East Devon Means Business show - held in Exmouth - ‘a huge success’
PUBLISHED: 11:52 27 October 2017 | UPDATED: 09:05 31 October 2017
With frenetic speed networking sessions, key note speeches, around 30 exhibitor stands and plenty of delegates, organisers of the East Devon Means Business show have described it as a ‘huge success’.
Held on Thursday, October 26 at the Exmouth Community College, the show – a follow-up to last year’s debut event – swung into action at 9.30am, with a welcoming address from Andrew Davies, the college’s principal. Within a few hours, the event was firmly into its stride.
“It’s an improvement on last year,” said Ian MacQueen, chairman of the Exmouth Chamber of Commerce. “So far a lot of satisfied standholders have done business. Even I – in my own business – may have a potential sale, which has come about via a casual conversation.”
Conversations were the order of the day, some conducted at a brisk pace during the speed networking sessions.
“Speed networking really gets an event going,” said Liz Griffiths from Apen, a transcription specialist firm from Exeter. “It’s time efficient, because you quickly know who you can continue a conversation with and who not to. It’s a brilliant mechanism.”
Fellow delegate Angela Winterbourne from the Royal Mail, working across Somerset, Devon and Cornwall, agreed.
“Absolutely great fun! It’s bang-bang, rapid fire, nobody’s got the opportunity to run out of things to say and get shy, or dominate… perfect!”
Archant – the publisher of the Journal – was the event’s media partner. James Walton, digital commercial manager, was on hand on the Archant stand.
“A lot of people have come and talked to us from local and national businesses, which has been great,” he said. “I’ve been talking to them about how we can help with their marketing… not just wanting to sell an advert for the sake of selling an ad, but having a clear objective in mind and being able to match that.”
Many local firms were finding it was a good opportunity to inform delegates of their services.
“A lot of people don’t know just how much we do,” said Alix Kelman, a graphic designer from Exmouth’s Total Tee. “They think that we do just printing. People don’t realise that we do embroidery in house… so it’s a really good chance to talk to local businesses and network.”
“Both from an exhibitor and from the Exmouth Chamber point of view, the day has been a huge success,” said Nigel Wilkinson, of WNW Digital. “Everyone I spoke to was positive about the event and we all went home with sales leads and connections we would never have made without the expo.
“It built on last year’s event and was bigger and better in every aspect. Dave Barr and his team at South West Business Connections worked so hard to make the day run smoothly, and we look forward to working with them in creating an even greater success next year.”