Exhibitors and visitors were buzzing with excitement after a record turnout at last week’s Kent Vision LIVE show at the Kent Event Centre, with guest appearances from a range of TV personalities and business experts from all over the UK.
Opening the event with an upbeat and very entertaining keynote, the BBC’s Steph McGovern talked about the importance of businesses not getting paralysed by the wider uncertainties in the economy and the need to keep plans flexible enough to accommodate whatever flavour of Brexit the UK ends up with. Steph also gave some personal opinions on hot issues such as the gender pay gap, workplace inclusivity and her mission to improve skills and employability among young people, to secure essential skills for an increasingly digital and information-driven economy.
Later in the day, sales specialist Ruth Badger from The Apprentice offered an array of hints and tips on cultivating leads and closing deals and former Captain of the England Women’s Rugby Team, Catherine Spencer, spoke about developing a dynamic approach to leadership that incorporates some of the lessons learned from elite sport. While speakers from the Bank of England, The Institute of Directors (IoD), Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM), the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), Google’s Digital Garage and many, many more all hosted free workshops to deliver practical advice on a plethora of important business issues.
Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce provided a fascinating round-up of strategic infrastructure developments around the county – with insights into future plans for the Lower Thames Crossing, HS3 and the McArthurGlen Designer Outlet in Ashford – and in the second annual Big Brexit Lunch, senior panellists from Brachers, Kreston Reeves, Visit Kent and the Kent County Landowners Association discussed the impact of labour shortages after leaving the EU, especially for important Kent industries such as agriculture and tourism.
Despite the significant challenges being faced by businesses of all shapes and sizes, there was an infectious mood of optimism and positivity throughout the day, helped enormously by an enthusiastic audience that was keen to engage and buy from exhibitors and share experiences with each other. Kent Vision LIVE regularly attracts more than 3,000 attendees from across the South East of England (and beyond) and we are delighted to confirm that visitor numbers jumped by just over 10% in 2018.
On the back of the event’s continued success, we have also announced that the event will be changing its name to Business Vision LIVE for its fifteenth annual outing in 2019. The re-branded Business Vision LIVE will debut on 15th May 2019 and continue to be run in close collaboration with founding partners Kent County Council, The KM Group and the Kent Event Centre, who are equally full of enthusiasm for the new name and its ambitious plans for the future. More news of this positive development will follow next week.