Businesses who participated in the first ever Incubator Zone at this year’s Durham Oktoberfest have reported securing new contracts and following up dozens of leads.
Twenty-one companies from across County Durham exhibited as part of a Durham Business Opportunities Programme (DBOP) project, created to engage companies who had not been involved with the event previously.
Delivered in partnership with LEC Communications and Design and with European Regional Development Fund funding, the Incubator Zone area enabled new and growing companies, or those who had little or no exhibition experience, to showcase their products and services to an audience of almost 1,000 people.
And following the event, the companies involved have shared their experiences, with one company already delivering a new contract and many actively pursuing leads.
Lee White, owner of mechanical and electrical engineering company Bespoke Electrical, said: “We did so well at Oktoberfest, in fact we have already started delivering a three-month consultancy contract on a furnace smelting project heading to Europe early February 2018 which we secured at the event. In addition, we have costed for a further two projects which we’re waiting to hear back about.”
Craig Williams, managing director of Ferryhill-based Sagetech Machinery, said: “Durham Oktoberfest was a huge success for us. The guys on the stand had a great day meeting many people and companies which allowed us to discuss who we are and what we do.
“As an incubator exhibitor it allowed us to attend this prestigious event without a huge outlay, which I would highly recommend to companies who have never exhibited before.”
Gary Hosey, founder and owner of The Emotional Intelligence Company, said: “Our team at The Emotional Intelligence Company was over the moon with the 100 plus new contacts we got from Oktoberfest 2017.
“This, coupled with reconnecting with companies we’d had previous contact with, has meant we have one confirmed client meeting and a proposal for a coaching programme that has been sent to a prospective client. This has been great for us and we are already planning to exhibit at Oktoberfest 2018.”
Each Incubator Zone exhibitor was given support to prepare them for the event. They were also given marketing materials such as flyers, banner stands and business cards.
Managing director of LEC, Leanne English, added: “The Incubator Zone is a fantastic way to give new starts and growing SMEs the chance to put themselves in front of businesses they wouldn’t otherwise get the chance to meet and there’s no doubt it was a huge success. We’re looking forward to continuing to work with the first tranche of exhibitors, and beginning work on the second phase of the programme.”
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