New Forest Business Expo 2015 - over 70 exhibitors, more than 500 visitors
The first ever New Forest Business Expo, held at Berthon Boatyard Lymington on 3 June, was a great success!
Over 500 visitors came to the first ever New Forest Business Expo in Lymington
Over 500 visitors, mainly businesspeople but also including interested members of the public, came to support New Forest businesses and promote the New Forest as a great place to do business. The sun shone after a terrible couple of days at the beginning of the week - lucky once again in Lymington! The atmosphere all day long in and around the marquees on the waterfront at Berthon was busy and professional yet also informal and relaxed, as exhibitors and visitors mingled to connect and network together.
Over 70 exhibitors reported making many new contacts, and also doing actual business on the day
As previously reported the Expo was previously sold out in terms of exhibition space with over 70 businesses from a wide range of sectors of the local economy on show - from 5 star hotels to fudge, luxury yacht charter to coffee, solicitors to sash restoration, asset management to electrical and energy, networking groups and business organisations. All day long the social media channels were buzzing and exhibitors were enthusing about the networking they were doing and the new contacts they were making.
Click if you'd like to see the full list of NF Business Expo exhibitors 2015.
Fascinating Tours of Berthon's Working Boatyard, and great catering by Fine Food 4 Sail Lymington
Everybody enjoyed the Lymington waterside in the sunshine, whilst those who went on the Berthon group guided tours discovered that Berthon really is a world class working boatyard - much more than a marina. The on-site cafe Fine Food 4 Sail provided excellent breakfasts and all day catering and will now be on the map for many more customers.
Expo organised by NFBP, supported by local independent businesses
The Expo was organised by New Forest Business Partnership with the support of Thebestofthenewforest, Lymington Retail Group, Escape Yachting Lymington and of course lymington.com by Bartley Marketing.
You'll excuse me for showing off the Bartley Marketing and Lymington.com stand - for those who didn't see it!
The fabulous “desk” beside me was leant to us by BluBambu Living, it’s a boat wine rack cum shelves, very useful as well as gorgeous. Dave who owns BluBambu dropped it off at the Expo for us and picked it up at the end...while it was with us we “sold” it at least three times so it’s probably gone now but you can see lots more lovely and unusual furniture if you go down to the BluBambu showroom at Sadlers Farm in Lower Pennington Lane.
The desk was a useful height for people filling in their entries to our free prize draw. The marketing related prizes will be announced later but the “on the day” champagne was won by David Warrilow of London IP, a London based firm of Intellectual Property specialists. David’s recently moved to Lymington and is offering Free IP Audits for New Forest businesses – read about London IP in Lymington
Expo exceeded all expectations - and proved the demand for a local business showcase
Matthew Lawson, Chairman of New Forest Business Partnership and also owner of Escape Yachting Lymington said: “The Expo exceeded all our expectations and proved that there is indeed a demand on the part of local businesses to connect and showcase locally. The buzz of busyness and business was fantastic, and watching quality conversations between quality people taking place all around us was highly satisfying – especially after we’d worked so hard to make it happen!”
Anthony Climpson, New Forest District Council employment and tourism manager was the original driving force behind getting the Expo off the ground and he was delighted. As he says: "People don't think of the New Forest as a great place to do business, they think of trees and ponies...we're working to change that and join up those fantastic businesses based here, make networks and connections between them."
Chris Whatley Marketing Manager of Berthon said "We want to support local businesses and we understand that, as a large employer, we need to work with others in the area not just for our staff but for our clients as well. We see this as an important networking event, and also a chance to promote the New Forest as a good place to do business."
Lots more lowdown on the event can be found on the NFBP blog http://www.nfbp.org.uk/nfexpo2015-success/
Plans are already being made to make the Expointo an annual event and much bigger next year. Local businesses who’d like to register their interest in exhibiting next time should get in touch with NFBP – there’s a contact link on the blog.
Jane Porter 5 June 2015