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4 ways that technology is changing sports for everyone

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Technology has a huge impact across the world in all areas, and none more so than in sport. All areas of sports have been affected by the growth and development of technology over the past few decades.

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There are many types of sports tech that can boost performance, such as vests that can monitor the heart rate of the wearer, and tennis rackets that can monitor the player’s playing style. Read on to discover four important advances in technology which have affected the world of sport.

1.      Coach’s Eye

Coach’s Eye is a software app that allows trainers and coaches to record athletes on video during their games. It can also be used in practice and training sessions. Coach’s Eye can then provide an instant replay of any part of the game, as well as slow motion replays and side-by-side comparisons of players. This software is ideal for use in football, hockey, baseball, netball, golf and many other sports.

2.      Streaming

Streaming services can allow anyone to watch live matches of different sports from the comfort of their own home. Fans can watch their favourite teams from their mobile phones, if they cannot make the match. Trainers and coaches can also use it to keep an eye on their players. These services can also give statistics and offer replays. Streaming tech goes hand in hand with training drills, such as a hockey drill video available from many sports experts, such as https://www.sportplan.net/drills/Hockey/. Drill videos are useful for helping players to analyse styles and improve their technique.

3.      Wearable technology

Wearable sensors can be worn by athletes and sports professionals to monitor their health and performance. Players can wear a super-light device which can be inserted into a pocket or sports bra, so that they can barely feel it. It is even possible to monitor the stresses on different areas of the body through wearable tech for deeper analysis.

4.      Smart helmets

Smart helmets are taking wearable technology to the next level. These smart helmets are designed to monitor the wearer’s head and reduce injuries such as concussions. These are ideal for sports where a player might get a knock to the head, such as contact sports like football and rugby, physically dangerous sports like racing driving, as well as sports with hard balls such as hockey and lacrosse.

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How to choose a speaker

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If you’ve been tasked with choosing a speaker for a corporate event, annual conference or any special event, this can feel like a huge responsibility in that the success of the event might just rest on your shoulders. Choosing the ‘right’ speaker can mean the difference between being congratulated on organising such an interesting and memorable event or be forever mocked for picking a real dud.

A lot will depend on the theme and proposed content of the event. If the theme needs to be very specific to your industry or the speaker needs to possess academic knowledge or key aspects of a narrow area of expertise then it is best that your speaker comes from inside your business. The other examples of obtaining an ‘inside’ speaker will be if your budget is restricted and you can’t afford to employ a professional speaker. Also you might have a great pool of knowledge and expertise right on your doorstep and have no need to seek additional help.

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If you have more freedom with your budget then you can consider hiring a guest speaker. If your event is ot too industry specific then you can use a guest speaker to convey themes and messages that are broader and more general in their appeal, such as motivational speaking. There are topics that are important for every business such as:

  • Leadership skills
  • Dealing with change
  • Assertiveness
  • Communication
  • Stress Management
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Customer Service

A guest speaker also has the added advantage of being perceived as more objective than an internal speaker. If the theme of the event has to approach sensitive subjects then the message is more likely to be accepted if given by an outside source. Employees might suspect that an internal speaker has been coached by management or has their own agenda. Sometimes messages are conveyed more effectively when delivered by a third party. For help to Plan your businesses events, visit http://davisevents.ie.

Here are some useful things to consider when researching a guest speaker:

Why are you all coming together and what are the objectives? What knowledge is it that the company wants people to leave with after they have attended the event?

What type of presentation will work for your event, will you be opening or closing with the speaker or providing a change during the period after lunch? How long do you want them to speak for?

What type of speaker will be best for your event? There are celebrity speakers who will provide entertainment and then there are professional speakers who can provide content. Which one will be the best fit for the theme of your event? Think about the personalities in your business and make sure that there will be a good fit between them and the character traits of the speaker.

Identify what things actually cost and compare fees of several presenters. Will there be additional charges for their accommodation or for customising the event?

Speak directly with the presenter, even if it’s just on the telephone as you’ll get more of a feel for whether that person is ‘right’ or not for your event.

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5 Key Mistakes of Website Management

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Having an online presence is more than just sticking a site up on the web. If it isn’t managed correctly, your site may not achieve your goals or may even do more harm than good. Here are five top mistakes to avoid when managing your website.

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1. Not Establishing Goals

All too often, a website is designed for the sake of it, without fully appreciating or understanding its purpose or what you want it to achieve. Not establishing goals for your website may impact on frequency of visits or leave your audience baffled as to what you’re all about.

2. Designing for the Boss

A key error that many website managers make is creating a site that they think will appeal to the boss or which places the boss’s needs at the core of the site. According to Nielsen Norman Group, don’t build a site that your top executives will love – they’re not the target audience. Build your site with your customers in mind.

3. Site and Organisation Structure as One

Your website shouldn’t be an exact copy of your organisation structure, and this is a mistake that many website managers make. The structure of your website should be organised according to how your audience would expect to use or navigate the site.

4. Outsourcing to Too Many People

For whatever reason, some website owners decide to outsource different aspects of their site or various projects relating to their site to multiple agencies. The problem with this is that it can end up looking very mismatched, incoherent or inconsistent, and users will be the first to pick up on this. Stick to one agency who can offer multiple services to manage your site, such as Southampton web design business http://www.southampton-web-design.co.uk/, so that you can provide a uniform approach.

5. Disregard for Maintenance Costs

Focusing on the budget for the design of a website is an important consideration, but many managers fail to think about what happens after the site has gone live. A new website won’t stay that way for long, and a business needs to budget for regular maintenance and upkeep that will be needed during the course of its life. Failure to keep a website updated is not only bad news for your search ranking but will leave your customers turning to other sites that are more current.

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Why It’s Perfectly Possible to Bring Brownfield Sites Back to Life

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Three elements are needed to make brownfield developments thrive: determination, expertise and intelligence.

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Determination

This is being driven with new force by a government commitment to finding plots for 160,000 new homes by 2020. They also know that a vibrant building sector is a traditional way of getting the whole economy moving again. In the past, the government often presented planning hurdles for brownfield development. It has been long and complex, but it can be navigated far quicker now that we have improved the second factor – expertise.

Expertise

This is being provided by the scale and experience of the UK’s land remediation services sector. In the government’s own words, “The UK is a world leader in the regeneration and management of industrial land.” This expertise is an export asset that is a net contributor to the UK economy in its own right.

Our market-leading firms have improved technological resources and know-how. For example, a variety of tailored treatment slurries, often utilizing cheap waste products from other industries, can be injected into contaminated material to neutralize or stabilise it for extraction. The resulting materials can often be used in construction, recycled into other useful products or rendered into safe landfill. See numerous case studies here: http://www.ashremediation.co.uk/.

Intelligence

Intelligence – in the sense of pre-knowledge of what issues will be encountered on any particular site – is the element that has often scared away investors and developers. This is changing. There have been advances in monitoring equipment and laboratory facilities, and UK firms excel at risk assessment. Hazard identification, exposure assessment, dose-response data and characterization are all combined to improve the planning, approach, communications and long-term physical outcomes. Detailed mathematical models of the pollutants in soil and groundwater are created to identify the safe amounts by which chemicals must be reduced, and monitoring throughout any remediation process keeps stakeholders reliably informed about progress on a reassuring day-by-day basis.

Many sites prove to be far less contaminated than developers feared, and often simple soil capping or a physical barrier within the ground can easily be handled by a non-specialist builder.

Environmental groups are pleased by the fact that brownfield developments protect greenfield sites. Brownfield land tends to be located closer to urban amenities, so it is convenient both for the builders and eventual residents.

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4 Digital Marketing Tactics to Consider for 2017

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Digital marketing was incredibly exciting in 2016, with fantastic new innovations such as live streaming coming to the forefront. But as we move into 2017, now’s the perfect time to re-think your initiatives from last year, adopting new tactics and technologies for the year ahead.

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Here are some of the tactics you should consider for your marketing strategy this year.

Live Streaming

Facebook Live (Facebook’s live streaming service) became available to all users in 2016 and has significantly increased people’s awareness of the fact they have access to live streaming. Twitter also started to bring live videos to their users, making live streaming even more readily available than it has ever been before.

The benefits of this include real-time audience interaction and feedback and the capability of being able to attract viewers then and there and through archived video content. Create content that’s authentic and adheres with your brand, such as behind-the-scenes footage, Q&A sessions, event broadcasts or how-tos.

Ephemeral Content

This is content that disappears after a period of time and was introduced in 2011 by Snapchat. Then with the introduction of Instagram Stories in 2016, it became even more mainstream. This trend looks set to become even more prevalent in 2017, so it’s important that you’re one step ahead of the game.

Think about creating content that’s natural and will make your customers feel in sync with you. Use these channels to create your content, and don’t filter or edit it too heavily, or consider asking a Dublin SEO agency such as http://www.rycomarketing.ie/ to help you.

Influencer Marketing

In 2016, on Instagram alone, $570 million was spent on influencer marketing, and budgets look set to increase in 2017. This is a highly effective way of getting your brand in front of new customers, as it helps you to appear more authentic.

Don’t drive all your budget at trying to get an A-list celebrity; instead, focus on getting an influencer who’s relevant to your industry to promote your brand.

Personalised Marketing

Users are increasingly looking for personalised experiences, and your marketing initiatives need to adhere to this. Start by looking at how your customers behave on your site, searching for patterns in the customer journey. And take a look at your demographics too, including gender, age and location, so you can further personalise their buying experience.

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Business and Culture

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Reading has just completed it’s Year of Culture 2016 which saw more than 30 local inhabitants volunteer to be ambassadors for the town. Based at the train station, they greeted and welcomed visitors to Reading and provided directions, advice and information about points of interest in the town. This was to support the ‘Inside’ exhibition opened in the prison building by Artangel. The volunteers jointly gave over 400 hours of representing the town and promoting visits to Reading’s attractions, the town centre and the Abbey Quarter.

Artangel’s exhibition has attracted over 18,000 visitors and supports the argument that heritage and culture can really boost local economy and businesses. In fact, local businesses are keen to encourage closer working with arts projects and contributed £100,000 to the Year of Culture through sponsorship and donations. More investment is needed in arts, culture and heritage to increase economic growth in Reading. A recent survey of Reading companies found that 70% agreed that cultural events helped to build strong location identity which was crucial in relocating staff, recruitment and retention.

85% believed that business and the arts should work closer together to benefit the local economy and all of those surveyed agreed that business had a strong role to play creating a stronger sense of location identity in Reading. To get a more artistic looking website think about Reading web design and visit http://www.starwebinnovations.co.uk/

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Many businesses felt that Reading lacked a clear sense of identity and thought that this perception could be changed with heritage, shopping, arts, local people and cultural events. Other features that would greatly improve the town would be a new theatre, more independent shops, markets, live music events and festivals.

Helping a town to understand its historic, cultural, economic and social background is a crucial basis for developing and forging a sense of place. A community will have different characteristics such as population, linguistics, demographics, cultural history, customs, landscapes, events and spaces. Every place has its own story to tell which is forever evolving and growing.

Arts, culture and creativity can improve a community’s competitive edge as well as act as a foundation for a sense of identity. They can attract new visitors and populations and contribute towards building a skilled workforce. There is a theory that says modern, high-tech and well educated workers prefer to live in towns and cities with plenty of creative amenities. Maybe towns could call an area a dedicated arts or creative district and this would help draw attention to the many cultural assets in the community.

Public Art attracts visitors and investment, particularly streetscaping by designer artists. This can include specially designed lighting, benches and signs and the better an area looks, the more it will attract pedestrians. Revitalization of derelict areas can also include turning a space into a piece of artwork, for example, transforming a street by adding artwork displays to empty shop windows. An eyesore can be turned into an interesting space. Grand Rapids, Michigan in the U.S has a fantastic contest every year called Art Prize which effectively turns the city into a giant art gallery. Anyone can enter and any visitors can vote. Residents, businesses and artists all work together over many venues and some 1000 volunteers sign up to get involved. Business is booming as footfall increases massively through the city.

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Interior design with a twist

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We all know that the way choose to decorate our homes says a lot about who are and the same can be said of offices too. The structure, layout and décor of an office will speak volumes about the company and those who work there. With competition fierce for hiring top graduates and retaining the best candidates, some companies are going the extra mile to make sure that their office space is ergonomic, attractive and technological advanced. Continue reading

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Getting to Grips with Cookies

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An online browse nowadays isn’t complete without a website asking you if you’re willing to accept its use of cookies. Most of us say yes automatically – just so we can continue browsing unhindered. But what are cookies exactly, and should we be concerned about them?

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A lot of media coverage in the past has tended to focus on the potentially negative aspects of cookies, which have been positioned as pieces of digital spyware, rather than what they are, which is harmless small digital files designed to facilitate user experiences online.

So what are cookies exactly?

Firstly, the key thing to know is that cookies are not computer programmes. They are simply text files which perform no actions. You can even read them if you want to; and if you do, you’ll see that they contain a user ID – unique to the device – and a site name.

The beauty of cookies

These simple but powerful text files are downloaded on to your laptop or PC when you first visit a website. If you allow the cookie, your device will remember the next time that you visit the site, and look out for a relevant cookie. This allows the website to identify if you are a previous visitor, and it can then tailor information that is shown back to you. For example, it might remember fields in a form or other actions which help to improve your user experience and reduce admin time.

Other cookies provide more in-depth and sophisticated information, such as user browsing time, click-throughs and even the user’s preferred colour schemes and page structures. They can also be used to capture analytics on items bought or stored in an online shopping cart. This has real benefits for businesses. Swansea web design and SEO agency http://www.accent-adc.co.uk use the information to make targeted online advertising campaigns, and help businesses to reach their target audiences more easily.

For customers, the experience is also beneficial, making the site interaction generally smoother and easier and reducing the amount of time spent filling out forms and setting preferences.

Any downsides?

There are opposing views to the value of cookies and their role in the online world. This viewpoint often depends on the user’s own perspectives on ‘big data’ and personal information being stored by organisations and companies. The information stored may not be exceptional or even particularly confidential, but some people do not want to have their information captured and added to marketing data lists at all.

The legal perspective

Whereas the use of cookies used to be seen as secretive, today websites are obliged to flag up their use to website visitors and check that they are happy to opt in for cookie use. Express permission has to be given by the user before cookies can be used on the site, which is given by a tick box. The UK’s Information Commission monitors companies to make sure they are complying with this legislation and strict data laws that define and manage how customer data may or may not be used. So ultimately, depending on how you feel about privacy and ease of browsing, your interaction with cookies online very much depends on your own preferences.

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Is your business getting left behind?

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Technology is everything in this day and age. It is easy to think that you are engaged in an older craft that doesn’t rely on technology, but you would be surprised. Unless you are the only person in your area doing what you do, you are likely to need to compete with similar local businesses. One of the most cost-effective ways to do this is to use technology.

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Using technology well

The media often reports that children are using too much technology, that we use our smartphones too much and ignore our children, or that we are turning into hermits; however, this is not always the case. As an example, take the Tech4Good awards. The Guardian reported that the winning product was a bionic arm made by a company called Open Bionics. This arm can be made for notably less money than its competitors, and it can be made quickly. In this case, technology is giving people the freedom to get out there and live their lives.

Ongoing progress

Every day there are new inventions in the world of technology. Even if you only really use a smartphone, you are still likely to make the most of new innovations. The BBC reported that Apple is making it possible for people to use their smartphones as digital wallets. In the future the likelihood is that we won’t even bother to carry a purse or wallet when we are shopping.

What does this mean for my business?

This basically means that you need to keep up. Don’t worry, you don’t need to invent the next bionic arm or throw away all your cash, but why not develop a really great website?. Using a local company such as rycomarketing.co.uk, which provides web design in Dublin, will allow you to work closely with the designers without spending a fortune.

Who knows, you might end up thinking outside the box like Open Bionics, which was a startup company when it invented something invaluable to people all over the world. Think about your field of expertise. What does it need and how could you invent it? Could a fabulous website help you to promote your invention or your existing business? The question is, could you be the next big thing in technology?

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6 Innovative Flooring Solutions For Commercial Premises

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Your floor is something that makes a surprisingly large impact and when considering flooring solutions for commercial premises it’s important to consider not just aesthetics, but durability too.

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There are plenty of durable, long wearing flooring options available and it’s important to consider what type of wear and tear will take place before you settle on a specific covering.

These six options offer something for every building and to suit all tastes, requirements and preferences.

Engineered Wood Flooring

Craftwood is an innovative new product that comprises of an engineered hardwood with an oil finish. Laid in planks like a standard wooden floor, Craftwood is designed to be easy to clean, colour stable and long lasting.

Rubber Flooring

If you like the look of vinyl flooring, then rubber may be your best bet. Nora Systems has created a high performance rubberised floor that’s ideal for busy environments and that reduces noise and enhances comfort.

Waterproof Floating Floors

Ideal for high traffic areas, NuClic no wax flooring can be installed over existing floors and is a flexible and interlocking covering that does not affect the original floor. A site like http://www.ukflooringdirect.co.uk/ could tell you more about this type of product and other similar bacteria-resistant options.

Vinyl Tiles

A great option for any area that needs to be kept clean but look good too, vinyl tiles come in different shades and textures, include wood, marble and stone. The appearance of tiles with the ease of use of vinyl makes these tiles really attractive to commercial enterprises.

Tile and Grout Flooring

Mosaics have become very popular and are an excellent choice for areas that repeatedly get wet. The tiles are laid and grouted over, and thereafter they are easy to keep clean and to maintain. This system can work with smaller or larger tiles and looks very appealing too.

Plank Vinyl Tiles

Similar to vinyl tiles, plank vinyl tiles are laid in long planks and look like wood, stone or any other similar material. They may also have designs on them. The enhanced rolled edges of these tiles add depth and are designed to withstand high traffic and regular use. Low maintenance yet very attractive, plank tiles are often used in areas between warehouses and similar, where flooring needs to withstand heavy use.