Despite heavy snow in many areas of the Midlands, the Warwickshire Expo 2013 went ahead as planned, attracting 150 delegates to an early morning networking breakfast.
The first day was attended by over 500 children and teachers from various schools across the county.
The exhibition featured over 50 organisations from a variety of sectors including automotive and advanced manufacturing, intelligent transport systems, low carbon technologies and digital media and gaming, sectors where Warwickshire has particular global strengths.
Exhibitors also included local education and training providers, Warwickshire College, Stratford-upon-Avon College, North Warwickshire and Hinckley College as well as the University of Warwick and Coventry University.
The Expo’s official sponsor Jaguar Land Rover had a substantial presence at the show, bringing their ‘Schools Challenge’ where visitors could guide remote-controlled 4×4 vehicles around an off-road track. In addition, the Gaydon-based manufacturer brought along a Land Rover Discovery and a Jaguar XKR Convertible to remind visitors why the company is one of the world’s leading luxury car vehicle manufacturers.
The exhibition was based around a central ‘gallery’ area which featured a range of products including a large photo-voltaic solar panel from Southam-based Alumet; a Land Rover Defender vehicle featuring a range of products made by manufacturer Mantec; the latest games from Rare Games on a Xbox Kinect system; and a soapbox racer by MIRA; amongst many other exhibits.
Games company Codemasters were a huge hit at the event, giving attendees a first glimpse of the sequel to their Bafta award winning game Grid, which is not released for another two months. In addition, Mask-arade were overrun with children wanting their photo with popular boy-band One Direction (albeit their life-size cutouts!).
Another element to the Expo was the range of informative and interesting seminars which took place over the two days. On Thursday the careers service (CSWP Ltd) provided advice to school children, who were also able to visit seminars delivered by local companies Alstom, Altair, Automotive Insulations, Repl Consulting and the MTC. On Friday there were business seminars presented by a range of organisations including Jaguar Land Rover, WMG, the Chamber of Commerce and Breeze Strategy, as well as Patrick Harris of Thoughtengine Ltd, who was also the keynote speaker at the networking breakfast event.
“The Warwickshire Expo is a flagship project of our Going for Growth initiative, designed to support business growth in the county, and a response to what local businesses have asked for – a platform to showcase their products and services to local people and the wider business community”, said Monica Fogarty, Strategic Director of Communities at Warwickshire County Council.
“We’re delighted that 500 young people from local schools had the opportunity to meet with some of Warwickshire’s leading businesses, no doubt providing them with invaluable experience to help plan for their future, in the knowledge that a wide range of fantastic employment opportunities are available on their doorstop.”
We’d like to say a big thank you to all our exhibitors, delegates, suppliers and the venue for supporting the event, and to our sponsor Jaguar Land Rover. Fortunately, there was no snow in Leamington on the Friday, but a special thank you to those who braved the snowy conditions elsewhere in the Midlands and beyond to get to the venue.
Seminars, a list of exhibitors and event guides can be accessed by clicking on the links below.