DORSET’S Digital Innovation Show, which debuted in Bournemouth this week, will be back next year “bigger and better”, the organiser says.

Hundreds were at the O2 Academy to hear from leading speakers in the sector as well as browse trade stands and join workshops.

Gemma Dare, founder of the show and of Mintsource Events, said: “It went really well. In the morning, practically all the seminars were full.

“The feedback we’ve had was fabulous.

“People feel as though they got a lot of information out of it. They really benefited from the day, they loved the venue and the topics were good.

“The aim is to do exactly the same next year but do it bigger and better.”

The event included growth workshops with Dorset Growth Hub and Mark Gracey of Flavourfy, which drew more than 50 people at a time.

The workshops featured Mr Gracey talking about data protection, Richard Burn of the growth hub on basic digital marketing for SMEs, Andrew Knowles and David Allison on search engine optimisation, and Nick Gregory on funding.

Mr Burn, digital project manager with the growth hub, said: “It was great to see so many local businesses and budding entrepreneurs keen to understand and develop their business and digital knowledge. The seminar talks were inspiring for a lot of the attendees, but also us here at the Dorset Growth Hub.

“The digital world is always developing and growing and we want to make sure the Growth Hub is at the forefront on the digital change and understanding its context in the business world. In turn, this will no doubt help the Dorset economy prosper.

“Thanks must go to Gemma Dare as founder of the Digital Innovation Show for putting on a great event. We are looking forward to next year already.”

Dorset Mind was at the event after being approached by Dan Willis of Why Digital.

Mr Willis, who has worked on branding with some of the UK's best-known organisations, gave a talk about his experience of bipolar and how digital technology could help mental health.

He is working with Dorset Mind on projects to run alongside its new mental health support services for young people.

Dee Swinton, fundraising and marketing manager with the charity, said: “Creativity and mental health challenges go notoriously hand-in-hand - and as Bournemouth's fast-growing digital community is the 'gateway to the world', it's important for us to get everyone talking about their mental health as normally as they would about physical health.”