Posted on 8th May 2016
The 8th Burgess Hill Means Business Exhibition took place last Friday at the King’s Centre in Victoria Road, and some people reckoned that it was the best one yet. It was certainly a resounding success for the exhibitors and those who came along to see what Burgess Hill has to offer in the name of business.
Some companies took advantage of the chance to set up the previous day, while others came in eaarly on the day to arrange their stands. In all, an incredible 75 companies were on display, a hugely impressive effort on the part of businesses in the Burgess Hill area.
After opening at 10am, we were soon joined by Sir Nicholas Soames, the MP for Mid Sussex, who was in splendid form as he went around the exhibition engaging with as many business people as he possibly could. Laughing, chatting and generally showing real interest in what business people were offering, he made a great impression even before he took to the microphone to address the asssembled throng. This was a very good example of an MP who takes a genuine interest in his constituents and in the businesses they have created. Of course in his brief speech he took the chance to make a sound case for the UK remaining in the EU, and he followed up by having his photograph taken as he voted in our mock referendum on the stage.
Later we were delighted to have a visit from the new Town Mayor of Burgess Hill, Jacqui Landriani, who chatted with exhibitors before taking to the stage to announce that this was her first duty in her new job.
There was a period between 11.30 and 1pm when the hall was crowded, and even some intimations that we hadn’t made the aisles wide enough for comfort, but people coped comfortably in the main and a great atmosphere was generated by the 350 or so who were in the hall doing business.
The darts competition was a welcome distraction for many, and more money was raised for St Peter & St James Hospice, to go with the £3000+ raised by those brave BHBPA members who took part in the Warrior Run in April. It was inspiring to see the Warriors themselves come up onto the stage to be presented with trophies and certificates for their efforts by Paul Shearing, the BHBPA Chairman, and even better to see their expressions of pride and delight at their achievement.
The magician astounded people with his tricks, and Fiona, the harpist, played soothing music while between pieces she was her usual amusing and buoyant self.
Our delighful hosts, the people of The King’s Church, managed to sell all the food they had prepared for the day, which is how it should be as the sausage baps were delicious, and we must thank them once again for their ongoing kindness and generosity towards the BHBPA.
By 2.40 it was time to begin winding up the day with thanks aplenty and deservedly to all those who helped to make this special day in the BHBPA calendar. Raffle prize winners were announced and soon the difficult task of disassembling the whole show was underway. By 4.30 the auditorium was once more empty. It had been a very successful day.
We, as organisers, offer our genuine and grateful thanks to all those who helped make this day a success. There are too many of you to mention individually here, but you know who you are and we know that the day would not have been possible without your efforts.
Special thanks go to the sponsors of the event, Sussex Living Magazine, Sussex Newspapers and Platinum Business.
To see the official photos of the day, click on this link or go to gallery
(Jim Holden’s) https://www.dropbox.com/sh/2j2denp6bs4m4cc/AADt4Cvulyb_5KVugfASJZy2a?dl=0
"If Carlsberg did networking they would do it the BHBPA way. Each event is packed with great ideas, thought provoking presentations and fun. As a small business we feel supported and part of the community. We have built friendships and business relationships and there is always plenty of advice on hand to benefit us all so don’t hesitate to join whatever the nature of your business. "
"“Sutton Winson have been members of the BHBPA for around 7 years. We have found it a great way to keep in touch with Burgess Hill businesses and to meet with likeminded people. It’s not just another “networking” group, as it tackles the real issues and gets things done”"
"Regular, well organised events, excellent updates and information by email along with a warm welcome from the Chair and Coordinator are just some of the positives at BHBPA."
"“I have belonged to this group since I started my own business, Lea Graham Associates, in 1986. The association has been through several incarnations since then, but its most recent one, BHBPA, is by far the best.
It’s much more than just a networking group, although it is supremely good at that too. BHBPA is inclusive and friendly and acts like a mutual-support society. The events are stimulating, worthwhile and often great fun and I believe most members share this opinion.”"