Networking in Surrey

Networking opportunities at Expos - how Padua exploits Rabbits!

NiS Member Nicky Rudd runs Padua Communications.  Here she explains how she got involved with Rabbit 2012...

With the word communications in your company name, the chatter does come easily! It was completely by accident that we got talking to the organisers of Rabbit 2012, but we’re so glad we did!

Padua Communications is a young company. When we set the company up, I in particular did a lot of local networking, and this was great for my first 12 months. The people I met in a lot of cases were just like me and enabled me to get the business off the ground with project work that had an immediate impact on our cashflow.

But a problem arose about 15 months into running the business. Our strategy changed slightly and we wanted to experiment with other types of networking. As a marketer, I also wanted to tighten my focus on my potential customer base and that's where new challenges appeared. There are not many places, even with the large amount of networking in Surrey, where you can find SMEs that are a little more corporate than the people I met in that first year. We work with businesses of all sizes, but there was a real gap of B2B SMEs that we could speak to.

Padua Communications offers a range of business communications services, and we still do network, but on our more ‘corporate’ networking events, the majority of people we’ve met have been solicitors and accountants, a lot of independent financial advisors, one photographer and one videographer. We can’t be the only business in this situation, so where’s everyone else?

We got involved with Rabbit 2012 just before the Bristol event that was in March 2012. We exhibited at the show, had a steady stream of people coming up to the stand and a lot of really positive feedback on the talk that I gave at the show. The businesses we met were all like us – similar sizes and from lots of different industries – video production, app development, wine producers, HR, event management and promotional merchandisers to name a few.

What was also different was the modern thinking behind this business show. The guys at Rabbit had developed an app for the event with QR codes on each stand. No more picking up business cards and collecting them for the ‘when I have a moment, I’ll go through that' pile. Who else gives you the opportunity to make appointments digitally with exhibitors at the show? We were impressed and really glad we got involved.

To exhibit at the show costs a couple of hundred quid and to visit it, it’s free. You can go to all the seminars and there were some great speakers at the Bristol event. The Surrey event on the 19th of June, which is a little larger, looks set to be a success as well.

We’re involved and we’re speaking and to all of those business owners who haven’t yet found the people they want to reach in a B2B environment in Surrey, this expo is it. Come along and see us at the show. Even if you don’t exhibit, the networking opportunities are there for the taking. 

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