Black History Month – Spotlight on the UK Black Business Show 2019
Posted on 27 September 2019
It is the time of year again when we celebrate Black History Month between the 1st and 31st October. Fittingly, the UK Black Business Show 2019 takes place during this time, giving us the chance to celebrate the best black creatives, innovators and entrepreneurs as we also honour those who went before.
Afrotouch Design will be exhibiting at the UK Black Business Show for the second year in a row and I could not be any more excited. You can come and find out more about our African inspired cards, pouches, notepads, mugs and gift wrap. Last year I exhibited under the previous name of Special Touch Design and I can’t wait to give attendees an insight into the business rebrand under the new Afrotouch Design name. I took along some new mug designs that proved a real hit in 2018 and you will have to pop by my stall this time to find out what the big buzz will be about in 2019 and beyond.
What is the UK Black Business Show?
The UK Black Business Show is an annual event held at QEII Centre in London. Organisers expect 2,000 people to attend and browse the stalls of 100 exhibitors on Saturday 5th October. In addition to the exhibitions, you can network and take part in workshops and interactive panel discussions as well as listening to industry leaders discuss the important topics of the day in a series of seminars.
The idea behind the show is to connect black business owners and black professionals from a whole spectrum of different industries. Organisers aim to help the personal, professional and corporate development of those who attend, encouraging the exchange of skills and advice.
It is also a platform for discussing how best to help the development of ethnic minorities within the country and inspiring more people from the community to make a positive and visible impact on society in general.
Events run on the day between 9am and 6pm. Some of the speakers you will hear from include consumer brand marketing expert Kubi Springer, barber to the stars Mark Maciver (aka SliderCuts) and CEO of Treasure Tress, Jamelia Donaldson.
Why Exhibit at the UK Black Business Show?
I know first hand the benefits of exhibiting at the UK Black Business Show. Last year was a fantastic experience that really put my brand in front of a wide range of new eyes. With 2,000 potential customers milling around, the visibility it gives you is invaluable.
I made some fantastic contacts with those who visited my exhibit. Simply taking the time to discuss your business with as many people as possible is so beneficial and you will have ample opportunity here. If you want to put your business or product in front of industry experts, this is the place to be.
You could meet your next mentor or simply hook up with like-minded black business people with whom you can collaborate, use as a sounding board or swap advice with. Expanding your network is always a good idea, as you can call on the experiences of your peers who will have had to tackle every hurdle a small business can face between them. Just as you can offer others words of wisdom based on the trials you have been through, so you can seek out the people you meet at the show for their counsel when you need help in the future.
Last year I met Chloe Jessamy from Supportal Services at the show and that sparked a working relationship that is going strong 12 months on. Chloe provides virtual services that I can outsource when needed, such as managing my blog, freeing me up to concentrate on spreading the word about Afrotouch Design business. She understood the pain points I suffered as a small business owner and could offer solutions. These are the sorts of connections you can make when you exhibit at the UK Black Business Show.
Booking a space at the UK Black Business Show also helps you really focus on positioning your brand. You have one day to capture the attention of the cream of the black business world so it compels you to hone that perfect pitch, your USP and the angle you want to take.
Why Buy From Black Businesses?
It is a great idea to buy from black businesses because you are supporting those who are trying to fill a gap in the market. As I found when I tried to buy a suitable card for a friend who had just had a baby, there was no one catering for consumers who wanted something that reflected African heritage. We shouldn’t accept second best, making do with what there is available; we need to go out there and create the products that are missing from the shelves.
That is what I did with Afrotouch Design and what hundreds and thousands of other black business owners have done too. If we, as black consumers, are not valued by the companies already out there, then we should tap into that market ourselves. And, when entrepreneurs do this, they deserve our support. They value us and our needs, so we need to repay that by making an effort to buy from black businesses.
Coming to the UK Black Business Show?
Are you coming to the UK Black Business Show? It is the perfect way to mark Black History Month by taking stock of where we are and where we can be if we work together. Come and say hello and find out more about Afrotouch Design. I’d love to learn more about your business too!