Federation of Small Businesses Best of the West Exhibition
23rd February 2011
... Comments



An exhibition worth attending - read what is being said!

Companies need to get "back to basics" if they are to survive the current recession, a leading Bristol business networking specialist warned yesterday.

With the rise of electronic communication, small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are "neglecting" face-to-face interaction "at their peril".

Telecommunications may seem a "budget-friendly" choice to many SMEs looking to rein in  spending but it comes at the cost of building long-term business relationships, according to Neil Kinnerly of Business Sorted.

Business growth expert Mr Kinnerly said: "The art of face-to-face communication seems to have become a casualty of Web 2.0 and online social networking in recent years.

"Though some analysts have argued that the time and money that goes into networking can be better deployed elsewhere, the feedback I have received from Bristol businesses couldn't be more different.

"Face-to-face meetings instil a greater sense of trust and understanding of the client's needs. In the current economic climate SMEs have to make the most of all business opportunities that present themselves - especially those on their own doorstep."

Mr Kinnerly was speaking ahead of the "Federation of Small Businesses Best of the West Exhibition", which will bring exhibitors from across the region together for an "unrivalled" business-to-business networking opportunity.

The thrice-yearly exhibition is run by Bristol-based Business Sorted, which specialises in marketing and assisting SME growth.

In the four years since its launch, the one-day expo has expanded from 15 exhibitors to a record-breaking 140 for the next event, taking place this March.

SMEs of all "shapes and sizes" will be attending, along with major buyers from Bristol City Council.

Mr Kinnerly says the forthcoming event will also benefit from a new Government directive aimed at increasing the level of products and services procured within the region by local authorities.

Bristol City Council has supported the exhibition since September 2010 but March's event will prove "particularly exciting" to SMEs as the council's procurement team will, for the first time, be on hand to engage with local businesses.

"The beauty of the Best of the West Exhibition has always been that it brings together suppliers and potential buyers under one roof," said Mr Kinnerly.

"But until now SMEs have found it difficult to gain direct access to Bristol City Council's procurement officers. With so much bureaucracy and red tape to get through, many have failed to get past the gatekeeper.

"The new directive is intended to bolster the local economy by forcing councils to procure more services from businesses based in the region and for the first time Bristol City Council's procurement team will have its own exhibition space.

"Our exhibitions are already a fantastic way to promote goods and services, meet new people and win new business, but this development gives small and medium-sized businesses across all sectors a unique opportunity to sell themselves directly to the council decision makers."

The Federation of Small Businesses Best of the West Exhibition will take place at Bristol City Football Club's Dolman Exhibition Centre on Tuesday, March 1, from 10am – 3pm. It will include a series of free business seminars.

Popular Categories