Southampton: Business Innovation South Expo set to become an annual event

Business leaders from across the south gathered for the inaugural Business Innovation South Expo.

The event was a showcase for 65 established southern-based businesses from within the science, technology, engineering and innovation sectors as well as aligned services.

Lara Bull, the business woman behind the event, was delighted with the feedback from exhibitors and hundreds of visitors who attended on the day. And she revealed planning is already underway for next year’s event. “This was the first BIS Expo and I was delighted by the feedback from everyone who came along on the day. There was a real buzz throughout the different zones and business was being done.

“We have proved the concept works and I already have September 17, 2020 earmarked. We will be looking for a bigger venue as so many more organisations from a wider geography want to get involved. I am planning to make this an annual event for the south and I already have companies lining up to sponsor it,” she said.

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Exhibitors preparing for the first Business Innovation South Expo

Exhibitors were full of praise for how the day went:

Diana Galpin, head of technology transfer and impact programmes at the University of Southampton, said: “The University of Southampton was proud to support the first Business Innovation South Expo in 2019. We were there to make new connections with the local business community, to showcase some of the expertise we have available and ways we can collaborate with businesses. The event delivered and we are looking forward to developing strong relationships from some of the exciting new connections made.“

Flitetrak managing director Andrew Barnett said: “The expo proved to be a great networking event and awareness generator. The discussions we had will definitely help our order pipeline.”

Partner at BDO, David I’Anson said: “The BIS2019 expo was a great success with a really interesting mix of exhibitors and visitors. It was evident that business was being done and we congratulate Lara on putting together such a relevant and dynamic event for businesses in the South Central region.”

Mark Viccars, director at StreamSoft, said: “StreamSoft were really proud to have been at the first expo, the quality of exhibitors and visitors was outstanding and we’ve already asked to be there next year. We have nearly 10 follow-up conversations from the people we chatted with, and due to the high calibre are expecting some business from them.”

Adrian Trise, COO, Beyond Encryption, said: “We were delighted to be involved with the inaugural Business Innovation South Expo where the quality of exhibitors, attendees and plenary sessions was excellent. Based on our experience this year, with such a well organised event, we are already looking forward to next year.”

Leigh-Sara Timberlake, newly appointed executive director of Business South, said the expo was a huge success and she singled out Lara for praise. “I am full of admiration for what Lara has achieved with her first expo. She has worked tirelessly to make it a great success and all the effort has paid off.”

The aim of the event was to help business leaders to address multiple challenges in one day by creating a total solutions hub. Visitors had the chance to see the very latest cutting-edge breakthroughs covering everything from cyber technology, marketing and digital wizardry and drone photography.