Matt’s business innovation expo review


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Brightbulb recently exhibited at the Business Innovation Expo in the Excel, London exhibition centre. So I thought it would be a good idea to review how the event went and offer some useful advice for future exhibitors.

The business innovation expo is designed to ignite your creativity, fuel your success, and connect you with industry leaders, entrepreneurs, and innovators from around the world. It sits alongside the corporate wellbeing expo, making for a reasonable sized expo of 300 exhibitors and an estimated footfall of around 10,000 people. Brightbulb were placed in a 3 x 2 metre stand (294) which was in an ideal spot in the middle of the innovation section of the site directly opposite 4NRG networking.

Being near the networking section of the site is really helpful because it helps keep consistent footfall as their team hold events on an hourly basis for people to speed network, meaning there are often delegates lingering in the area near this section. This meant we received pretty steady footfall all day. From what we were told we definitely had one of the busier areas of the site. It was also great to have an opportunity to chat with the team at 4NRG networking (all who seemed to enjoy our Brightbulb Legos) as they were a very friendly bunch of people, making us feel very welcome.

Setup

Setup was pretty straight forward for me, Fi and Shane as our stand is quite compact and so we used the orange car park directly underneath the site and carried items up from there. Take note, the orange car park is huge. We didnt get lost at all on the drive to London but we did get lost in the orange car park ๐Ÿ˜‚ (If you have larger items in a truck you can pay to deliver on the top level which opens directly into the expo space). The walk from the car park is quite a long walk back and forth if you park here so ideally sack trucks are a good option. Something for us to note for next time as we were exhausted after 3 or 4 trips. The rest of setup only took a couple of hours and the team at the event were all very helpful and courteous.

Hotel

There is a hotel on site at Excel but it is a bit pricey and booked up if you don’t book a long way in advance. Just an 8 minute drive away is the Premier Inn Beckton. We stayed here and it is very cost-effective as well as right next door to a Beefeater for food, Asda for snacks and a petrol station. There is even a McDonalds if that takes you fancy ๐Ÿคข. The drive from the hotel to Excel is really straight forward and the Beefeater restaurant was a great place to grab a beer and food after a busy day.

Day 1

Day 1 seemed to start slow for the first hour but got very busy and remained steady thereafter. Day 1 finished at 5pm so it was a slightly longer day but we were chatting to people right up until kick out time. We made a lot of really interesting connections, not least with our stand opposite 10 Pearls as well as several other delegates and exhibitors. Everyone was very welcoming and talkative and we had a lot of really insightful conversations. We also took it in turns to walk the show. There were a lot of interesting businesses and quite a variety which was good to see.

There were some good speakers on day one but our favourite had to be Frank Bruno MBE who gave some really incredible stories about his mental health struggles and bi-polar and about how he is now a mental health advocate. During his talk it seemed like the entire population of the exhibition were just crammed in to listen.

Day 2

On day 2 Shane tagged out and Adam tagged in, helping me and Fi for the day. It was definitely a quieter day and could have been handled with just 2 people on the stand but the beauty of having a third person was that Adam could jump onto the speed networking himself, which was entertaining to see him swapping seats every couple of minutes ๐Ÿ˜‚.

We were lucky enough to be in a higher traffic area and so still had lots of positive conversations but it was definitely a quieter day. The day was slightly shorter too as it finished at 4pm and todays highlight was the speech from Billy Billingham from ‘Who dares wins’. Who knew he had been Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s Bodyguard for many years. Again lots of great stories and Fi even gave him one of our Brightbulb Lego’s, linking to our website. Who knows he may need a celebrity website one day ๐Ÿ˜‚.

Breakdown

Breakdown started just before 4pm as many stand holders were looking to get out slightly earlier. Although we had been standing up for 2 days straight the breakdown was all pretty fluid. It only took 2 of us and we were out within an hour an hour and a half. Again all the staff at Excel were very nice to deal with and helpful, just wish we had those sack trucks ๐Ÿ˜‚.

Conclusion

The event was really good fun. We met lots of lovely people and some useful contacts that we think we could help as much as they may be able to help with our businesses and so lots of mutual benefit here. 10,000 footfall? I don’t think there were quite 10,000 to be honest but if so i would say it was probably 65% day 1 and 35% day 2. I tend to find most expos inflate their actual footfall so thats to be expected but still a decent amount of people to chat too. I do think this expo will grow over the coming years and take more space. there were some decent sponsors and keynote speakers here and i think they will build on this over the coming years. Mixing with the other wellbeing expo is also good if you are a business like ours as we have services that pretty much every business needs from web development to design and marketing and so the mix of businesses suits our target market.

We enjoyed are first experience of the Business Innovation expo. If you were at the event we would love to hear your thoughts and what you found insightful on hello@brightbulbdesign.co.uk

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