A COUPLE who set up an online community for small businesses are turning it into a day-long live event.

Emily and Alan Braithwaite built two businesses together using their talent for online content before launching the agency Yellow Tuxedo.

They run the Digital Circus, a training and networking community whose members range from a sock company to music teachers. The spin-off event is the Digital Circus Live, a “celebration of digital visibility, business growth and opportunity”, taking place on Tuesday, May 18.

Emily said: “We wanted to do a celebration, a year after – in an ideal world, in a physical space in a big top. I would have loved to have brought some actual circus stuff into it.”

Instead, the event will use the Hopin app which allows people to go in and out of talks and workshops as they would in a real-world conference – and to take part in networking sessions.

“It’s for anyone who wants to come along and celebrate that they’re already doing or get some practical knowledge,” said Emily.

The event will mix keynote speakers with workshops, offering expertise in audience building, podcasting, photography, branding, live steaming, sales and more.

Alan said: “You walk through the door, you get a schedule, you get keynote speakers, workshop hosts, expo booths and a networking area and you choose where you want to go.

“If you want to pop out in the street for some sunshine, you do that. It’s really putting it back into the control of what you want to do rather than nine hours of Zoom. After a year of that, let’s get ready for the next step.”

The Southampton-based couple previously built Baylily Bell Tents, hiring tents for events, and the Outside Bride, a platform bringing together suppliers for outdoor weddings.

The businesses were built with the couple’s skills at creating visual and written content and sharing it on social media.

“We’ve been working together for 10 years in businesses. This is our third business we’ve worked on together and we’ve used exactly the same principles to build each and every one organically,” said Emily.

“What people fail at, when it comes to social media and content creation, is that the number one rule of social media is to be social and to have conversations and use the platform, rather than treat it as content driven and chucking stuff out there, to actually create meaningful conversations and build that audience.”

Alan said: “People will spend a long time on amazing video that’s not optimised, that’s not being shared properly, that’s not had its keywords associated properly and they put it on YouTube, it gets two views and dies and they get very despondent – whereas we put mediocre content, we film on our iPhone with a gold glittery background, but because we optimise and share it properly it ranks accordingly.”

Details of the event are at hopin.com/events/the-digital-circus-live