My First Chamber Expo

Date: 14/08/2018
Author: Libby Butler
Company: GMCC

Libby Butler reviews the Chamber Trafford Expo. 

Greater Manchester Chamber hosted a ‘Mini Expo’ A4B event in Trafford on 8th August. A networking event with a twist of combining the stall-like structure of an expo with the intimacy of an A4B event, a whole new concept for the GM Chamber.

As someone on a work experience placement, the opportunity to attend such an event was extremely thrilling for me. As a budding marketeer it was such a great opportunity to experience first hand how networking is really done. I was interested in what events like these bring to a business, so I spoke to Director of Ag!tare, Belinda Beaver and Business Development Manager at Saturn Visual Solutions, Hollie Robinson to get their views.

“I frequently attend these events. As a service business it’s good to get personal contacts and showcase everything I can offer that clients may not realise they need.” - Belinda Beaver, director of Ag!tare.

Furthermore, the whole event was bustling with new business connections and networking opportunities with the 150 people turnout. Everyone was keen to form great business relationships and to find out how everyone could benefit each other.

“It’s great to promote ourselves and gain new relationships…GM Chamber is always so helpful in chasing people up that we want more contact with.” – Hollie Robinson, Business Development Manager at Saturn Visual Solutions.

Belinda, Director of Ag!tare, and I also discussed what employers look for in young people today. She is part of the Future of Skills 2028 campaign alongside Jane Boardman. A campaign raising awareness on the importance of teaching young adults the crucial role soft skills play in employment. Today, qualifications are a smaller factor compared to the social skills needed for the future world of work. Belinda also added she knows no companies that hire just on the basis of qualifications. The ability to show initiative, discipline and confidence is just as valued. Belinda volunteers in schools and colleges around Greater Manchester holding business skills days to challenge students in preparation for their future and encourages businesses to provide work experience and workplace development for young people.

Overall, I could tell the first GM Chamber expo had been a raging success with attendees who had plenty of new business cards in their pockets. Moreover, it was not just a success for the guests, but it was a huge success for me. As an A-level student studying in Chester opportunities like this can be hard to come by. I gained so much encouragement, advice and further support for my future ambitions and a small but starting out break helping me to step into my future.

Picture courtesy of David Duque from CUE Marketing