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Next week’s Business Expo one-stop-shop for SMEs

Friday 23 April 2004

For Immediate Release

Next week’s Business Expo one-stop-shop for SMEs

Next week’s Business Expo will give small to medium sized business owners a chance to tackle their ‘to do list’ in one place – from mobile phones and e-security and to marketing and compliance.

The Business Expo, on from 29 April to 1 May at the Auckland Showgrounds, has been developed specifically for owners and operators of small to medium sized businesses (SMEs) as a one-stop-shop for all their business needs. “Time is at a premium for small to medium sized business owners,” says Sarah Trotman, a director of Spring Group Ltd and organiser of the Business Expo.

“The Business Expo will allow business owners to take care of practical issues, such as purchase a mobile phone or organise an electronic payroll process, as well as looking at business growth and support.

“They will also be able to attend free seminars on a range of new developments and access specialists from across the spectrum for advice on the best investments for their business, with all offerings tailored for small and medium sized businesses,” says Trotman.

Boise Office Solutions, Telecom, NZ Couriers, Auckland University of Technology (AUT) and the New Zealand Herald are all major sponsors and exhibitors.

Trotman says the swift commitment of sponsors and exhibitors proves the concept is long overdue.

Three halls of exhibitors will cover marketing, telecommunications, computers, finance, transport, office products, education, property, compliance and support sectors.

The Microsoft Speaker Series, a key feature of the expo, features three days of speakers with expert advice on key business areas relating specifically to SMEs.

Keynote speaker Troy Hazard is a specialist in marketing strategy and business development for SMEs and the former Director of International Marketing of the Young Entrepreneurs’ Organisation (YEO). YEO is an international organisation for young entrepreneurs with businesses exceeding (US) $1 million in gross annual revenues and has more than 4,500 members in 20 countries.

Warwick Grey, Small Business Manager for Microsoft New Zealand, a major exhibitor, says the Expo is a great opportunity to be able to present complete IT solutions for SME business owners in a place where they can see the solutions in action.

“Surveys show 76 percent of small business owners have no way of managing contact with their customer, and many don’t know where to start,” says Grey.

Sarah Trotman, who has worked in small business development and economic development for the past five years and has herself been a business owner says the Business Expo is a three-day version of what her team is working to achieve permanently, through the development of a $28 million dollar dedicated business mall.

Trotman says Spring Group’s business model is to bring together service and product retail outlets, meeting and hosting facilities for business owners and like-minded entrepreneurs, training and mentor programmes and access to trade associations and support agencies.

“There are currently over one thousand trade associations, large corporates, business consultants, education providers, government initiatives and various media initiatives targeting small business owners who are bogged down in meeting the day to day operational requirements of their business. A one-stop business mall will bring it all together in a way that is practical for business owners.”

The opening of a permanent business mall may be up to two years off, but discussions with investors, property developers and potential tenants are all underway.

In the meantime business owners will have to be content checking out the Business Expo 2004 at the Auckland Showgrounds from Thursday 29 April – Saturday May 1, 2004 from 9am-6pm.

Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at the gate or online at

For more information, go to


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