The Great British Expos will return to the South West this autumn for the first time since the pandemic began. Originally launching in the Thames Valley and Wiltshire in 2012, Great British Expos is now the UK’s leading provider of regional business exhibitions and has welcomed over 55,000 SMEs to its shows. Alec Jones-Hall, Director and Co-Owner of the expos, tells us more…
What can people expect from this year’s event?
People can look forward to coming back and networking in a physical environment. It’s been two years since an expo actually took place in Swindon, so it’s a great opportunity to reconnect, meet some buyers, get inspired, network and grow your business.
Who are the keynote speakers and exhibitors?
Some of the highlights include Camilita Nuttall an Influencer, CEO and Business & Wealth Coach who grew up in extreme poverty and is now a multi-millionaire with a multimillion-pound business – an incredible story! Another speaker is Nyasha Gwatidzo, who is a pioneer in the care sector and is now worth £180m. Our speakers have been through it all, so we think they’re going to really inspire people post-Covid!
Exhibitors will include Business West, Evo Soft Ltd, Smarter Media and Green Machine Computers among others. Hills Waste Solutions will be sponsoring the event.
How are you keeping people Covid-safe?
We’d normally have 130 stands but now we will be scaling that down to enable social distancing. We’re also going to be offering a ‘covid pack’ for all exhibitors which will include hand sanitisers and face masks.
How have you coped as an events business throughout the pandemic?
It’s been incredibly difficult, but we did ‘pivot’ and diversify. We took the Bristol and Swindon expos online and did a virtual event. We also took the South West Business Awards online and last year we welcomed around nine thousand businesses to our online events nationally.
What online events have you got coming up?
The next one is the Great British Business Awards. There will be a virtual online ceremony and that will be at the end of January. Each week we still do online training on social media, and we also do a programme called ‘let’s talk business.” It’s FREE for anyone to attend every Friday at 2pm.
How do you feel about the future of the events industry?
I think the future of the events industry is going to be hybrid, so when we do the expos this time we will still be interviewing some of our keynote speakers virtually. But I think there are a lot of scars in the industry because we weren’t supported by the government during Covid.
Are there any examples of success stories to come out of the expos?
At our last event before lockdown – the Hilton hotel chain secured a deal worth £148,000 with a client just from one lead, so you never know who is walking around at the expos!
The South West Expo (Swindon) takes place on the 11th November at The DoubleTree Hilton, Swindon. The event is free to attend but registration is essential. Book on here.