The Menta Trade Fair launched the 10-day West Suffolk Business Festival today with companies from new start ups to Google taking part.
Alex Till, chief executive of Suffolk’s enterprise agency Menta, said: “It’s another absolutely fabulous event – we had 600 people pre book tickets.
“On some events, like the Google Garage, we’ve had to turn people away.”
Alongside the exhibition with more than 100 companies taking stands in The Apex, Bury St Edmunds, the fair offered networking events and workshops.
Mr Till said: “When you’ve got people like Google coming to you asking if they can do a presentation because they’ve heard how successful it is, that’s an accolade.”
One of the first speakers of the day was jeweller Alex Monroe, who has a London showroom but plugs the fact her is a Suffolk boy born in Woodbridge.
“Suffolk has so much going for it,” he said. “If you’ve got a great asset, it’s good to shout about it when you tell people who you are.”
For fellow jeweller Tony Strowger, a goldsmith with a shop in nearby St John’s Street, the fair is the chance to tell his story, not just with examples of his work but with a small display on how he crafts the objects. Though he only moved to Bury from Haverhill three years ago, he has been at the trade fair for eight years.
“It’s telling people we’re here,” he said. “People come here and chat and I can tell them about my years of experience and we can get people to come down St John’s Street.”
Claire Brooks’ Box-it East is selling a service – document handling – rather than a product and is a Menta patron. She says Menta and its fair have opened doors for her.
“The first year, I had to tempt people in with sweets, now they come and see me,” she said. “That’s the joy of the Menta Trade Fair, it’s a bril;liant atmosphere.
“It’s the day you don’t miss in your business calendar and every business should be here – it’s making new connections and seeing old faces.”