Big and bold expo shows off business

SHOALHAVEN business was in the spotlight on Wednesday at the Build, Integrate, Grow Expo.

Thirty-five businesses, ranging from a company that builds simulators for military personnel around the world through to local food producers, tourism operators and even a chemical manufacturer, had their wares on show at the Shoalhaven Entertainment Centre.

Shoalhaven Business Chamber manager Jennifer Stewart said the expo was a great success.

“All our stalls sold out and the feedback we’ve had from businesses owners has all been positive” she said.

“The exhibitors were happier with the structure change from a two-day event to a single day.

“We also reduced the number of businesses on show, allowing for bigger stall space, which was much appreciated.

“Stallholders also commented on the good calibre of people coming through, not only in the booths, but visiting the expo or listening to the presentations.”

A broad range of local businesses were on display including telecommunications companies, lawyers, professional organisations, insurance businesses, food producers, employment agencies, industry like Manildra and Nowra Chemicals, tourism operators, defence business operators, Shoalhaven City Council, as well as representatives of the NSW and Illawarra business chambers.

While the expo has been hailed a success, Ms Stewart said organisers would continue to tweak the event to ensure it remains fresh and constantly changes.

A number of workshops were held throughout the day at which local business operators spoke about what their companies offered.

SHOWCASE: Shoalhaven businesses on show at the Shoalhaven Entertainment Centre as part of the Build, Integrate, Grow Expo.

SHOWCASE: Shoalhaven businesses on show at the Shoalhaven Entertainment Centre as part of the Build, Integrate, Grow Expo.

“It was an opportunity to hear how they do things and how they have become a success,” Ms Stewart said.

“The business presentations proved very popular, as did the presentations on the lifestyle stage where groups such as Cupitt’s Winery and Hop Dog Brewery provided samples of some of their products and Brendan Aulsebrook from Jervis Bay Wild Cruises spoke about making tourism more easily available to people with disabilities.

“We estimate we had around 300 people visited the expo.

“As well as showcasing their products it was also a great chance for local businesses to network and make contacts.”

The event has proven so popular, that Ms Stewart has already taken bookings for next year’s event.

The expo finished with a local business super dinner, where local catering company Rabbit and Co used local produce to prepare a meal for 112 guests.

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