Sunderland business networking event is a success

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BUSINESSES have been given a chance to meet the neighbours and beat the recession, thanks to the Echo.

We teamed up with the Business and Enterprise Group to organise the first Sunderland Business Generator event, held at the Stadium of Light.

The group’s regional manager, Andrew Wilson, said: “The event offers practical advice and support for your organisation, giving you professional information that you can implement immediately on your return to the office.

“Guests also have the opportunity to network, sell to and collaborate with the hundreds of attending businesses from all sectors, right across the regions.”

About 70 businesses took the chance to give potential clients and customers an insight into what they do and promote themselves to more than 400 visitors.

The event came in the week the UK entered a double-dip recession, sparking concerns among many Wearside companies.

As well as networking opportunities, the day boasted a selection of business advice seminars, including one by Echo editor Rob Lawson on how to build a relationship with the media.

There was also a “Meet the Buyers” section, which gave companies the chance to promote themselves in a series of a series of one-to-one meetings with key buyers from around the region, including Sunderland City Council, Nissan, Durham County Council, Gateshead Council, BT South Tyneside, North Tyneside Council, Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, and Northumbria University.

“It has been a really good day,” said Leanne Elliott, of Business to Business Exhibitions.

“We have been getting some really good feedback from everyone taking part. The place is absolutely buzzing, there is a great atmosphere and the exhibitors have told us people are stopping to talk, rather than just walking around, which is what the event is all about.”

There was more to Business Generator than just making deals, she said, with businesses being offered the chance to forge new relationships with each other.

“People are chatting and seem to be genuinely engaging with one another, rather than just trying to sell things to each other,” said Leanne.

“They are going away with some really good leads.”

Twitter: @Sunechobiz