks the profile every second, you definitely have all those Facebook friends that post; their daily food or ‘easy solutions’ for global political problems or crises that the smartest people (are they the smartest?) cannot (or do not want to?) solve for months or years.

The era of Facebook is remarkable, as this social media led to; arrests, convictions, noble initiatives, propaganda, military use and being utilised to influence ‘real life’ at all levels. Like it or not, Facebook has played a part in almost all of a whole generation.

Gradually (as mentioned earlier in this article) Facebook steps aside and is replaced by the likes of Instagram, WhatsApp and Snapchat. Whilst the first 2 are already owned by Facebook, the latter turned down Facebook’s offer for ownership on November 15, 2013, and Google’s offer the next day. The owners of Snapchat are more than happy now as their company is evaluated few times more expensive today!

What’s new and more attractive in Instagram, WhatsApp, Viber and Snapchat over Facebook?

Viber versus WhatsApp

As WhatsApp and Viber (another platform not owned by Facebook) are considered more an instant message platform, their ‘Social Media’ status is arguable. Anyway, the influence of both of them is strongly high as WhatsApp is used more in USA, Europe and the Middle East. while Viber is used more often Asia and some parts of Eastern Europe. They both offer sending of instant text, image, video messages, as well as voice and video calls. They are arguably both as good as the other, and many use both. Whilst in the UK WhatsApp is definitely used more, in some area of Europe like the Balkan area you might find impossible finding somebody’s number on WhatsApp, just because Viber has many more users.

Instagram vs Snapchat

This is definitely the social media battle nowadays. Snapchat’s more famous amongst the young people. Please see recent research of Statista below:

Social Media preferences

Snapchat & Instagram are the favorite social media platform amongst US teens

Instagram is preferred by a wider age group. The main reason is that Instagram allows you to monetize your presence. You can find thousands of fitness models, life coaches, yoga teachers, etc. that use this platform for profit. It is also the preferred choice for the rich and famous models, actors or sport stars. As this post would probably be missed by Cristiano Ronaldo, David or Victoria Beckham or even Cara Delevingne (shame on them!), we will focus on how ordinary users utilise Instagram.

The Instagram Stalkers/Followers – yes, there’s an actual name for them!

These Stalkers & Followers are users who signed in to follow other people. Yes, there are plenty of people there that show zero activity but follow many celebrities and/or fitness models. Their presence might seem not that important, however it is these that help project and amplify the ‘Instagram Stars’ status!

The Typical Instagram Social Media user

The second type is The Typical Instagram Social Media user that are using the platform to communicate and mainly ‘be informed’. Informed about news and what’s going on in the life of close and not so close friends. You will definitely recognise them for the Private Accounts or low and usually equal number of Followers and Followings.

The Instagram Stars

It is not hard to recognise the Instagram stars. You will find their accounts public (meaning that anyone can see their posts), with very high activity (especially Instagram stories) and lots of photos to garner interest of their followers. The reason of this type of Instagram users is to reach the highest level of an Instagram user – Instagram Celebrity.

The Instagram Celebrities

Step in The Instagram Celebrities, who are divided into two groups.

Group One are people who somehow have reached this prestigious level and usually come from being an Instagram Star. Their aim is to monetize their presence online whilst doing something they love, being social. It is not necessary to be famous for this group as it’s largely Instagram that makes you famous. You’ll need to find a way how to show your talent or a great product in appropriate way. Often, some of these users are being sponsored directly by Instagram for high number of followers and post engagements.

Group Two are people who were successful in business before the Instagram revolution and/or through other channels. They use Instagram as another touch point to reach their current followers and gain new followers.

Now…we did mention earlier how easy it is to get side tracked when it comes to Social Media. The social media space is huge, always changing. So back to where we started, Facebook.

What will FB become?

Facebook still has some life in it yet. Those who use Facebook correctly from a business perspective utilize the platform as a replacement for a website. Encapsulating the ‘community feel’. Particularly pertinent for local small businesses from coffee shops to cleaning services and clubs to neighbourly groups. Facebook provides excellent Search Engine (Google & Bing) potential if you’re one of these local Facebook groups.

Our prediction is that people will continue to use Facebook but far less as the years go by and it will eventually become another MySpace unless they address the current trends.