Late last month, a few key members of the IOEE team attended Venturefest West Midlands, a great day-long event that allows entrepreneurs, investors, innovators and enterprise agencies to connect with one another in new and rewarding ways.
Held at Birmingham’s NEC, Venturefest is a unique gathering that welcomes enterprising people from across all sectors. It facilitates an exchange of ideas, allowing diverse types of people to engage with one another and with potential funders, and to access practical advice on how to build stronger, more resilient and more innovative enterprises.
The IOEE was one of a number of leading enterprise advice and support agencies to have a stand at the event, and our team took the opportunity to let as many entrepreneurs as possible know about the enterprise qualifications we accredit, the mentor match service we provide, the training and events we deliver and the benefits our members enjoy. Beth Race, the IOEE’s Membership Executive, was one of the team that made the journey to the NEC. She said:
“The atmosphere at Venturefest was great – really buzzing and stimulating. It was very interesting to get out there and connect with lots of new people, sharing the IOEE’s work with them and letting them know how we champion SMEs and those running them.”
Venturefest really does attract a very diverse set of people, adding a real richness and sense of possibility to the event. As well as delegates from SMEs looking to grow and connect with business support professionals, there were inventors operating across a range of disciplines and on the look-out for ways to bring their ideas to market. In a bid to attract more people to our stand, we were offering delegates the chance to try their hand at the IOEE Golf Master Class Game. This proved a very popular move, as Beth recalls:
“The IOEE golf game attracted a lot of attention among delegates and other exhibitors. Players had to hit the golf ball into specific areas of the net to score points, three shots per player and the highest score wins! There was fierce competition to get on the IOEE leader board with many delegates challenging their business partners, other delegates and exhibiting partners.”
Of course, aside from the fun and games, there was also a serious reason for our attending Venturefest. It was an excellent opportunity to connect and engage both with the other exhibitors and with hundreds of delegates. Beth and the team connected with all sorts of people, from business owners and investors to inventors and university representatives looking to make enterprise a more significant part of their curriculum. Over 700 delegates attended the event, travelling from across the Midlands and beyond and between them, no doubt, thousands of connections were made.