Bingley Business Expo is back for only its second year and is promising to be bigger and even better.
One of the fastest-growing business-to-business events in the Bradford district, the first Bingley Business Expo (BBE) was held less than a year ago and it received such a good response that more than half of the exhibitors signed up immediately for the 2018 event.
Not surprisingly, the organisers say this year’s event – which takes place at Bingley Arts Centre, on Wednesday, September 19 – will be bigger and better.
The brainchild of two local businesswomen, Rachel Barratt, of digital marketing agency Aire Media, and Emma Steele, of content-writing service ES Editorial, BBE 2018 will have at least 30 businesses and organisations putting their wares on show.
“We’ve been blown away by the support we’ve received for this year’s Expo,” says Rachel. “The response last year was great but we had no idea it would strike such a chord with local companies and we’d reach a point where we’ve now run out of space!”
Some indication of how word has got around can be seen from the fact the businesses involved are based in all corners of the Aire Valley.
“It was important to us that each business was the sole representative of its particular sector so it had the best possible chance to get its message across,” says Rachel.
Obviously, that means we can encourage in some businesses from a wider area, which will help build the appeal of the event for delegates.”
The pair say they are on a mission to showcase the skills, expertise and services of those businesses based in Bingley and the Aire Valley and help to put the area on the business map.
“I don’t think people realise what a diverse and creative place Bingley is,” says Emma. “Many think of business in terms of just high street shops but there are lots of areas of the town where some thriving and inspiring firms and industries are tucked away.
“We want to encourage businesses to work together, make the most of the services available on their doorstep and attract attention from further afield.”
The event is sponsored by two local firms, Bingley-based Mortgage Advice Bureau and Janus Interiors. Janus director Rick Tonks said after last year’s event: “Business has been up and down since the Brexit vote and events like this are very useful in putting local businesses in touch with each other.
“We’ve made some really good contacts today and I’m sure they’ll be mutually beneficial for all those concerned.”
Wendy Spencer, CEO of another returning exhibitor, not-for-profit Airedale Enterprise Services, said: “It’s been a really good event and very worthwhile attending. The footfall has been excellent and it’s been very valuable to see so many interesting and diverse businesses wanting to inter-trade locally, which has to be good for boosting the local economy.”
The organisers are also proud the event raises money for local good causes: last year, the Danny Jones Defibrillator Fund and, this, for Manorlands Hospice at Oxenhope.
“We felt it was important to use the opportunity to give something back to the local community and raising money for such a brilliant cause is the perfect way to do it,” says Emma.
This year’s BBE certainly has a something-for-everyone feel to it.
Exhibitors include Distant Future Animation Studio, which won Media Business of the Year at this year’s Keighley and Airedale Business Awards, and the Federation of Small Businesses, as well as solicitors, insurance and tax experts, IT specialists, property consultants, a recruitment agency and a sales and marketing company – all of which you might well expect to see at such an event.
But what makes BBE so special is that it also caters for businesses who are either looking for sponsors, who want to showcase their event space or corporate offering or who want to team up with local businesses to provide opportunities for students, from an independent school to Keighley College, from Bingley AFC football club to two of the town’s bars and social venues, from a casino-restaurant to a charity providing housing, care and support to people in later life.
It’s a fascinating mix and one that’s been welcomed by Bingley Town Council for its potential to bring more business investment to the town.
The event is FREE to business delegates who are asked to register at: bingleybusiness-expo.com, where they can also find full details of all the exhibitors, supporters and sponsors.