Business leaders from across Bedfordshire are invited to go for gold at Bedford International Athletics Stadium on Thursday, March 13.
The Barkers Lane venue will be turned over from athletes to companies keen on driving the economy forward, during the Beds SME Expo.
Ian Cording, chairman of the Bedfordshire branch of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), said: “The buzz at the Beds SME Expo last year was brilliant.
“It is free for visitors, which we know businesses love. Even the parking and coffee are free so people have nothing to lose by booking their tickets through the website.”
There is even a free speed-networking event, which must be booked in advance as the organisers expect all the spaces will be filled.
Ian, a businessman from Bedford, continued: “Making connections is the lifeblood of business and there will be plenty of opportunities to do that at the Beds SME Expo.”
The Beds SME Expo includes a networking breakfast, sponsored by Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce, and a networking lunch, backed by Bedfordshire FSB.
Ian Cording added: “We are all in business to succeed and how better to do that than meet new contacts in your locality. This Networking Lunch is designed to be very informal, so even the shy among us will enjoy the event. The only hint we can give you is bring plenty of business cards as you’re going to need them!”
The lunch kicks off at 1pm, there are a selection of main courses available for £15.
Among the plethora of local businesses exhibiting their services will be Colmworth & North Beds Golf Club, Luton-based JNB Publishing, IT solutions and managed services provider EACS and language experts Atlas Translations Ltd.
Visitors who want help with all that is going on in the world of cruising will be able to ask the experts at Cruise Select. Sign, display and point of sale service experts Sign of the Times can help businesses stand out from the crowd. Membership warehouses Costco Wholesale Corporation will be showing how their warehouses are designed to help small-to-medium-sized businesses reduce costs in purchasing for resale and for everyday business use.
Bedford Borough Council will be showing how the borough is an ideal location for businesses of all shapes and sizes.
As well as being headline sponsor for the second annual event, Woodfines Solicitors will be exhibiting its full range of legal services to businesses and individuals.
The day will start on “the B of the Banger” with a hearty breakfast.
Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce is organising the breakfast and chief executive Cheryl Smart said: “Every great athlete has to warm up first so why not limber up those networking muscles at a great breakfast event!”
The great British athlete Linford Christie was famous for saying his races started on the B of the Bang. In business, great networking at the Beds SME Expo will start on the B of the Banger! The breakfast will start at 7.30am.
“Breakfast is a great opportunity to beat the traffic and start introducing yourself to as many people as possible. Let’s do business!”
Beds SME Expo is probably the best shop window for firms in the county this year. It is set to see more than 60 sixty exhibitors and free entry for visitors.
Beds SME Expo is organised in association with the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) and is sponsored by the Beds Times & Citizen, Bedford Borough Council and Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce
Doors for the main expo will open to visitors from 9.30 am to 1pm.
To book tickets for various components of Beds SME Expo, visit www.bedssmeexpo.co.uk