EXPOs are great for connecting locally

ed hyland winning tenders

In today’s business world, with LinkedIn giving us easy access to a global network, it’s easy to overlook local business opportunities.

Local business expos are a great way to connect and re-connect to local businesses and you may well be very surprised at what you find, bump into as a result.

On Thursday 15th March 2018 Winning Tenders took part in the South West Business Expo at West Point, Exeter organised by local entrepreneur Dave Barr. Previously known as the Devon Business Show, the event used to be held at the Matford Centre and has gone from strength to strength: needing more space, it is now held at the Devon County Show Ground.

sid expo dog

Sid came along to support us after his usual minder couldn’t take him at the last minute; Dave said it would be fine to bring him along and he certainly entertained the attendees with his wags and thankfully, very few woofs 😉

Made a change from his usual pose…

new kid sid

It was great for us as a company, our bid writers turned up from all four corners of Devon to touch base, say hi, re-connect and enjoy some “Winning Tenders family time”.

Ed, our senior bid manager, was able to sit down with one of our clients who had to cancel an appointment last week and discuss a clear way forward for 2018.

Ian needed to attend an important event and meeting in London so he wasn’t able to enjoy the day with us… although he did check in throughout to make sure we could cope 😉 .

tender team

I was able to meet those of the team who I’d not met before, re-connect to some existing clients and move things forward with prospective clients who had either taken stands at the Expo or came by our fabulous stand!

I’ve learned over the years that Expos are about the people and not the freebies for the “butterflies” that haven’t got a real business, but who just love free pens and sweeties.

• We have two pop ups that say what we do… one on each side of the stand, turned out facing oncoming traffic… this way intelligent visitors can read what we do and if interested stop by.

• We have a little red book, a pocket guide for WINNERS, which talks folk through the process… and it has our phone number and website on the back for those interested to know more.

• Fist full of business cards…

• And most importantly a team of enthusiastic bid specialists who can explain what we do and what it’s all about in layman’s terms.

Perhaps we need a white silky sheet that can be pinned to the grey back boards and float in the wind next year to create an even more pleasant vibe.

I spent last week reaching out to those that stopped by and will follow up on key opportunities this week… and then during April I will work through the show guide and connect with fellow exhibitors who we didn’t have time to tour around on the day because it was such a good event.

Great work Dave… we’ll be back next year, especially if you give us a super special offer to book early… now there’s an idea: The Business Show would have been doing that at Excel Docklands last week, getting re-bookings at the show. Try that and also pay the extra for the roadside banner in 2019 😉 .

Thank you.

Jon

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