Sixth Sense Marketing was delighted to attend the first Hampshire Business Expo at the Farnborough International Conference Centre yesterday. Supported by Eagle Radio, and attended by hundreds of local business owners and c100 exhibitors, the event showcased the strength of local business across Surrey and Hampshire. Despite the gloomy political backdrop, there was plenty of optimism in the exhibition hall.
Something is starting to bother me. I know what it is, but I don’t know what to think. Turn on the TV, or fire up a web browser, and the news content is dominated by the negative impact of Brexit. Whichever option is the least-worst option, it seems that tomorrow is going to be darker than yesterday. So why is it that so many of the conversations that were taking place yesterday at the Hampshire Business Expo were confident and cautiously optimistic?
Sixth Sense Marketing was collaborating with its design and printer Headline, and Mark who is the MD was juggling with fulfilling a large order needed for today, and scheduling other jobs to meet client demands. There’s no sign in his business of impending choppy waters. A coach company had invested the best part of £0.75 million in three new coaches in the last 12 months they told me. Its vehicles operate coach trips and holidays in Europe. It’s doubtful you would risk so much if fluidity of travel between here and Europe was to be vastly curtailed. If I look at my genuine new prospects since the turn of the year, I count nine that I would say are robust, and add another two to that list from conversations I had at the Expo. So, what are reasons for continued economic optimism in this area? In fairness, I didn’t speak to any business yesterday who had a particular reliance on exports. Most of the businesses at the Expo were service businesses, so we’re not reliant of smooth logistics for profitable operations.
Living in an affluent area we are sheltered somewhat by ill winds that might blow in other areas of the country. There’s a real sense of determination and value creation in the Surrey / Hampshire area. Entrepreneurship is vibrant and there is a belief that enough opportunities exist for businesses from all sectors, if they have the expertise and service ethos to take advantage. Complacency is the one thing to be aware of. Uncertainty remains the enemy of confidence, that ever-fragile commodity. But for one day it was a delight to be a part of a business show which exuded optimism from start to finish. A collective pat on the back and onwards we go.