Networking is vital for any business, meeting new people, striking up conversations, looking for opportunities and building new relationships.
Last month I attended the DL Business Expo held at the Northern Echo Arena in Darlington organised for it’s 7th yearly event by the Darlington Business Club.
From being self employed in my past, this event was always in my calendar, the main reason I attended this time around was to catch up with some familiar faces, talk about the benefits of blogging for businesses, and to speak to any recruitment companies in the room.
The Northern Echo arena is a great venue for an event of this scale, good road links, plenty of parking, and plenty of space for each exhibitor.
Darlington Business Club have used this venue for last 4 or 5 years having previously used Darlington College in the past.
Through the double doors you’d find a friendly registration team waiting to check you in, providing you with all the information you need.
The DL Business Expo organise a range of guest speakers for seminars on the day, featuring professionals talking about a wide range of topics from marketing, including tips on how to get your business noticed, workplace wellbeing, and emotional intelligence for business were some of the seminars this time around.
And in previous years there has been many different guest speakers to reassure or inspire you too.
The event itself was held on the second floor, where around 60 businesses attended to exhibit within two large rooms.
And each of the seminars held on the third floor.
From my experiences being self employed I always found this event beneficial to attend, you always learnt something or met someone new who could be beneficial going forward for your business.
But one thing I have always thought, and on this day was no different.
Why couldn’t Bishop Auckland organise an event like this, to showcase what Bishop Auckland businesses have to offer their community and surrounding areas?
That answer is no reason.
It’s a question and answer I’d like to put right.
From my time volunteering with the Bishop Auckland Town Team, I personally wanted to give back to my town, and try and help it grow, to try and help it to attract new visitors.
My main focus was to work within the business community, but from a personal point of view I just didn’t know how I could play a part to influence that.
Now, through my writing, I am doing just that, working alongside local businesses and charities within the whole perimeter of Bishop Auckland, to provide free blog articles to promote what Bishop Auckland has to offer it’s residents, and what it can offer those outside of the area too.
Currently Bishop Auckland is light on the ground with business networking.
The BNI group offer subscribed breakfast networking in neighbouring areas such as The Manor House Hotel in West Auckland and Redworth Hall Hotel.
And just recently Business Durham had arranged a breakfast networking event held at Bishop Auckland Football Ground for Bishop Auckland and Shildon only, businesses to attend.
Their next event is on Thursday 6th July to be held at The Park Head Hotel, further details can be found here:
But in regards to an actual exhibition bringing together the businesses of Bishop Auckland under one roof, that at present is clearly lacking, whilst other town’s are excelling.
I’d like to see an event that is open to all, an event whereby it’s not just business to business, it’s all businesses, all charities, all training providers showcasing themselves to all.
An exhibition organised not for profit, to support all the businesses of our town, to engage with employers, recruiters and training and apprenticeship schemes.
The ability to identify with the person rather than a business card or an advert in a paper.
I want the town to continue to grow together and strengthen close bonds and roots.
Too many events have an angle to try and offer something different.
Why try and be different?
When each of us are unique.
For me, I see this as a long term goal, but one I’m keen to work towards, because Bishop Auckland is a great place to live, we have some fantastic businesses and some amazing people who continue effortlessly to make a difference within our community, and that deserves to be showcased in itself.
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