The YM and Me

Tuesday 3rd March 2015 - Posted in Yorkshire Mafia
By Kathryn Rushfirth, Creative Partner at Rushfirth Creative

Way back in April 2010, Howard and I booked ourselves onto a ‘Linked In for beginners’ course. It was an all day affair, run and funded at that time by Business Link. The course itself showed the general process involved, the etiquette of the platform, but most of all it opened our eyes to the huge potential we had to network with thousands of professional people that we otherwise would have not have had access to.

Having set up our profiles and dabbled a bit, there was one group that we kept coming back to, to the point that we rarely seemed to visit any of the others. It was hard to say exactly what it was… perhaps the greater emphasis on ‘no-selling’, the openness of the conversations, the calibre of the people contributing, or the ‘we are stronger together’ ethos. Whatever it was, we knew that we really liked this bizarrely named Linked In group, The Yorkshire Mafia.

Our first ‘off-line’ YM experience was our attendance as delegates at their annual conference in 2011. Even back then in the early days, the standard of execution was like nothing else we’d attended, and all free to attend. When YM HQ’s attention turned to the conference the following year, Geoff and Becky invited us in to discuss what we might do with the brand ID for the conference. Thankfully, they liked what they heard, and once commissioned to do the work, liked what they saw.

Since then, we’ve done lots with the YM and had a great experience. We’ve exhibited our educational brand (our sister business involves the creation of our own brands and intellectual properties for the children’s market) at the conference. We completely rebranded Skill Will for it’s big reboot a couple of years ago, and worked on several pro-bono projects as a result of the initiative. We have designed the brand identity and materials for Leeds Business Week which goes from strength to strength each year. We also came up with the enigmatic Captain Yorkshire, for those who remember him… I have a feeling he will return…

One of our greatest pleasures has been our ongoing involvement with Buy Yorkshire. Having created the brochure for the previous year’s conference under the ‘Yorkshire Mafia Conference’ banner, Geoff Shepherd shared with us his bold new vision of where he wanted to take the conference. He wanted to create a ‘national conference for Yorkshire’, a festival of business, a huge event that would showcase the county – and he wanted a strong brand identity that would reflect that. Buy Yorkshire was born. The core brand elements are of course consistent, but the concept was designed by Howard in such a way as to allow for a refreshing slightly different look and feel each year on the brochure and marketing materials.

The Buy Yorkshire conference is a great event that we regard it as a two day ‘company away day’ for Rushfirth Creative. It’s an excellent opportunity to catch up with old friends, see what exciting things other businesses are up to in the exhibition halls, and be inspired and informed by the fantastic array of speakers that are also drawn to the event. We look forward to creating the new 2015 brochure over the next few weeks, to helping a few exhibitors get their marketing materials just right in the run-up to the event, and of course to meeting even more fellow members at Buy Yorkshire 2015 itself. See you there!

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The Yorkshire Mafia Blog is a collection of posts from some of Yorkshire’s leading sons and daughters.

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