We attended Introbiz last week at the Motorpoint Arena Cardiff. Now, I have been to a few trade shows in my time, some of them are course excellent, others less so. I remember attending a trade show (I won’t say which one- it has gone bust now anyway)- and sitting on a stall for 3 hours, alongside 20 similarly morose exhibitors, as 30 or so disinterested spectators trudged passed. The only solace for that waste of time was that it was a contra-deal so no actual money, just time, was lost. Experience, therefore, has taught me to be a cynic before attending any trade show. Thankfully there was nothing to be cynical about as far as Introbiz was concerned.
The event was well organised and well attended, and had a decent buzz. The venue is well appointed in the centre and professionally staffed with friendly faces. The exhibition space was separated into distinct zones so that you could prioritize time during the visit- with designated areas, for food, business travel, start-ups, property, and sustainability, among others. With over 125 exhibitors there was certainly plenty to see, and more than enough interesting people to talk to. The variety of exhibitors was a plus, as it encouraged visitors from different business verticals, helping to foster networking and dialogue at a Cardiff, and wider Welsh, level. It was certainly helpful to come across potential new suppliers and potential new customers that we had never considered before.
In terms of speakers the bar was set high. With mentors such as Camilita Nuttall offering insight alongside established business leaders like Peter Sylvester and Baroness Michelle Mone OBE, who left my colleagues (senior and junior) pumped up and inspired. If you get the chance to hear her speak do so. Hilary Devey of Dragon’s Den was also “ace”.
Running a small business is hard work at the best of times, and justifying time out of the office is difficult. I won’t hesitate to recommend Introbiz however- for bosses, networkers, and deal makers there are contacts a plenty- and junior team members will find lots of material and contacts to help them develop. Great event. Cardiff businesses certainly need to come together more often, there is much to value here.