WIGAN’S fifth annual business expo has been hailed a huge success.
Held yesterday at the DW Stadium, it’s estimated around 2,000 people turned up to network with the scores of companies who had stalls filling two floors.
The variety of businesses involved were vast in terms of style and also size while various local charities also used it as a chance to raise their profile.
The day was officially opened bright and early by Wigan Council chief executive Donna Hall and deputy leader Coun David Molyneux.
Firms who paid to be involved poured praise on the organisation and set up as they gained plenty business.
Coun Molyneux said: “Each year it just gets bigger and bigger.
“We’ve been really tight for space, I was looking where were we could set up on the pitch at one point! We’ve had business interest from as far away as Pakistan, it’s really grown since our first one four years ago.
“It goes from strength to strength and promotes Wigan as a great place to do business. We have so many people returning from previous years which just shows the success.”
One such firm is IT service specialist Willow Starcom.
This year’s expo was its third appearance and Daniel Jolley from the company says it gets more impressive each time.
“We’ve been established for 24 years now but only moved to Wigan three years ago from Coppull,” he said.
“It was a great move for us because we’ve enjoyed brilliant business as a result. We now work with Wigan Athletic, Wigan Warriors and Shearings amongst many others.
“The expo has been brilliant for us, it’s been great for brand awareness and for other businesses to know who we are.
“It just seems to get better every year and we’ll certainly be back next year too.”
One of the local charities present was Joseph’s Goal which had managed to generate thousands of pounds from last year’s event.
Representatives were part of Wigan Athletic’s stall then but had so much interest that they were standing on their own yesterday. “We’ve had plenty of interest,” said trustee Norman Kendrick.
“Different companies have been coming up to us asking how to get involved and local people have remembered Joe from the FA Cup final when he was mascot.
“A lot have said they will go and talk to their colleagues about how to get involved.
“Last year we had a company called Taskmaster who ended up sponsoring our charity ball so it’s a fantastic way for us to network and spread awareness which is vital to us.”