BRISTOL BUSINESSES GET THE BEST
More than 140 businesses from across the South West took part in a record-breaking business exhibition event last week.
The FSB Best of the West Exhibition was held at Bristol City FC’s Ashton Gate stadium to help small businesses in the region generate more business opportunities.
Organisers say that nearly 1,000 visitors attended Tuesday’s event - “smashing” the previous record of 600 guests.
Neil Kinnerly of Business Sorted, which ran the one-day event in conjunction with the Federation of Small Businesses and Bristol City Council, says he is “delighted” with the turn-out.
He said: “It was an exceptionally productive day with small businesses connecting with each other as well as the council's procurement team.
“We also had experts on hand to give advice and offered free seminars on business leadership, making the most of tender opportunities, social media and marketing businesses.”
He added: “The only negative I heard of was that the car park was full. That's the sort of problem I like to have.”
Guy Kingston from the FSB said: “Bristol’s small businesses are the lifeblood of the city and this event showed there are thousands of them working away in Bristol to create prosperity and wealth.
“To have the City Council working in harmony with a major trade organisation like the Federation of Small Businesses and superb event organisers like Business Sorted shows that Bristol really does mean business.
“A lot of fantastic contacts were made during the day that will help businesses survive and thrive in these tough economic times.”
Ted Fowler of Bristol City Council's Economic Development Team added: “Bristol City Council is delighted to have worked in partnership with the Federation of Small Businesses and Business Sorted on this very successful exhibition.
“The council promoted the support it provides to local businesses, including a special focus on selling to the council; this included a seminar on how the council buys goods and services.
“We intend to build on the exceptionally positive feedback about the council's wide ranging presence at this event.”
Over 140 exhibitors attended the event including business and financial advisors, public relations services, jewellery makers, web and graphic designers, property managers, software developers and video production companies.
Jon Kirk, MD of Clifton-based public relations agency Palamedes PR, said the show offered a “unique opportunity” to generate new business.
He said: “The Best of the West Exhibition certainly lived up to its name and we came away with a number of exciting new prospects.
“With the economy still depressed, small and medium-sized businesses should take full advantage of all help and assistance to help them grow.”
Mark Adams of IT support company The IT Guy, based in Chippenham, said: “I thoroughly enjoyed exhibiting at the Best of the West Exhibition. I had a great time and did a lot of business as well.”
The Best of the West Exhibition was launched four years ago and now runs three times-a-year.
The next event will be a special “Meet the Buyer and B2B Exhibition' Exhibition”, taking place at Mecure Holland House Hotel on June 21.
It will give local businesses a rare opportunity to meet and greet buyers from Bristol City Council, the Ministry of Defence, UWE and other large corporations from the Bristol area.
Mr Kinnerly, whose company Business Sorted specialises in marketing and assisting SME (small and medium enterprises) growth, says companies wanting to exhibit should book their places as soon as possible.
“We only have space for 80 exhibitors, so companies wanting to get involved should act soon as this is going to be an exhibition not to be missed,” he said.