Across the island of Ireland, Finland and Iceland, businesses are encouraged to get involved in #RuralBusiness Day, taking place next Wednesday, January 19th. The event, run by Digi2Market, an EU Project under the Northern Periphery and Artic Programme encourages as many people as possible to post about #RuralBusiness, whether it’s a story about a business you love, how your local community is supported or showcasing your favourite local business, we would love to hear from you.
Irish partners of the Digi2Market project include Údaras na Gaeltachta and WestBIC and are joined in the running of the event by Northern Irish partners the Irish Central Border Area Network and Ulster University as well as two other partners from Iceland and Finland.
Details of the campaign were announced by Digi2Market programme coordinator, Seán Ó Coisedealbha or Údaras na Gaeltachta on Thursday (January 14th). “We want to get as many people as possible on the island of Ireland, in Finland, Iceland, across Europe and beyond posting about #ruralbusiness. We need your help to make it a success. We have posted all the information you need to get involved online here for #ruralbusiness day. This is a bilingual campaign so if you are posting ‘as Gaeilge’, please use the lá #gnótuaithe. Eolas as Gaeilge anseo”.
After the successes of the recent #BuyDonegal campaign, participating businesses are also encouraged to take part in #RuralBusiness day. More details on how the campaign can be supported by businesses and individuals can be found on Digit2Market’s website.
Digi2Market’s announcement of #RuralBusiness day came alongside the announcement of a free marketing and networking support to rural and small-scale businesses.
Údarás are the lead partner in the EU immersive technology programme. Mícheál says rural businesses can feel isolated and find it hard to reach bigger markets.
“Digi2Market helps them use immersive technologies like VR and Augmented Reality to boost their marketing efforts and reach bigger audiences. It also offers them a way to connect and network online with businesses across Europe.”
Alison McGonagle of WestBIC Business and Innovation Centre – another partner in the programme says any EU business is eligible to sign up to the programme. “However, our focus is on rural and small-scale businesses. We help them identify the latest technologies to market their business and put them into practice effectively. Lough Lannagh Holiday Village in Co Mayo, for example, witnessed an explosion of their Facebook traffic, simply by using 360° video.”
Media research expert, Dr Helen Jackson of Ulster University, another Digi2Market partner, says the results have been impressive. “Mobile phone apps and immersive technologies can transform the way people engage with tourist attractions like Mussenden Temple in Co Derry.”
“By linking physical and virtual spaces, visitors can explore the majestic clifftop location and discover the music, art, legends and stories of the people who lived there hundreds of years ago. And they do this with their phone in one hand and their feet firmly on the ground.”