Trying our hand at organising an exhibition . . . eek!
Following months of planning and organising the Mid Suffolk Business Exhibition took place on Wednesday 21st March.
Gipping Press’ Danny Cuff volunteered as the main driving force for the event and gives his impression of how the day went:
The exhibition for me started over 24 hours before the first exhibitors were on site at The Mix, in Stowmarket, to set up. I was on hand to transport the backdrops for the stands from Needham Market Community Centre to the venue and am extremely grateful to Mike and the team from the Stowmarket and Area Foodbank who also volunteered their time to help this happen. Once the backdrops were on site it was then a case of marking out the stand spaces and ensuring that each stand had what they had asked for: tables and power etc.
As soon as the stand spaces were set up it was then on to the signage, posters and outside flags to help brand the venue for the event and also help to promote it to passers by on Stowmarket High Street. Once this was done we were all ready to welcome exhibitors who had opted to set their stands up the day before the event.
As the day itself started it was a case of checking the seminar rooms were all set up as expected before lending any helping hands that were needed as the final exhibitors set their stands up.
We were very fortunate to have 3 fantastic event sponsors and the first to come to the spotlight were a long-standing customer of Gipping Press in Andrew Bingham Independent Funeral Directors. Andrew had sponsored the pre-exhibition breakfast which offered those exhibiting a bite to eat prior to the event starting and also to get to know each other a little better. We were treated to a fantastic buffet breakfast whilst Andrew took the opportunity to give a quick talk about why they are so great!
The next stop was for the grand opening which was introduced by Allan Scott, Chairman of the Stowmarket Chamber of Commerce, and Gerard Brewster, Stowmarket Town Council Cabinet Member. Gerard was recovering from surgery which had taken place only the day before, so it was a fantastic gesture for him to come along and say a few words. A big thank you to Gerard for joining us as he did.
Once the exhibition opened it almost looked after itself with a regular stream of people visiting and other than checking that stand holders were happy with how things were going all that was to be done was to shepherd those how had booked for the seminars to the correct seminar room at the correct time. This had some potential to be a little difficult but even this went rather smoothly and we had some fantastic comments on the quality of the seminars. Both seminars on the day were sponsored by Blackwater Wealth Management with one of the talks being given by a member of their team.
We called time on the exhibition at 1pm and the team from The Mix sprung into action to set up tables and chairs for the post-exhibition lunch. The quality of food for the lunch was fantastic and was very well received by a very hungry and tired group of exhibitors. The lunch was sponsored by Chicane Voice and Data. This presented a much needed opportunity to have a sit down and share a joke or two about how the day had gone. As we chatted over baguettes and salads the initial feedback was fantastic with a few people inquiring if they could book for next year’s event!
The positive feedback continued well after the event and it has been fantastic to hear that the months of handwork I put in were all worth it and that people found it beneficial. Thank you to all the sponsors, to The Mix for hosting and looking after us, to Cris Rose for the fantastic photography, those who exhibited and, equally as important, those who visited on the day. Lets see what the future brings for the Mid Suffolk Business Exhibition.