The Excel expo is a big exhibition. Hundreds of exhibitors and an estimated 25,000 visitors over the two days.
The cost of a stand at such an event would normally preclude small businesses such as mine from exhibiting, but YBC and their concept of YBC Street changed all that. Organisers from YBC, Ted and Paul, arranged for an area of the exhibition hall to be set out as a street and then offered small expo stands to their small business members at a reasonable and affordable price.
The street concept seemed to capture people's imagination and many people commented that it seemed to be the busiest part of the expo.
People tend to go to exhibitions if they are thinking of starting a business so to have a street full of exhibitors who have done just that allowed visitors to talk to people who has been through what they were planning and could therefore offer advice from real life experiences.
Over the course of the two days I spoke to hundreds of people. We offered a champagne prize draw to anyone leaving us with their business card and we drew the winner from the 100 odd cards we had collected at the end of the second day. The lucky winner was Melody Barnes and her champagne is winging its way to her now.
People spoke to us on a variety of subjects during the days and these included:
- "I am thinking of buying a business - should I buy the company or just the assets and the goodwill - what are the pros and cons"
- "I am starting a business, should I be a sole trader or limited company?"
- "Do I have to register for vat at the outset. Can I register voluntarily if not and how does the flat rate scheme work?"
We were able to answer these questions and many more in light of the individuals personal circumstances and we received many comments as to how useful people had found the show in general and the advice we gave them.
So what was in it for us? Well, we made many new contacts and have several good leads of people to follow up who may want to use our services.
In summary the day was a great success for us and I believe all the YBC exhibitors. It was a great opportunity to meet new people and indeed walk around and see what services other exhibitors were offering. It's not for the faint hearted though - two days on your feet all day and talking almost non stop takes its toll - the weekend rest could not come soon enough.
I would definitely do an event like this again with YBC. It was well organised, well thought out, good value for money and good use of my time as a business owner.
Well done and thank you YBC !