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February 23rd 2012

1EM Reports Surge in Demand for SME Business Networking

On Thursday 23rd February, delegates from more than sixty North West companies gathered in Blackburn to attend a lively business networking session that was organised by 1 Events Media and sponsored by Lloyds TSB Commercial. The session, which included a presentation on public relations for small business, drew visitors from across the region and from a broad spectrum of industry sectors – marking a pronounced and continuing increase in the use of such events by SMEs and micro-businesses.

 Held at the headquarters of Euro Garages in Blackburn, Thursday evening’s event was the latest in an ongoing programme designed to foster new links between the region’s enterprises. Now in its third year, 1 Events Media has been organising such events since its inception but this event and those of the last few months have been especially well attended. 1EM Managing Director, Mubarak Chati believes that the upswing is the result of business owners and senior managers seeking to maintain effective sales and promotional channels without eroding hard-pressed marketing budgets.

“The challenging economic conditions are exerting pressure on companies in all industries,” explains Mubarak, “but, as a result, SME managers seem to be looking more closely at low-cost methods of promoting themselves. Business networking is an obvious example of this and attendances are certainly increasing all the time.”

“We are very grateful to Lloyds TSB Commercial for sponsoring the event, and to Euro Garages for hosting it, and I’m pleased that their efforts have been rewarded with such a good turn-out. We’ve had a really dynamic mix of business types and individuals, all of whom have been able to make new contacts, to share ideas and to take away useful information from our presentations.”

Leigh Taylor, area director for Lloyds TSB Commercial, who spoke at the event, said: “In this challenging economic climate, it is important for businesses to explore all the options available to them, and it’s vital that firms do not underestimate the value of public relations as a business tool. This was a fantastic opportunity for local companies to learn more about how PR can benefit them and we hope they can put today’s expert guidance to good use.”

“We are dedicated to supporting small to medium sized businesses and we are proud to have sponsored the 1 Events Media networking event.”

As part of the session, Robin Gregson, a Chartered Marketer with more than 20 years of experience in the PR and marketing industry, gave a presentation entitled Making PR Work for Your Business. In it, he explained how, armed with a basic understanding of how journalists work, small businesses can often secure credible, low-cost publicity entirely free of charge.