Roger Barcham of BMS Imaging, chair of ISSBA said: "We believe this year’s was the best ever. Exhibitors, sponsors and visitors alike stopped me to compliment us on such a fine event and a successful day. We had excellent feedback too from ISSBA committee members from the past, who were instrumental in setting up the first event nearly 20 years ago."
“Its purpose remains to provide an affordable platform for SMEs to display their products and services. But we can only do this with the generosity support of our sponsors, who continue to back us even in this erratic financial climate. In particular, I’d like to thank the Chamber and Menta for partnering us.”
He said that a group of Business Study students attended and it became apparent that the event had opened their eyes to how hard businesses need to work to promote and sustain themselves. He added: “These are the business people of the future and it was good to see them there. Perhaps they’ll be back with their own stands at SBE16?"
John Dugmore, chief executive of Suffolk of Chamber of Commerce, was also delighted with attendance. He said, "Despite the awful weather which we feared might impact, the event had a vibrant and dynamic atmosphere and a noticeable increase in footfall. “A continuing challenging economic environment means that events like this are more important than ever. Working with ISSBA and Menta, we will continue to champion and empower the innovative and forward thinking Suffolk business community."
Alex Till of Menta said: “It has been great for Menta sponsoring the Suffolk Business Exhibition this year and a number of small businesses who exhibited have sent us feedback saying how useful they had found the day. Feedback from has suggested that they found it a great platform to network and promote their businesses and would definitely want to take up the opportunity again.”
Chris Marsh at Andrew Thompson & Associates Insurance Brokers was amongst the first to congratulate the organisers. He said: “A great day, meeting new people, catching up with clients and old acquaintances. Can we have same position next year please?”
Rotary Club of Ipswich Wolsey benefited from the tombola, with the £320 raised in support of the Cancer Campaign in Suffolk and the Debenham Dementia Project.
Sponsors of SBE12 were Archant Suffolk (publishers of EADT and Evening Star titles), Suffolk County Council, Ipswich Borough Council, Scrutton Bland, Jackamans Solicitors, Basepoint, Dummett Copp, FSB (Federation of Small Businesses), React Computer Partnership, Penn Commercial, PKF UK and New Media Business Group. The event was held at Trinity Park in Ipswich. Plans for SBE13 are already underway.