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Best of Bristol Exhibition provides an Insight into Business Development

March 12, 2012

BNSW members, TheBestof Bristol had a huge success with their Business Exhibition last month. It sold out in record time with a huge amount of visitors, and provided some interesting results about what businesses are looking forward to in ways of developing, as published here.

Firms in Bristol are desperate to find out more about using social media and mobile communications to help grow their business, according to the organiser of Bristol’s biggest business exhibition.

The Lord Mayor with Neil Kinnerly, best of Bristol exhibition organiser

Neil Kinnerly, managing director online marketing outfit BusinessSorted.com and organiser of the Best of Bristol exhibition, said yesterday at the event that digital marketing was the key growing area of interest.

At Ashton Gate yesterday, more than 1,000 delegates met with more than 140 businesses at the event designed to promote trading between regional businesses.

AMC Communications, Vodafone, Destination Bristol, COSTCO, At-Bristol, BUPA, Hills Waste Solutions, City of Bristol College and Oceana nightclub were among the 144 local companies and organisations that signed up for exhibition space in record time.

Mr Kinnerly, who has been organising the event for the last four years said the increased interest showed there was still a recognition of the tough trading conditions in the region, and the need to proactively grow businesses. But he added that it also reflected that firms recognised the opportunities available.

“We got involved in organising this event by accident, really,” he told Bristol24-7 at the event. “We were advertising hundreds of businesses through our online directory, but we wanted to find new ways to promote them.

“Essentially it started as a networking event, but we found some people are better at networking than others. So we thought about creating an opportunity for those who are not so good at networking to meet new clients.

“What you see now four years on, we have more than 100 stands and 1,000 delegates. We sold out six weeks ago which allowed us to focus on getting more people through the door.

“Businesses recognise that times are tough and need to attend events such as this, but they do feel at the same time there are opportunities out there.”

Describing the event as a “business jumble sale”, Mr Kinnerly added that business services made up the majority of the business stand holders and that new media was the key interest of most delegates.

“Interest in mobile communications has grown more than any other industry without a doubt – such as mobile phone apps and how to use that technology,” he said.

“Social media has also been of great interest. Businesses want to know how to use use those mediums.”

Three more events have been scheduled for this year. A seminar in April will look at how to sell and market a business to the NHS, a ‘meet the buyer event at the Council House will take place in June’ and a similar exhibition will be on September 25.

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