Over the last few days I’m going to admit, I was a bit overwhelmed by praise and the response of so many of the exhibitors and of the Brisbane Small Business Community.
The Expo was a Fun and all with every exhibitor meeting some new colleagues and creating a lot of opportunities for all of us, it was great to see everybody out to help each other.
So what was the real goal of this Expo?
Communicate – Connect – Collaborate!!!
Firstly it was to get people within the community talking to each other. The expo came out of the fact that after trying different strategies to get people to connect in real life, as opposed to over the Intertubes, all attempts were as best mediocre in their success. So Communicating was the first Goal.
Secondly, with a passion for helping small business grow, I appreciate the key to this is to increase opportunities. The quickest way to increase real opportunities is to stand in a busier market place. So getting people out of their homes and offices, in amongst other businesses would create more opportunities.
Thirdly, to really put the opportunities out there, if we can get people looking at ways they can help each other… we’re starting to scale or multiply the potential opportunities.
- Collaborate (at least for some already)
From all accounts, The Expo was a raging success!
There is a real village feel about the place. I love it!
Darren Burgess – Zero K Productions
What an awesome couple of days … Brisbane Small Business Expo #1 : The best bit … Meeting all those other small business owner stall holders … Likeminded people helping each other … I’m just Imagining the next event now when we all get onto inviting everyone we know and a few more.
Amber Worth – Ambient IT
Put on a brilliant Expo over two days;
Provided 60+ small businesses with the opportunity to exhibit their talents, services and wares in an all-inclusive and supportive environment;
Delivered 4 world-class speakers willing to share their knowledge.
Deserves a huge vote of thanks for all he has done to give everyone who attended such a positive and enriching experience.
Jeff Polley – Rebel Media
In six months I’m probably going to look back and decide that the stall fee I invested in the BSB expo just gone was the best investments in my business ever. That doesn’t even take into account the value in hearing the guest presentations (they were all excellent), or talking to expo visitors – that’s just thinking about the talks I had with other stallholders.
David Pitman – Cloudouble
And so many more good points… The challenge is listening to just that, isn’t how we’ll improve. And improve we can!
What we can do better… The Obvious
- Better Promotion
More people… No so much on the store holder front, but on the community engagement.
Our approach to marketing the event was a viral one, asking stall holders and the BSB community to get out there and promote the event. It didn’t happen to the extent we’d hoped.
With it being our first event our PR missed the mark and we failed to gain the support of the media, until it was running. We did manage a spot on ABC 612 Drive Time on the Thursday but by then it was a bit late.
Yes, we need to invest in advertising. We simply didn’t have the budget. Everyone wants the advertising and so we’ll have to include this in the pricing of the future.
- The Presentations were attended by less than 3% of the community
This is my personal low point. Although I don’t believe this is out of kilter with community expectations, I had hoped and budgeted for better.
It truly breaks my heart that I failed to display and promote the value of the world class presenters we attracted and the message they had to help each business grow.
I shan’t dwell on this but it is MY BIGGEST MISTAKE and the lost opportunity of the Expo.
- The Expo lost money!
This is partly due to the investment in the speakers.
In future, more focus will be made on providing the value that the community desires is required. If people aren’t going to support the speakers in large numbers we need to consider what we do there.
We can’t afford to run at a loss on such an event. The time investment and commitment of those organising it, is too great for this to happen.
If we cannot rectify the financial success of the event, we simply cannot have further events as nobody could or should commit to that level of support and distraction from their business.
Fortunately I believe all are rectifiable. The Success of the event will create opportunities for this event to grow into something really special.
It’s a Great Opportunity for us All!!!
Remember first and foremost, it’s about building our community and our businesses!
Initially with the initial post about “testing the temperature” on the idea of the first expo there were suggestions of pony rides, face painting and even a Judo Exhibition…
Let’s have FUN!!! YES!!!
Let’s look at how we can have some serious fun. Long term FUN, building relationships and building our businesses!
What do you want to do, see and hear?
- Start suggesting a theme
- What presentation topics
- Is there anyone special you’d like to hear
- What days should it be on
- Is there a better way to incorporate the presentations (given a lot of the exhibitors are solo and couldn’t manage a stall and see the presentation at the same time)
- What else should we think of?
To help us start planning an even more extraordinary event in May 2016…
What would you like to see?
Comment below or email me: Let us know. email@example.com