Preparing for the exhibition
Since beginning my apprenticeship at Turquoise in April, I have been involved with various tasks and projects that have equipped me with new skills and knowledge that will help me throughout my career.
On the 20th of November, Turquoise exhibited at the South West Business Expo, the largest business expo in the South West with over 240 exhibitors and 3,000 attendees and I was given the opportunity to come along to the show!
In the months leading up to the event, I had the responsibility of planning and organising our stand for the exhibition. I was involved in booking our stand, liaising with event organisers, arranging exhibitor badges, creating and arranging marketing materials for the stand and promoting our attendance at the event across appropriate social media platforms.
Despite the exhibition being a huge opportunity to gain experience and personal development, in the days preceding the event, my nerves started to set in. Exhibiting at an event was completely new to me, which led to fear of the unknown. Sam offered me training and guidance to prepare me for the day, which gave me the reassurance I needed.
Exhibiting at the show
The day arrived and we loaded up the van and headed to the Westpoint Arena in Exeter, where the show takes place. Once our stand was set up, brandishing our somewhat excessive Turquoise flags, we were good to go.
Laura had kindly agreed to bake cupcakes for us to take to the event, which went down a treat! It was my job to offer the cupcakes to attendees and tell them a bit about what we do and ask if people if they had ever carried out any market research before.
I also got the chance to visit the other stands at the expo, talking to individuals from various companies, entering competitions and bagging myself some freebies!
Rachel gave an inspiring talk on ‘the game of business and how to play it’, sharing her story and experiences of success and failure. She discussed what it takes to make it in business, highlighting the importance of recognising your struggles, taking a step back and asking for help.
Nowadays we live such active lives and fear taking time-out for ourselves. It has been built into us to believe that in order to be successful, we must be continuously busy. Rachel expressed the power of taking a breather to reconnect with yourself, quoting ‘there is tremendous liberation in stillness’.
Noticing when you’re struggling and taking a step back allows you to ask yourself important questions like ‘what have I missed?’ and ‘what am I not seeing?’. These are valuable lessons that I will apply during my career.
I also got the opportunity to hear a fantastic talk by Claire Smith, Head of Business and Development for Moneypenny. Claire discussed the benefits of an improved work culture and an engaged workforce, which included increased staff satisfaction, reduced sickness and increased productivity.
Claire put emphasis on the importance of staff recognition, team building, well-being and engagement, sharing practices Moneypenny have implemented to keep its staff happy and engaged. These practices include; free breakfast, interest-free loans and they even have a pub on-site so that colleagues can catch up and have a drink together after work!
Thank you Turquoise!
I really enjoyed my time at the South West Business Expo, and I am very grateful to Turquoise for giving me the opportunity to attend the event. I have taken away new skills and experience.
For anyone thinking about undertaking an apprenticeship, I would highly recommend it. It allows you to gain invaluable experience in the real working world, alongside learning and achieving a qualification.