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Southampton: BIS Expo 2021 – 69 exhibitors showcase latest technology, products and services

By Steve Banbury
5 October 2021

With highlights including IBM, The Energy and Climate Change Group, Education Innovation UK CIC and a Tomorrow's Business World section, the Business Innovation South Expo (#BIS2021), held at the Hilton at the Ageas Bowl, saw 69 exhibitors covering 45+ sectors/services showcasing the latest technology, products and services.

Walking into the Business Innovation South Expo you were hit by the buzz in the room and the sheer joy of meeting face to face once again.

After such a challenging 20 months and with so much support from the original exhibitors and sponsors, founder Lara Bull admitted she was completely focused on delivering a safe space where business could be done – and with such positive feedback from those who were there, it’s clear she succeeded in her quest. 

“The aim was to create a covid-safe bubble providing the opportunity for businesses to showcase themselves – a vibrant event where old acquaintances could be renewed and fresh contacts made. With the uncertainty of how the winter will pan out in terms of Covid cases, I am truly grateful to all the visitors and exhibitors who showed their support for the event – I think we all mentally drew a line and stepped over because we go into this winter in a very different position with a huge number of the population double vaccinated, a top-up being rolled out for over 50’s and now a single vaccination for children above 12,” she said. 

Ashley Fernandes, MD of headline sponsor Colva Tech, said: "The event was incredibly well organised from start to finish and the Covid safety measures were excellent.”

Danielle Stevenson, Operations Manager at Netshell who created the app for #BIS2021, said: “This is our second year exhibiting at Business Innovation South and it was fantastic to be back meeting other business owners and potential new customers in person. We’ve had some brilliant conversations which have turned into interesting opportunities since the show.”

Clare Ede, Co-owner of Madfrog, said: "We had a really good day and spoke to lots of people, many of whom we have been connected with on platforms such as LinkedIn or met via online networking events and we came away with a number of interesting leads to follow up.”

While Steve Hathaway, CEO, FeverCheckerPro, said: “Having personally been responsible for attending exhibitions both nationally and internationally for several decades, Lara and her team undoubtedly are shining lights and a leading example of slick organisation, infectious enthusiasm and genuine care to create a wonderful exhibition experience. Well done and a very big ‘thank you’ to Lara and all her team.”

Looking ahead, Lara Bull is already planning for #BIS2022: “Having 15 sponsors was amazing and the exhibitors have been so supportive with date changes and how the event evolved and now here we are planning #BIS2022, with potentially three new zones, a waiting list of companies looking to book when we launch and companies approaching me to be involved as sponsors – I couldn’t be happier and look forward to having a small rest and getting straight back into planning a bigger and even better expo for next year,” she said.

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