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Southampton: BIS Expo 2020 set to be better than ever

By Dan Teuton
12 March 2020

A new venue and even more ideas for showcasing the best of business innovation in the south will be just part of the new bigger and better format for BIS Expo 2020.

The exhibition for established southern-based businesses from within the science, technology, engineering and innovation sectors, as well as aligned service providers, will take place on September 23 at the prestigious Hilton Hotel near the Ageas Bowl.

The brainchild of business woman Lara Bull, the Business Innovation South Expo was launched in 2019 and this year’s event will build on the success of the first year.

Bull explained: “The expo is aimed at providing an affordable showcase for companies in STEM and innovation and their aligned service providers across the south. At the same time, we are creating a forum for decision makers/procurement execs to see the latest technology, products and services available to help drive their business forward. 

“We were delighted with the feedback from exhibitors and visitors last year and with that in mind, we will be introducing some new elements this year.”

In addition to the larger open-plan venue of the Hilton Hotel, West End, Southampton, new elements in 2020 include:

Two Workshop Zones with eight workshops running throughout the day so visitors can enjoy a more interactive experience

Major Business Zone so leading employers can not only showcase their latest developments but also the potential for regional businesses to collaborate or become suppliers

  • VR, AR, AI Zone
  • Tomorrow’s Business World Zone
  • Exhibitor breakfast so companies can network ahead of visitors arriving
  • Wider range of stand sizes and costs to meet every company’s budget
  • Exhibitors’ shared website portal.

Lara Bull (second right) with Simon White and Richard Roberts of Ocean Saviour, and Tam Goldsmith BIS Expo brand designer


Colva Care is the headline sponsor and technical services manager Dean Kirby commented: “We are delighted to be the main sponsor for such a great event.

“We attended last year and it had a very positive impact on our business, giving us plenty of exposure to lots of local businesses who need help with their IT. The event is an asset to the business community; we would highly recommend attending.”

Forresters IP senior associate James Cornford said: “We attended the first BIS expo in 2019 and were invigorated by both the innovative solutions being showcased and the fascinating speakers – particularly Steve Northam’s talk on human implants – stimulating stuff.

“This year, we’re giving a talk on Intellectual Property (IP) – explaining how to get the basics right, with a focus on how to make your IP investment ready.  We’re also exhibiting and offering free IP consultations to anyone looking to identify, protect and/or exploit their IP.”

Colin Breckenridge, chairman of the Breckenridge – The Growth Agency, said: “Breckenridge are delighted to be exhibiting again at the Business Innovation South Expo, after the success of last year. We feel that technology-based companies are a key growth sector for the economy. The Expo provides a really important showcase, particularly outside London, for these businesses in the south.”

David Vella, sales manager at the Hilton at the Ageas Bowl, said: ”Southampton has been rated one of the best up-and-coming cities for tech and innovation in the UK.  I am delighted to have Lara onboard with the Hilton at the Ageas Bowl, with her fantastic Business Innovation South Expo showcasing some of the best companies within Southampton and the surrounding areas.”

And Drew Patel, director at Your Lead Machine, added: “#BIS2019 was a fantastic way for us to make new connections. We were able to build a solid relationship with an international firm and this could be a game changer for our business.

“The expo was great for our brand awareness, it really increased our profile. We also picked up many new business leads and converted them into new clients.”

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