SME Live will be back, bigger and bolder at the NEC on October 16 and 17 2018

08/05/2018 by

After its hugely successful launch in 2017, that saw over 100 exhibiting companies and over 2,300 visitors, SME Live is the keystone event for small and medium businesses from the Midlands and beyond, and has become the number one event for the Midland’s SME community. 

Organisers have confirmed that SME Live will return on the 16 and 17 October 2018 at the NEC, with an expected 200 exhibitors, 5,000 plus visitors and 150 speakers. 

The SME community has a growing need to learn, network and meet specific service providers to support the continued growth of their businesses.  The event’s mission is to enable growth, to act as a catalyst by bringing together the whole SME community to find inspiration and establish relationships that will enable their businesses to flourish now and in the future. 


A fresh new look for 2018

Through extensive research, post-SME Live 2017 with visitors, exhibitors, sponsors and partners SME Live has created three brand new sectors to best reflect the needs of the SME community: SME Marketing, SME Business and SME IT & Tech 

“At SME live we want to enable business growth for the whole Midlands region and beyond. We were delighted with the launch of SME Live last year and the response the show received from the market. It’s important however that we continue to develop our offering to remain relevant to our customers. These three new zones will best meet the SME Live community’s needs, by offering access to crucial business services that will sustain business growth, marketing agencies that will help them win new customers and IT & Tech providers that will optimise their businesses.”  James Ashwood, Managing Director, SME Live

In addition to the three new zones, the hugely successful keynote and ‘hands-on’ theatres will return, hosting 150 experts giving crucial advice to small business owners from across the region. The SME LIVE experts include; PWC, KPMG, Microsoft, Biz Britain, BGF, Aston University, Birmingham City University, ThinCats, A2D Solutions, Yell Business, Cisco, Oracle, Clockwork IT, Rack Space, Salpo Technologies, Growth Street and Capita.


SME Live will also launch a number of key initiatives to maximise the experience at the show. These include:

121 meeting platform - Allowing participants at SME Live 2018 to review registered visitors and exhibitors and pre-arrange meetings prior to the event to ensure they are establishing critical relationships to move their business forward.   

The Breakfast Briefing Series – A series of breakfast briefing facilitated by leading bodies to kick start the days of the show. 

Meet the Supply Chain – An opportunity for business that forms part of industry supply chains to meet with the procurement teams of the big Midlands companies, helping those SMEs get their first big deal. 

The SME Innovation Awards – A new awards scheme launched this year to celebrate innovation within Business, Marketing and IT & Tech services. These awards will encourage joint entries from

the service providers and their SME customers, highlighting best practice across the SME community. 


What the market said about SME Live 2017


“FSB were delighted to partner with SME Live. The event was extremely well organised and communication before and after the event was exceptional. Being part of the event was worthwhile for FSB in helping to raise our profile and secure new members. We are committed to being part of the expo again next year.” 

Linsey Luke, Development Manager - FSB


“The event has been brilliant, we’ve had a lot of really good feedback and it’s just really rewarding. We’ve met a lot of people this week and been able to impart some really useful knowledge on them” 

Amanda Walls - Google Digital Garage


“Overall it’s been a great experience. Anyone that wants to have a look at engaging within a finance, a business, an IT perspective, then definitely, if you’re in the Midlands, come down to the show.”  

Paul Lawrence - Salpo Technologies