MULTI-million pound organisations and start-up traders gathered on Thursday for a successful showcase of business talent.
Worthing Assembly Hall, in Stoke Abbott Road, was ‘buzzing’ as hundreds flocked to the venue for a series of workshops, talks and an exhibition.
The ‘Better Business’ event, organised by Worthing and Adur Chamber of Commerce, was attended by the likes of GlaxoSmithKline, Queen’s Award for Enterprise winners ETI and Shoreham’s Ricardo, among other small businesses.
Chamber chief executive Tina Tilley said: “It was an amazing day. Throughout the course of the day we had around 500 people walk through the hall, so footfall was really good.
“We had a strong lineup with our speakers. Google was very well-received and all talks had 40 plus people there.
“The place was really buzzing all morning.”
The event was headlined by a trio of top guest speakers – Secret Millionaire participant Gill Fielding, Apprentice candidate Jo Cameron and Dragons’ Den success Linus Gorpe.
Google representatives were on hand to run workshops, while around 90 businesses set up their stalls and networked.
Mrs Tilley said the speakers’ experiences in business would prove invaluable for those starting out – but it was not always the success stories that proved important.
“For local businesses, it was really great to hear them talk about their biggest disasters and each of them tried to diversify too quickly,” she said.
The event was also attended by Adur and Worthing councils representataives, including the procurement team, which was on hand to talk businesses through the process of doing business with the authorities.
In a council-produced video, Mrs Fielding said: “Our UK economy is supported by small businesses. We actually employ three quarters of the UK workforce, all through small businesses, so any event that we can have that would gather together small businesses and give them an opportunity to display their wares, to network, to connect with each other, to acquire new customers, has to be applauded. “
Council director for the economy Martin Randall added: “It’s a great opportunity for them to meet potential clients and customers. It’s brilliant to have it here in the Assembly Hall and we’re really pleased to see it buzzing as well.”