I don’t know about you, but for me one of the highlights of the end of 2021 was getting out and about amongst real, live people in a big room at the Halton and Warrington Business Fair at DCBL Stadium in Widnes. I even wore a dress…

So I am really pleased to catch up with Kathy and Tony Haines from Liverpool BA in this #HaltonHour Features interview to discover what they have planned for Halton and Warrington Business Fair 2022!

Liverpool BA orgainse B2B events in the Northwest, including Liverpool Business Fair, which is now in it’s 20th year. They also run Manchester Business Fair, Wirral and Chester Business Fair and, most importantly, #HaltonBizFair Halton and Warrington Business Fair.

Save the date for Halton and Warrington Business Fair – Thursday 10th November 2022. Book your tickets now at https://haltonhour.co.uk/go/HaltonBizFair and don’t forget you can get 10% off exhibition space with the code HH10

Photo of Kathy and Tony Haines with text overlay - #HaltonHour Features Kathy and Tony haines Liverpool BA

#HaltonHour Features Kathy and Tony Haines organisers of Halton and Warrington Business Fair

In this interview, I chat with Kathy and Tony about:

  • Liverpool BA
  • An overview of Halton and Warrington Business Fair
  • Tips for getting the most from exhibiting at #HaltonBizFair
  • What visitors can expect at Halton Business Fair
  • Juggling the hats of running a small business
  • Using social media for business
  • Running events after lockdown
  • Where to find Liverpool BA online
  • New free business promotion opportunity with Liverpool BA

Watch the Interview with Kathy and Tony Haines

Connect with Kathy and Tony Haines, Liverpool BA

Liverpool BA business fairs website: https://www.businessfairsuk.com/
Halton and Warrington Business Fair website: https://haltonbizfair.co.uk/
Liverpool BA Twitter: https://twitter.com/LiverpoolBA
Halton Biz Fair Twitter: https:/twitter.com/HaltonBizFair
Facebook: https://facebook.com/liverpoolba.fairs
Instagram: https://instagram.com/liverpoolba.fairs
Liverpool BA LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/liverpool-ba/
Kathy LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kathy-haines-lba1b717/
Tony LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/tony-haines-liverpoolba/

When Is Halton and Warrington Business Fair?

Halton and Warrington Business Fair takes place at DCBL Stadium in Widnes on Thursday 10th November 2022.
Book your tickets now at https://haltonhour.co.uk/go/HaltonBizFair and don’t forget you can get 10% off exhibition space with the code HH10

7 Tips for a Successful B2B Event from Halton and Warrington Business Fair

  1. Decide what you want to achieve on the day at the event. Be clear with your objectives and communicate them with the event organiser.
  2. Book your exhibition stand early to give the event organiser plenty of time to advertise your presence and support your event objectives.
  3. Take full advantage of the event promotion. Get involved and support the organiser’s social promotion and share with your audiences
  4. Do your own promo, let your customers and contacts know you will be exhibiting. Include the details of the B2B event in your newsletter, blog posts and social posts.
  5. Ensure you have the facilities/equipment you need for your stand before the event.
  6. Make the most of the networking opportunities on the day. Take your business cards and keep notes of who is interested in your products or services.
  7. Follow up!

#HaltonHour Features: Liverpool BA #HaltonBizFair Transcript

Transcribed  by otter.ai

Jan Kearney
Hi, it’s Jan Kearney at #HaltonHour and I’m here with another #HaltonHour Features. This time the interview is with Kathy and Tony Haines at Liverpool BA. Kathy and Tony organise business events and exhibitions all over the Northwest, particularly four main ones are Liverpool, Manchester, Wirral. And for us the most important one Halton Biz Fair coming up in November. So Kathy and Tony are going to tell us all about what happens at their business fairs. So please have a listen. And find out how you can get involved as well.

Jan Kearney
So good morning. Welcome to Halton hour. Kathie. And, Tony, would you like to introduce yourself who you are, what you do, who you do it for? Over to you?

Kathy Haines
Yeah, I’m Kathy Haines from Liverpool BA. And we organise business to business events across the Northwest. So we do the Halton and Warrington business fair in November. We also do the Liverpool business Fair, which we’ve been doing for 20 years now, which is every March at Liverpool Football Club. Greater Manchester business fair in July, and Wirral and Chester business fair in September, which is coming up in a few weeks.

Jan Kearney
I know the countdown is on, isn’t it for Wirral as we speak, it’s all go. So you mentioned that you’ve done Liverpool business fair for 20 years now. So it’s the plans to continue with. With that and expanding as you go along. Because you’ve mentioned you do Manchester and Wirral and Halton and Warrington as well. So it’s a plans to continue with expansion throughout the Northwest. Are you quite happy with the chaos and the planning and the madness of getting those fairs out every year?

Tony Haines
Well, we’re sort of we’re gonna concentrate on those four, across the Northwest for now until like, they’re like felt like our core events.

Jan Kearney
Yeah.

Tony Haines
Occasionally, we’ll we’ll add in the like, sort of small events, and sometimes a different events as well. So that just depends, but we’ll keep sort of those four events as our certainly as our core events that will sort of carry on every year.

Jan Kearney
So obviously, you’re doing Halton and Warrington business fair. And that’s coming up in November. And I’m made up to be having my lovely banner we’ll be there again this year. So how do people go about getting involved in that, but what’s going on on the day.

Kathy Haines
I will say the B2B exhibition, which is the main feature of the event. So we have about, normally around 45 companies exhibiting on the day. They’re all in the exhibition area showcasing their products and services. And then we also have workshops going on as well on on business topics, general business topics. And a networking session, which is hosted by Andy Guile at 1pm. So that’s just a chance for everybody to get together in a room and talk to each other about what they do.

Jan Kearney
So it’s good that Andy’s doing the networking again this year, so that it was really really interesting trying to tweet that and take photos while I was there last year. Yeah, getting to getting to grips with with my phone, the technology. So if people want to exibit this year, whether it be is Wirral still open for for people to get involved.

Tony Haines
And yeah, we’ll still be still got probably four or five spaces left, that we can still fit in. So we’re nearly sort of full for Wirral. Halton is like sort of a nice big venue. So we’re on about sort of 25 I think exhibitors at the moment, we normally get 40-45 So we’re fine for now. People can either contact us directly, but see by email so they can contact me Tony@Liverpoolba.com Or they can go onto the website. Haltonbizfair.co.uk. All of the details are on there and the schedule and how to sort of exhibit or to book your free tickets as well. So on that website,

Tony Haines
it’s brilliant. So for people who are coming along to exhibit on the day, what tips would you give them for getting the best out of the day?

Tony Haines
I think I I’m probably probably sort of book on as early as possible. Because that gives you it gives you the chance to do a couple of things. Firstly, sort of maybe give like some good thoughts as to what you want to achieve on the day that we’re going to do it. But certainly from our point of view, because there’s a lot of time to promote an exhibitors presence at the event. Like we do for social media. We’re quite strong on Twitter, and we use LinkedIn and Facebook. And basically, as soon as an exhibitor comes on board, first thing we do is we set up their own exhibitor page on the event website. So all exhibitors get their own individual page on the event website. So we set that up. And we also start to promote them then as well, on social media, with tweets and all sorts of other things. So yeah, having that stuff, that’s one of the things the earlier the better. Like have a bit of a think about what mainly you want to achieve from the event. And also let us know, something specific you want to achieve from the event because like sometimes, sometimes we can get, say a manufacturer thinking, Well, if we exhibited this, will we have the sort of the type of footfall that we’re looking for, you know, what will you really get that at the event? And the thing about coming on quite early, we can sort of do posts, promotions, which are geared towards attracting specific types of visitor, for a specific type of exhibitor. So it’s sort of like, you know, again, if that the earlier you come on board, the more the more facilities you’ve got, the more benefit you can get from from us promoting their presence.

Jan Kearney
And you do go quite full on with the promotion of your event, because I know when I’m on Twitter, mainly anyway, so you have that rolling really regularly anyway. But you’re also doing your email marketing as well, don’t you so that that comes across quite often. So how often do you send the emails out as well?

Tony Haines
Well, we we’ve got a database of roundabout 10,000 firms across the Northwest, and that there are people who have either exhibited at events in the past, or most of them are like people who have visited our events in the past. So it’s quite a warm, quite a warm database. We made sure we don’t flood it. So when we’re sort of getting what we might call the offseason, sort of like December, January, we might only be sending out an email once a fortnight. And then sort of like up to to like Wednesday, the week before an event, we might send out two emails in that week. So it’s sort of like, it’s sort of like it ebbs and flows in terms of the frequency with which we will send emails out. We keep in regular touch what we don’t try and force.

Jan Kearney
Yeah, yeah. But it’s pretty well promoted, isn’t it to make sure that you get some of the footfall that you require coming through?

Tony Haines
Yeah,

Jan Kearney
Yeah. So for those of us that are going along, or I say those of us I’m there anyway, because it’s a it’s a free event for people to go along and visit. So what’s going to be on for Halton and Warrington this year? What are the highlights? You said there’s workshops and demos and networking. But what are the highlights this year?

Tony Haines
What were they one of the one of the things is obviously, one of the main features is always the b2b exhibition. And we got good exhibitors, like sort of a good range of exhibitors. So you can get like, you can both sort of potentially get new suppliers from some of those exhibitors, you can also talk to someone about what type of business supports available. So like, say Halton chamber are there, and they’re active in the local area, make it based on like, they act as like an agent for quite a few different business support projects. So you can find out what’s going on, you can get involved. If you’re interested in sort of making sort of progress with with making your business more green, you can talk to exhibitors like Eco Northwest and green growth. So like there’s, there’s that side in terms of the exhibition, the other side of the day, in a way, it’s like you’re trying to get it’s like a free business support day. So we’ll have like some of the some of the sessions are designed to help you sort of grow or improve your business. So like we’ve got one on how to get the most out of LinkedIn. So that’s like one way, you know, you might be using LinkedIn a bit, but by going into that session, you can learn more about it and how to get more from it. We’ve got Andy Guile who’s sort of talking about sort of like the psychographic, psychometric profile of clients, the personality types and how that can affect how you promote and sell your business to people. Chris Roxburgh is there from my marketing guy, and he’s we’re just waiting for him to confirm, but he’s probably going to be doing one on how to get the balance of your marketing right you know, a lot of different types of marketing you can use these days, but what’s what might be best for you are best to use it and things like that. And obviously, there’s the formal networking sessions. And as the informal networkers, simply be in there on the day, speaking to people, you know, fellow visitors, exhibitors, so like, it’s the I mean, it’s, we, we try and make the events as like, interesting and as useful as possible for visitors. So like, we try to have a lot going on there that people can get benefit from.

Jan Kearney
I mean, it’s quite broad range, the types of businesses that you have there. I mean, it’s everything from the smaller businesses, right, the way up to the corporates, and the business support groups, isn’t it? Whether it be a Halton chamber or the government based type? People? Is there anyone in particular? Business Support wise, it’s going to be there. That’s that’s already confirmed.

Tony Haines
Yeah, as you say, this, this whole chamber,

Kathy Haines
this clean round with UK, Liverpool, John Moores University, and the Low Carbon, eco renovate Surrey eco Northwest. So they’re all about supporting businesses with green innovations. And green business growth is now we’ve got the in business ninjas. Tony mentioned that during the workshop, so they help businesses with their within LinkedIn, and Halton chamber

Tony Haines
Yep.

Kathy Haines
Andy Guile as well

Tony Haines
Yep.

Tony Haines
And the Chartered Management Institute, he sort of does a one to one with people on management issues, how to manage your business better, and how to sort of like improve yourself as a manager, things like that. So it’d be sort of thing, if you’re in if you’re running a business yourself, you know, like a lot of hats that you have to wear. And that other things out there that can help you one way or another, whether it’s the free sort of government backed initiative. So whether it’s just things that people do, as part of their business as well, for example, you might think, you know, I’m spending too much time on the phone, or I’m not spending enough time on the phone. Like, there are people who can do those things. Sometimes it makes sense for you to farm stuff out, to make to make better use of your own time. And so you can make more money. But uh, you know, it just depends, everyone’s different. And it’s worthwhile speaking for someone to see whether it’s the right time for you to do that.

Jan Kearney
I know, I was chatting to Naomi on a video call earlier, for a video for HaltonHour features. That was one of the things that came up was just the sheer number of hats that we wear, as small businesses and for her as a as a as a new start business. Yeah, with less than a year old. The transition for wearing all these hats is, is it’s quite, quite overwhelming. So which brings me sort of sideways into who wears what hat with a with a Tony Kathy who has which hat.

Tony Haines
We have about 20 hats that we can wear, I tend to juggle, and then we see which had the hat lands on tends to be what it is.

Jan Kearney
Yeah,

Tony Haines
We sort of like, I mean, basically, we have a lot of different things that we need to do. And we just share, share stuff out really something. So I’d say I’m probably a bit stronger on LinkedIn in terms of the amount of time spent on it, than Kathy, who spends much more time on Facebook and Instagram. We’re both on Twitter, some things Kathy will do just by ourselves some things I’ll do by myself. But yeah, as you say, just to like, just just have to get it all done. There’s only so many hours in a day stuff to do.

Jan Kearney
So, I mean, you’ve mentioned social media quite a quite a few times now. What What is your favourite platform? And why? From a business point of view, rather than a personal point of view.

Tony Haines
I mean, probably Twitter’s the one that allows you to most easily compose a message and get out there and, and sort of schedule it, you know, using things like TweetDeck. So I think that’s, that’s that’s like quite a good one. And certainly, you’ll do more. You use sort of Facebook and Instagram stuff more

Kathy Haines
I do Facebook and Instagram more but I think in terms of getting business messages out the type of messages we’re getting out. I think Twitter is. I would say Twitter was my favourite.

Jan Kearney
And that’s for business. I mean, probably quite Yeah, obvious. I do prefer Twitter myself. So hence #HaltonHour is back. But one of the things that I found quite interesting, shall we put it that way? Is the tone of the messages that you can put out and the response to the messages that you put out because Twitter gets lost really, really quickly in the feeds, doesn’t it? I mean, have you got any tips for… engagement is not that not the right term, because you don’t need people to like stuff, you do need people to get back in touch with you. So it doesn’t matter whether they like it really won’t. But what gives you the most? Yeah, the best quality of feedback a bit of a lead on social media. Is that something that you measure?

Tony Haines
It’s hard. I mean, I know you can’t measure these things. But sometimes it’s hard to measure them. I think what, what we the approach we tend to have is a lot of the stuff that we put out is informational rather than promotional. And then yet, mostly a blind spot. It’ll be things like what exhibitors actually do, and how to find out more. So we will just constantly be saying, Come to our next event with a link to our next event, we will also announce that, you know, a particular exhibitor does X Y, Z, and the link to their website, as well as maybe a link to the to the event website. So it’s it’s sort of like, I’d say, always avoid hard sell. Because I don’t think I think these days, I don’t think it really works. For us, but I think to like, you know, it’s like giving people information, things that they can look out for themselves, letting them draw their own conclusions. It’s sort of like, it’s like, sort of almost like sort of a gentle a gentle nudge rather than trying to sort of like, push someone through the door.

Jan Kearney
Yeah, yeah. So what’s your favourite part of the day? I mean, obviously, you’ve got this massive build up to the event itself. Is it a bit of an anticlimax once you get there? Or is this something that you you really, really enjoy? And you can’t wait to get back into it? And do do another one? Is it Do you have a favourite part of the day.

Tony Haines
And it’s quite funny, because like, when we were in lockdown, we couldn’t do an event for probably 18 months. And then we have the event organisers that we know, the event companies that we know, I think we’re probably one of the first ones to do an event again, last year. So basically, this time last year, we’re not just a business, that was our first event back. And even though it was quieter than it was normal, because people were just literally getting back. It was good to actually be doing an event again. And you could tell that people were really glad to be out. So like talking to all the people face to face. And I think one thing I think we noticed with our first events is possibly almost everybody stayed all day, you know, in terms of the visitors obviously extensive. So that was, that was quite good. And I think we probably enjoyed doing that event, more than we done ones just before the pandemic. Like, I think we should, like have an outbreak of the pandemic actually recharge our batteries, a bit sort of like made us enjoy events more. So I think sort of strange thing for us is, as you say, on the the day the business fair itself to a lot of people. That’s what their sort of main involvement is they come along on the day, and then they go away. For us obviously, that’s the combination like six months of of lead in. So for us, it’s good to get there and get the day. But yeah, we still enjoy it.

Kathy Haines
It’s good when you get good feedback as well. When people who visited say that it’s been really useful for them. They’ve been to a workshop that they’ve really enjoyed or when that when the exhibitors are really pleased. That’s that’s a good part of the day is

Tony Haines
Yeah.

Jan Kearney
I mean, you do seem to get quite a lot of repeat exhibitors coming back year after year after year when have some of them been with you since the beginning? Or does it change? Is there a flow?

Kathy Haines
It does flow, it does yeah. I wouldn’t say there’s any that has been with us since the beginning. Maybe John Moores University.

Tony Haines
Yeah, it’s so much before

Kathy Haines
Yeah, the universities and the different projects. But there’s almost been with us for 4, 5, 6 years now at least Yeah.

Jan Kearney
Yeah. I mean, I mean, it is it’s a testament isn’t it to the, to the success of the event if people are willing to, to go, you know, to go back and work with you. I mean, particularly after, I mean, I must admit, when I went to the Halton Biz Fair last year that, like you said, Tony, that the biggest thing was actually the face to face. I mean, I didn’t lock down I worked right the way through because obviously my job as a technical manager, the labs don’t close. So you’ve got to you’ve got to be in. I can’t have a lab in the kitchen. It doesn’t work quite work that way. And so I hadn’t locked down but even I was starting to feel the isolation and and for somebody that doesn’t do people very well, it was absolutely brilliant to see people coming in and stopping and having a chat and putting faces to the to the names as well. When you did Liverpool, earlier in the year, it was it was sort of change a bit have we got have we got back to normal? Are people still pleased to get out and out and about?

Tony Haines
Yeah, I think I think the back end of last year when we did because of the lockdown coming out of that, we ended up doing four events in 10 weeks, where we normally put 4 on in 12 months. So we take that moment, like late September to early November last year. And they were all a little bit overshadowed by by COVID in terms of a lot of people be wearing masks, there was sort of a do a lot of stuff quite a lot of like, caution about in terms of like you know, somebody be wearing gloves, there would be lots of hands sanitiser out and stuff. Once we started getting to Liverpool think in March, that was almost gone. I mean, it wasn’t just an unsafe environment, but just it wasn’t it wasn’t the same type of focus both in terms of from the venue and from like the business and exhibitors perspective. So I think I think from then I think things have largely got back to normal for us. And funnily enough, actually in in on the the Wirral exhibition in a couple of weeks, one of the exhibitors is connected to the local School of Tropical Medicine. And they’re running a support programme for any companies that are developing sort of products and techniques to combat sort of infectious diseases.

Jan Kearney
Right. I’m waiting for the next one to come along. But I’ll be there. Yeah. Sort of waited for it. I don’t think so. No, not me personally. Anyway. So yeah, I mean, it did surprise me actually, on the Halton and Warrington Fair last year, there was still few people walking around with masks, and I know, a couple of people I was a bit unsure. Do we shake hands don’t we shake? You know, I personally don’t have an issue with it. But other people still did. It. It was quite It was lovely to speak to people. But there was there was still that awkwardness or wasn’t there. So it’s really good to hear that that that’s we’ve got some sort of normality normality back. So before we start sort of winding down, so I’ve just clocked the time and it’s 25 minutes past. Is the how do people get hold of you? What’s the main the main platforms that you’re on and your websites up? Let us know that and I’ll make sure that the links are underneath the video on YouTube and on the website as well.

Kathy Haines
Yeah, our main website is businessfairsuk.com. All the event details are on there. And we’ve got a website for the Halton and Warrington event, which is a specific website, which is haltonbizfair.co.uk. And then we’re @LiverpoolBA.fairs on Facebook and Instagram, @Liverpoolba on Twitter. And

Tony Haines
HaltonBizFair is the individual Twitter for the event.

Jan Kearney
Fabulous. And you mentioned you’re on LinkedIn is that as individuals or do you have a company page for that?

Tony Haines
We have we have both actually we have Liverpool BA as company page. But me Tony Haines, obviously Kathy Kathy, Haines we’re both on LinkedIn as well.

Jan Kearney
Right, fabulous. And is there anything that particularly that you wanted to talk about, before we start to wrap up, have we missed anything?

Tony Haines
No, I mean, we’ll we’ll be sort of like adding in a couple of couple of other sessions over the next couple of weeks. So we’ll we’ll sort of send details through. And we’re also thinking of introducing our special visitor tickets, as well, where we will promote people for a couple of months at no charge. But the condition on it will be that they book using this ticket, but they actually come to the event. So they’d need to actually come to the event. And then we’ve activated me sort of give them a few months promotion. at no charge, you know, things like Twitter and things like that.

Jan Kearney
Yeah. Oh, fabulous. That’s a novel way of doing it, isn’t it? So? How? Because you’ve got several accounts on Twitter in How many followers do you have on on those? Do you know,

Tony Haines
altogether, probably about 10,000. is the main one @LiverpoolBA has got about 7000. A couple of 1000 on each of the other ones as well. Really?

Kathy Haines
Yeah.

Jan Kearney
Yeah. So it’s quite a significant sort of promotion, then, isn’t it? So go in that number of that number of accounts. That’s brilliant. Fabulous. So I think I think we’re done. Is there anything else you want to bring up?

Tony Haines
No, just looking forward to it now really,

Jan Kearney
is now I must admit, I’m looking forward to it. I might even wear a dress again. So. Well, thank you. Thank you so much for your time and for agreeing to do this. It’s been the eye opening and really interesting. Thank you very much. I’ll speak and I’ll see you in November.

Tony Haines
Right.

Kathy Haines
Yeah.

Jan Kearney
Okay, see you soon.

Transcribed  by otter.ai

Connect with Tony & Kathy Haines, Liverpool BA

Photo of Kathy and Tony Haines with contact details as text overlay
Twitter @haltonBizFair FB/Instagram @liverpoolba.fairs LinkedIn company url haltonbizfair.co.uk

Liverpool BA business fairs website: https://www.businessfairsuk.com/
Halton and Warrington Business Fair website: https://haltonbizfair.co.uk/
Liverpool BA Twitter: https://twitter.com/LiverpoolBA
Halton Biz Fair Twitter: https:/twitter.com/HaltonBizFair
Facebook: https://facebook.com/liverpoolba.fairs
Instagram: https://instagram.com/liverpoolba.fairs
Liverpool BA LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/liverpool-ba/
Kathy LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kathy-haines-lba1b717/
Tony LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/tony-haines-liverpoolba/

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Kathy and Tony are the founders of Liverpool BA. They organise B2B events around the North West including #HaltonBizFair every November

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