The power of social media is at the heart of many relationships. Looking for a friend? Why of course, you turn to Facebook. Fancy looking for luuurrrve?? Try Bumble, or Tinder... But what about the sparks of a relationship in the events industry?

Well, one Friday afternoon, Sonny Cutting, founder of Network Xpress, was scrolling LinkedIn for some keynote speakers for his new event. The Sussex Business Show, hosted in Ardingly, West Sussex was soon to be launched and Sonny was on the lookout for some new talent. He was also looking for other expos to promote regionally, in Hampshire and Surrey, to see if anyone would be keen to partner up.

After all, the recent decimation of the events industry during Covid has taught us we are stronger together, that we all need to help each other and collaborate. Sonny started by emailing a friend who was running The Hampshire Business Show - Josh Mitchell.

The first event partnership came to fruition properly in January 2021; both Sonny and Josh had the same business goals and each wanted to grow their B2B shows. This exciting partnership went one step further with Sonny creating a brand-new event to showcase his services.

Sonny had, for a long time, wanted to get into Hampshire, Surrey and Kent as a region, but he didn't want to host a show, as running even one event for the Sussex region was enough. The logistics of running a single tradeshow and event takes a huge amount of time, effort and people power.

So Sonny approached business expo organiser, Paul Bridgland of the Surrey Business Expo. It took a simple introduction on LinkedIn to get the ball rolling, and that single intro led to Paul calling Sonny directly within a few days - he was keen to work together.

Few expo event organisers create partnerships, and previous failures in their respective local areas of Sussex and Hampshire meant Sonny and Josh were even more determined to make the collaboration a success. By looking at regional events, further afield, has opened doors for The Sussex Business Show and for the Hampshire Event as well.

Sonny met recently with the event organisers to brainstorm, and create a vision for this year and 2022. The partnership is already paying dividends with Sonny, Josh and Paul now in a mutual events partnership, all supporting, collaborating and growing each other’s event businesses.

Only time will tell how successful collaboration will be long term, but the beginning is looking incredibly promising. From small acorns oak trees can really grow.

For more information go to or call 01273 833 222

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