Shrewsbury Business Expo was seriously a good day out

Us guys at Connect WM had a day out yesterday and tasted the delights of what the Shropshire region had to offer in terms of business events and of course some of its wonderful scenery.


Off we went leaving the depths of the Black Country and headed bright and breezy over to the Lord Hill Hotel in Shrewsbury which was where the Shropshire Chamber was holding the second of its Business Expo events of 2011.


As when visiting something new which you’ve never been too before, you’re a little unsure about what to expect and you naturally start to ask yourselves questions such as, “will it be any good”, and “will it be worth it” – well in short the answer to such questions was resounding “yes”.


The business expo event was really well attended both in exhibitors and in visitors – there was a total of 52 exhibitors all of which were from a wide and varied industry base – just what you’d expect to see at a business expo event especially one that looks to Connect Shropshire based businesses.


Now of course as we have never been to this event before it could be argued that no matter what we’d seen there we would be impressed – well let’s just say that what we’d seen and what we felt was priceless.


Somehow the whole business mood in Shropshire seems different, their views and opinions are more than engaging as well as encouraging – bearing in mind the event was centrally based in Shrewsbury town there seemed on the face of it not to be as many closed retail outlets on the high street, when compared to other towns within the West Midlands region.


The event itself apart from the exhibitors room, catered for seminars - the first talk by Jan Minihane was on the topic of “Making Social Media” and being honest here although we were not present ourselves on this talk, throughout the day there was a number of visitors who expressed to us how interesting, enlightening and worthwhile they thought the talk was which intrigued us because as you know many businesses are more and more becoming social media gurus.


So during the day we made a point of speaking with ‘Jan’ who by the way runs a company called Net Advantage and we have to say that she certainly seems to know what she’s talking about, no larging things up, very level headed and more importantly well ground in her views and opinions as to how social media should work and be operated by companies – if you want to know more then we suggest that you check her out.


We did hear a talk by Carol Ewels from ‘Always Consult’ on those questions we all ask ourselves when looking to start up ourselves or when we need to move the business forward, or as others would refer to it looking for ‘Business Growth’.


Carol went through the varying elements to consider and asked those in attendance to ask themselves questions such as


  • “Ask yourselves 3 things which concern you in starting your own enterprise or moving your business forward?”
  • “Ask yourselves 3 things which motivate you in starting you own enterprise or moving your business forward?”
  • “What is your core proposition” which basically means what is your business about  it that you do, which can be easily summed up in a few words for others to understand.


The last seminar we sat in on was by the deputy editor of the Shropshire Star - the talk which was enlightening and informative on how local businesses can get their stories into print, online, radio and TV.


It was explained that any press release ideally should follow the following criteria covering 5 elements in this order:


  • Who is the press release about i.e. company or persons name?
  • Where are they based i.e. the location in order to add locality to it?
  • What is special or happening – in short what is the news?
  • When will it or did it happen?
  • Why is it news?


It was also advised that press releases should contain no more that 25 words per sentence, no more that 4 lines per paragraph, and no more than 250 words per release – and under no circumstance should a press release be headed heavily towards that of an advertisement.


People we started to connect to whilst at the Shrewsbury Business Expo event were:


Alex Byles from OGL Computer, Andrew Tweedie and Graham Worton from Whittingham Riddell, Jason Blair from Eco Copiers, Adrian Pitt from Develop-ment Training Consultants, Ian Davies from Tranter Lowe, Peter Wilson from Shropshire Council, Caroline Mcquilkin and Becci Dickens from Deaf Smart, Hugh Band from Web Hampers, Bruce Olme from Wenlock Spring, Gary Halpin from Good 2 Great, Diane Gardner from WN Security Shredding, Carol Evans from Global Freight, Chris Hughes from Chrisbeon Office Supplies, Ian Rowberry from EPS, Nicky Kent from The Community Council of Shropshire, Brian Benson from Crown Wealth Management,  and finally but not least Teresa Rowe from Shropshire Chamber…..


It was good to meet you all yesterday and sorry to anyone who we may have met but accidently left out…..looking forward to coming again and helping to Connect Shropshire.