The annual Business Networking Show is about to celebrate its fifth anniversary. We're not sure we can believe it. Five years is quite a success in a world where business shows come and go with frightening regularity.
So, what's the secret?
Quite simply, continually learning and repeating things that work well and being willing to change things that don't.
If you've heard the hullabaloo - or if you haven't - you may be wondering why on earth you should go.
Here are 10 reasons why you should.
Over the years, there've been a wide variety of speakers. Some have made us laugh, some have made us cry, and some have made us think. All have enriched our experience and given us something to take away.
People will spend anything between an hour and an entire day at a business exhibition - especially if they've come far. They'll have time to spend with you and develop relationships.
Visitors come to TBNS from all over the country - I drive from Somerset to Wolverhampton - and they want to make the most of their time.
These have been a feature of the show since it started. Experts hold free seminars and workshops on an aspect of business that will help you work better and more efficiently.
Of course, a networking show wouldn't be right without networking.
You can go to one of the two breakfasts run by 4Networking - whether you're a member or not - or the VIP lunch (contact us for details).
And just by being at the show you'll have opportunities to talk to people you wouldn't usually meet.
Leads are the lifeblood of your business. TBNS is an excellent opportunity to collect piles of business cards of qualified leads.
But don't forget to ask their permission to email them or put them in a database. Aside the new legal aspect, it always was just best practice.
I'll be going to my fourth TBNS soon. I've seen a good number of product launches. Some more successful than others!
Ideas are the lifeblood of any business. TBNS is an opportunity to talk with other owners about their businesses and how they grow, about their ideas and how they do things.
You never know, your next business partner may be there, in the room. All you need to do is meet!
You know the old saying, don't you? It's easier to sell to existing customers than it is to generate new ones.
I've already identified three old customers that are going to the show who I'll be catching up with. Not in a spammy, "buy my stuff" kind of way, just a friendly chat.
If new business comes from it, that'll be great.
Unless your business takes you far and wide, it's likely that you meet many of the same people regularly. People come from all over to TBNS - from Scotland to Cornwall and further. Believe me, I've met them!
It's an excellent opportunity to widen your circle and meet new people. Remember, great things come from casual conversations!
Yes, speed networking. A lot of people don't like it, but it's an excellent way to practice your message. You'll see people's reaction to it close up, and you won't deliver it in the same way at the end as you did at the beginning.
I made a connection in speed networking that changed my business (and my life) forever. I can't promise you that much, but you'll meet a lot of people in a short time. Who knows?
So where will you be on September 28th? In your office or meeting hundreds of new contacts at the Racecourse in Wolverhampton? Quite honestly, you'd be a fool not to be there.