The Love Newmarket Business EXPO welcomed many local businesses to the first event of its kind at the Bedford Lodge Hotel. Held on 9th March, small and large business representatives came together to network, discover local opportunities and listen to five dynamic speakers.
Organised and orchestrated by Newmarket’s Business Improvement District (Newmarket BID), the event offered the perfect opportunity for B2B and B2C members to showcase their offering to an attentive audience. Supported by MENTA, attendees were also able to access business support and find out about further opportunities available to them.
With staging provided by Explicit Event Hire, the event welcomed a seasoned list of speakers throughout the day, all offering insight into the world of a business from a unique perspective.
Local businessman, Ben Cockhill, was the first to the stage, discussing how his business had grown from a catering company set up throughout the first lockdown to now becoming an owner of three different enterprises. Launching Stellar Catering, The Bakery and his latest venture, The Waffle Hut, Ben’s inspirational talk proved extremely beneficial to those who had recently set up their own business or were thinking of taking steps along that route.
Still in the early days of business himself, Ben’s unique take on coping with the pandemic and constantly looking for new ways to reach customers proved inspirational to all.
Next, Business Coach Rich Wainwright provided some useful tips for those looking to start-up their own business and how to identify their target audience. Having launched a mentoring programme in 2008, Rich’s experiences and successes working with a wide range of businesses across an even wider range of industries made his time on stage simply captivating. All took home pointers to invest into their own business, no matter the infancy of their position.
Scott Russell of Paddy and Scott’s Coffee was next up, revealing how a backroom idea had flourished into one of the most well-known coffee brands in Suffolk. Scott discussed the importance of branding, how the business achieved many ‘firsts’ within the coffee trade and the importance of paving his own path when it came to business.
Stephen Blackmore from Turners (Soham) joined the line-up discussing how the family run business has grown over the past ten years, fending off several challenges seen across the transpiration industry, including those bought on by Brexit, fuel and driver shortages in recent years. His unique position made the Q&A session a lively event and one that all visitors enjoyed.
And finally, the event welcomed Amir Farbound from Unisurge International who address the changes his business had faced throughout the pandemic and gave insight into managing a large workforce. Amir’s insight and advice on securing large contracts also proved particularly thought provoking and inspired many at the event.
With exhibitors ranging across a broad spectrum of services, including storage, printing services, recruitment, accountants, solicitors, travel, hospitality and many more, the event offered an area of interest for all.
Commenting on the event’s success, Newmarket BID manager Paul Brown said: “We were extremely proud by the support and reception our first Business Event has received. The range of businesses exhibiting proves how many services we have right here in Newmarket, creating a community in which we can all work together.
“The EXPO offered the business members a chance to market their services, and we were pleased to welcome so many additional organisations to the event. The turnout was fantastic and the feedback continues to pour in.
“I’d like to personally thank the event sponsors, Explicit Event Hire, MENTA and Suffolk Chamber for their support in creating such an event.”
Adding to Paul’s comments, Sue Foster from Barclays Bank said: “I thought it was a great success, the speakers were very inspiring and thought provoking, and held the captivation of their audience. The venue was great, as we knew it would be. I think you should be rightly proud of the effort and organisation you put in for the event to be a success.”
Championing one business with the title ‘Best Trade Stand’, this year’s judge Stephen Blackmore assessed each stand before awarding Everything Answered the title.
Commenting on the event, Tracey Hayes from Everything Answered said: “Being the first business fair to be held in Newmarket for a very long time, I suspect that the majority of stand holders were very unsure of what to expect. However, you blew us out of the water – the buzz in the room, the number of visitors and the amazing organisation was a credit to all the hard work which goes on behind the scenes of any event such as this.
“The speakers were all so different in not just their view points, but how they had each managed to succeed in owning and running a very successful business. The staging and set up was as professional as any exhibition I have been to – and I have been to many! Everything Answered would love to attend any future events.”
Deemed a success by all, the event marks the first of what we hope to be many more business events organised by the Newmarket BID team.