The Brentwood Business Showcase returned bigger and better than before following the success of last year’s event.
More than 500 people attended the biggest business event in the Borough on Wednesday 1 November at Brentwood School.
The Council put together the event, which was supported by Wortley Byers Law – the Showcase’s Platinum Sponsor – and Gold Sponsor TaxAssist Accountants, as a place for companies to network, raise their business’s profile and make new contacts.
This year’s Showcase was focused on digital futures and entrepreneurship which included an insight into the digital future for businesses. It was led by Google Digital Garage, who held two masterclasses on digital skills needed to grow your business, and Microsoft, who spoke on digital transformation and why it’s important to businesses of all shapes and sizes.
Advice workshops were popular and well attended, with sessions ranging from how to get your idea on to the retailers’ shelf, to how to help grow your business and profits, learning how to become an influential communicator at work and how to give your business a marketing MOT to help reinvigorate it.
The Ask the Experts Panel, hosted by Sarah Brockwell of sarahBee marketing, heard from five successful Brentwood businesses about their secrets to success, growth and how technology helped or hindered them.
On the exhibition floor a variety of different sectors of businesses networked, with exhibitors picking up business leads.
And after the event, Brentwood Chamber of Commerce hosted a complementary drinks reception for visitors and exhibitors to continue networking and make valuable connections.
Leader of Brentwood, Council Leader Councillor Louise McKinlay, said: “Our promise was to make the Brentwood Business Showcase bigger and better than last year – which we did successfully. More people came together to network, learn from each other and share ideas with 70% attending for the first time.
The digital focus for this year’s event meant we had same big names attending like Google Digital Garage and Microsoft to share advice and their wealth of experience to other businesses. And our fantastic mix of speakers and workshops meant there was invaluable information and advice on offer.
Brentwood is an extraordinary place to do business due to its transport links and the right mix of people and what was clear on the day was that the natural entrepreneurial spirit in Brentwood really shone through.”
Jane Winfield, Partner in commercial property and Head of Business Development at Wortley Byers Law commended the efforts of all involved in putting together the Brentwood Business Showcase. “This has been a particularly exciting event which has highlighted the role of Brentwood and its businesses in the significant Essex business community. Being amongst such a thriving business community has been encouraging and inspiring. Wortley Byers Law is very proud to be a leading commercial firm in Brentwood with roots going back 50 years in the same town. We look forward to many more showcases in the future”.
Cllr Kevin Bentley, Essex County Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Economic Growth, said: “It was an honour to be asked to open the Brentwood Business Showcase and the event was a huge success with more than 500 people attending.
“The Showcase had key speakers from Google, Microsoft and many Essex based businesses which shows the appetite for starting a business in Brentwood and our county.
“Feedback from many local businesses reinforced the support they have received from Essex County Council in supporting them, providing information on finances, offering grants and helping them grow their business. We have a wealth of knowledge, experts and services to support local business. There are fantastic opportunities for new businesses in Essex and with our infrastructure constantly improving, there’s never been a better time to do business here.”