New connections made at the Cambridge Independent’s inaugural Business Expo

PUBLISHED: 23:40 15 May 2017 | UPDATED: 23:40 15 May 2017

Cambridge Business Expo at Cambridge United. Picture: Keith Heppell

Cambridge Business Expo at Cambridge United. Picture: Keith Heppell

Iliffe Media Ltd

The Cambs Glass Stadium was the venue for the Cambridge Independent’s first ever Business Expo, an event which featured exhibitions and seminars from some of the region’s leading business figures.

On Monday (May 15), the home of Cambridge United played host to a series of seminars and displays, and also provided a well-attended ‘speed networking’ session.

Those taking part included Holiday Inn Cambridge, John Lewis for Business, Method, Regus and The Cambridge Building Society.

One of those giving a talk was Ed Goodman, co-founder of Cambridge Business Lounge. His chosen subject was the role social media plays in business. He spoke to the Cambridge Independent ahead of his presentation.

“I am a social media trainer and consultant,” he explained. “I wanted to talk about social media because it’s such a big thing, and often seen as the panacea for so many business growth challenges – which it isn’t. I’m here today to dispel some of the myths and give more focus as to where the benefits of social media can come from to help a business.”

Cambridge Business Expo at Cambridge United. Picture: Keith HeppellCambridge Business Expo at Cambridge United. Picture: Keith Heppell

Mr Goodman added: “Social media is not a marketing tool, it’s a social engagement tool – and I hope that that comes across above all else today.”

One of the companies exhibiting at the expo was The HR Dept, which offers professional support services in Cambridgeshire.

Sue Isaacson, director of the firm, said: “We work with small and medium employers, helping them with everything to do with managing their people.

“We thought we’d come along today and exhibit, to meet some new contacts, to build relationships – and I also gave a presentation about the employee life cycle.

Cambridge Business Expo at Cambridge United. Picture: Keith HeppellCambridge Business Expo at Cambridge United. Picture: Keith Heppell

“We’re pleased – it’s been very good. It’s a nice venue and there have been lots of people attending, and that’s what we want.”

Alice Wooler works in the commercial department at Woodfines Solicitors.

She said: “We provide a range of services and we’re here to show them off, essentially.

“We’ve had lots of people coming through, showing interest, and it’s quite nice to see what they’re doing, as much as what we’re doing, so we can correspond and see how we can help each other.”

Cambridge Business Expo at Cambridge United. Picture: Keith HeppellCambridge Business Expo at Cambridge United. Picture: Keith Heppell

The team at Method Creative, a Cambridge brand communications agency, is known for its innovative approach to business. Laura Wing, head of engagement at the company, gave a talk entitled ‘Engage, Motivate, Challenge’.

She said: “The talk was about how businesses can engage on a deeper level with their audiences. There was a specific emphasis on things like making sure people who work for you are aligned with the messages that you want to put out there, externally.”

Ms Wing added: “We’ve got a lounge area [at our stand]. Come in and get to know us because it’s about more than just selling. We like to be part of our local community. We don’t just want to be a team in an office, we want to see what other people are doing as well.”

Stefan Mitham is head of client development at the Møller Centre, a residential leadership development and conference centre located in the grounds of Churchill College.

Cambridge Business Expo at Cambridge United. Picture: Keith HeppellCambridge Business Expo at Cambridge United. Picture: Keith Heppell

He told the Cambridge Independent: “The reason we’re here today is basically to ensure that our local client base knows that we’re out and about.

“We’re very international, in terms of what we do with the centre, but very passionate about local clients knowing about it as well.

“There have been a few local exhibitions that I’ve done in the last couple of years, and it’s always good to see a new one come on board.”

Law firm Slater and Gordon has an expanding Cambridge office.

Among their representatives at the expo was Marc Etherington.

He said: “We’re here today because we’re looking to increase our profile in the Cambridge area.

“We saw that there were some good businesses here whom we would like to work alongside, and it’s gone really well so far. We’ve enjoyed it and have made some good contacts. Hopefully this will be a yearly event.”

Paul Brackley, editor of the Cambridge Independent, said: “We would like to thank all those who came along to our inaugural Business Expo and made it such a success.”

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