In Profile: James Tribe, Get Connected Expos

James, who’s 45, lives in Bath with his wife and business partner Anne and their three children. He came to the city from Plymouth in 2006 when he set up the online referral and business directory The Best of Bath – a franchise – which still runs today.

What is GetConnected?

It’s a business, borne out of our experience of working with other companies over many years, to create high quality, events – particularly expos – to bring business people together to connect and start to build meaningful relationships. We focus on creating busy and vibrant occasions where every part of the experience is considered. We’ve started here in Bath but our vision will take us to other places across the South West.

What is that vision?

In a place like Bath it’s very easy to be inward looking and not consider the opportunities that may exist across the South West or the whole of the UK. Making those wider connections can seem unattainable.

The South West  is a very vibrant and interesting region of the UK with Bristol, Bath, Gloucestershire and Swindon within easy reach.

Being part of the business landscape of a region – as well as doing business in a town or city – will inevitably open more doors. A large part of our motivation is around having a regional view when it comes to business opportunity and engagement.

What makes your expos different to any other?

We choose an excellent location, we provide exhibitors and visitors with all the information they need to make an informed decision about being part of an event – prior to that event. On the day we will arrange the exhibition in ‘zones’ so that the digital and tech companies will be in one area or the ‘financial’, start-ups and larger companies will be in other areas and we also make this clear on the lanyards of exhibitors & visitors which sector they represent (so visitors do need to register for free tickets). So they might be ‘transport’ or ‘retail’ so it’s much easier to plan your visit, make introductions and set clear targets in terms of making contacts or meeting possible strategic partners.

When is your next large event in Bath?

It’s taking place on Friday March 16 2018 in the city at the Assembly Rooms and will run from 10am to 3pm with an informal networking and drinks event running from 3pm until around 4pm. Details are available from www.bathexpo.co.uk

What else will this expo offer to exhibitors and visitors?

There will be guest speakers on the day including the West of England mayor Tim Bowles, high quality seminars from providers including Google’s Digital Garage and there will also be speed networking opportunities run by the national business networking organisation 4Networking. We will have representation from our main sponsors WorldPay, Nat West and Datasharp – and we’re very grateful for their support.

Why Get Connected as a brand name?

I think we massively underestimate the value of networking and connections and where those relationships might lead in the future. It’s often about making a start and not expecting large sums of money to come your way instantly.

We were originally inspired by one story we heard from a business contact who was talking to us about the power of connections. As an electrical contractor he had chatted to a chartered surveyor at an event. Several days later the contractor passed a building with the surveyor’s board on it, and this motivated him to just get in touch. That led to a contract worth £100,000. It made us really understand the commercial value of building business relationships at events.

This story inspired us and in 2014 we hosted our first business expo in Bath which was a sell out and attracted almost 400 visitors in the space of four hours.

For more about the Bath & Bristol Get Connected Expos visit: www.getconnectedexpos.co.uk

Pictured above: James Tribe, GetConnected Expos and Best of Bath