RELAXED NETWORKING IN FABULOUS WEATHER AT BUSINESS SHOW
BROCKENHURST COLLEGE PROVIDES PERFECT VENUE FOR 3RD ANNUAL NEW FOREST BUSINESS SHOW
The third annual New Forest Business Show on Wednesday 31 May took place in beautiful weather which combined with the excellent all day catering by Appetite for Adventure and coffee by Ahh Roma helped to ensure that exhibitors and visitors alike enjoyed a very pleasant day of relaxed networking and contact making at Brockenhurst College.
A steady stream of visitors throughout the day stopped to talk with each of the 50 exhibitors from a wide variety of business sectors in the B2B Expo. Exhibitors commented that the quality of engagement was very high and many felt they had generated some useful leads. Some even reported actual on the day sales. Graham Bell from Absolute Graphics said: “Although the Show was not packed with people, I feel it’s all about quality not quantity and I was very pleased with the level of business I did on the day. I sold 4 artwork prints and had a number of enquiries for art commissions and also numerous enquiries for graphic design.”
As usual it was also a great opportunity for exhibitors who don’t meet each other in the normal course of business to chat and find common ground for future collaboration.
Bite size briefings and new workshops
Visitors enjoyed half hour “bite size briefings” in Brockenhurst College’s new state of the art STEM Centre on subjects which included better cash flow management (Argentum Capital), HR tips and pitfalls (HR Dept), Microsoft Office tips and traps (Vivid Connections), prevention of postural problems in the workplace (Brockenhurst Chiropractic), health and safety in the workplace (Six Moves Ahead) and opportunities offered by the new Apprenticeship Levy (Brockenhurst College).
New for this year was a series of one hour workshops on various aspects of marketing and selling given by members of the Bartley Marketing and Forest Forge teams, which was well attended and received positive feedback from those who took part.
Business support from Enterprise First and Enterprise M3 Growth Hub
Also new for this year was a business support area.
Enterprise First has been supporting startups and existing businesses since 1981 and offers offer a range of free support including independent advice, mentoring, practical workshops on marketing and finance. New Forest District Council have come to an agreement whereby Enterprise First can provide free advice and support to new and existing businesses in the New Forest.
The Enterprise M3 Growth Hub is a business-led Local Enterprise Partnership working with private and public sector partners to realise the full growth potential of the area by supporting individual businesses in their growth ambitions and plans.
Matt Callaghan, Economic Development Manager for New Forest District Council said: “The Show provides an excellent opportunity for local businesses to network, collaborate and learn. It is vital that we continue to provide environments in which businesses can work together to facilitate a strong and growing local economy.”
New Forest Business Partnership encourages local businesses to support each other."
The Show organisers, all members of the New Forest Business Partnership, are committed to supporting New Forest businesses by helping them in practical ways to grow their businesses locally. Speaking for the organising team Jane Porter of Bartley Marketing said: “The Business Show is primarily about giving local businesses the opportunity to meet other businesses with whom they can do business, which is the first step towards choosing local suppliers and partners wherever this is feasible.”
NFBP Membership - a great deal for business owners
All local businesses, however small, are encouraged to join the New Forest Business Partnership where they will soon recover their £50 membership subscription when they attend the regular breakfast meetings held in locations around the New Forest, which include talks on topical relevant subjects from which everybody learns something and which also lead to a very natural and productive networking forum.