Networking and leadership expo
UP TO 250 business people are expected to attend a huge expo tomorrow which is themed around leadership and networking.
The Network Central event, staged at Saltash's China Fleet Club, will also feature about 70 exhibitors.
But organiser Rod Major, who has been masterminding Network Central events around the South West since 2008, said businesses involved will not be present just to sell their goods and services.
"Exhibitors are showcasing their businesses – not selling their stuff," he said. "It's not about that, it's about selling yourself, about relationships.
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"It's for people to learn about leadership from professionals, it's about how to streamline your business to make a profit and make a difference."
The free event has been a visitor to Plymouth for the past four years, with two staged in the area in 2011.
This year's event, although in Saltash, features a heavy Plymouth presence, including involvement from the Plymouth Chamber of Commerce and city business figures.
Kicking off at 9.30am tomorrow, Network Central begins, after a breakfast hosted by Gavin Sheppard, with an official opening by business and sport "mind coach" Chris Menlove-Platt, of Plymouth's CMP Coaching and Training.
The day will then feature three key sessions, including a "Knowledge Takeaway" which has a panel consisting of Nash and Co lawyer Austin Blackburn, motivational speaker Guy Arnold, construction firm Morgan Sindell's Carl Heslop, and copywriter Georgina El Morshdy.
"It's four experts each giving business hints and tips," Mr Major said.
There will also be a "Reverse Dragons' Den" featuring Michael Davey, managing director of Boringdon Park golf centre; Jean Rogers, managing director of model and beauty business Glenbeigh Group Ltd; and Emily Wright, managing director of Plympton's Safety First Manufacturing; in a session hosted by Rob Guy, of Outset Finance and Plymouth Chamber of Commerce.
"The dragons are all from businesses that have at least a £1million turnover," said Mr Major.
"Rob will direct the flow in terms of questions and answers. It's more advice from peers."
Mr Major said "top of the bill" is a "Secret Millionaire" session with Mr Davey.
"He's got several businesses and probably a turnover of £10million a year," said Mr Major.
Network Central will be closed at 3.30pm by Mr Menlove-Platt, who will also stage speed networking sessions throughout the day.
Mr Major now runs Network Central events throughout the South West, from Cardiff and Swindon down to Cornwall.
"In 2011 I did 11 events," said Mr Major, who previously spent 10 years in the Army, a decade in insurance and has also published business directories. "We managed to get almost 1,000 businesses exhibiting, and almost 5,000 visitors."
He said exhibitors represented a range of businesses from the locale including solicitors, accountants, IT experts, and venues.
He said jobs and business deals can result from the events and intends to branch out into the London and South East areas.
He is also planning two Plymouth area events next year, at the China Fleet Club and Boringdon Park.
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