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Keeping Bishop's Stortford Means Business in the family


By Eleanor Scotchbrook


Bob Lee and daughter Gina Thomas in the auditorium at Rhodes Arts Complex Picture: Vikki Lince
Bob Lee and daughter Gina Thomas in the auditorium at Rhodes Arts Complex Picture: Vikki Lince

This year's Bishop's Stortford Means Business exhibition will be a family affair for organiser Robert Lee as he has enlisted the help of his daughter Gina to help make 2018's event the best yet.

Rhodes Arts Centre, Bishops Stortford. Bob Lee is being helped by daughter Gina Thomas organising Bishops Stortford Means Business. Pic: Vikki Lince
Rhodes Arts Centre, Bishops Stortford. Bob Lee is being helped by daughter Gina Thomas organising Bishops Stortford Means Business. Pic: Vikki Lince

With a career in events management, Gina, 38, will be using her expertise to ensure both exhibitors and visitors alike get the most out of the day.

The mum-of-two said: “There’s some amazing talent in Bishop’s Stortford; there are some fantastic companies who have a lot to offer but it’s not always easy for them to get themselves out there all of the time.

“For the exhibitors, this day provides a great opportunity to meet hundreds of potential customers face-to-face, while for the visitors they have the chance to see what’s available locally to them.

“If you’re considering setting up a business, looking for a new job, or have a business in the town looking for suppliers and contacts, there’s something for everyone and it’s well worth a visit. It’s free to come along on the day too.”

Rhodes Arts Centre, Bishops Stortford. Bob Lee is being helped by daughter Gina Thomas organising Bishops Stortford Means Business. Pic: Vikki Lince
Rhodes Arts Centre, Bishops Stortford. Bob Lee is being helped by daughter Gina Thomas organising Bishops Stortford Means Business. Pic: Vikki Lince

Gina, who lives in Stansted, landed her first job in events management after graduating from university and has since gone on to have a successful career predominantly in the charity sector.

Highlights include organising Marie Curie’s first-ever Nightrider event, which saw 400 cyclists cycle from the UK to Poland on five different routes and raised £1.4million for the national charity. Marking its 10th year in 2019, the event has attracted celebrity cyclists including Princess Eugenie, with some 14,000 people taking up the challenge to date.

“I love the buzz of planning an event, pulling it all together and then seeing the final result on the day,” said the former Herts and Essex High School student. “There’s nothing quite like event management - I love it.”

Now on board with BSMB, Gina is responsible for managing the bookings, website and social media for the exhibition as well as helping to plan the seminars.

BSMB logo
BSMB logo

Up-and-coming social media specialist Karl Swanepoel has already been confirmed as the headline speaker and will be delivering a talk on how to make social media work for you. Other speakers include Ian Hudson and Jim Tatchell, from The Experienced Individuals Ideas Exchange, who will be hosting a session entitled ‘What they don’t teach you at business school’.

In addition to the seminars and diverse range of exhibition stands representing a cross section of businesses, Gina said her favourite thing about BSMB is the networking opportunities and this year a speed networking session has been introduced.

“Exhibitors chatting to exhibitors, visitors meeting new and old contacts, past colleagues catching up - I love seeing everyone networking on the day,” she said.

Now in its 18th year, BSMB, taking place at the Rhodes Centre on October 17, has built a reputation for helping companies big and small get in front of the people who can help grow their businesses, and Gina hopes the event will continue to evolve to meet the needs of the business community so they can seize the opportunities available to them.

“We’re very lucky to live in an exciting and developing town,” she said. “It’s important for local firms to promote themselves and take advantage of all that’s available.

“We want to continue to share all that Bishop’s Stortford has to offer. Introducing the seminars will bring more people in on the day, and we want to continue that and grow on it.”

For full exhibition details, visit www.bsmb.co.uk.



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