arrow_back_ios Back View more articles
Neil Clough

Hundreds of businesses network, learn and listen at Expo

More than 600 local business people came together at the South West Business Expo at STEAM in Swindon yesterday (Thursday) to network, learn, and listen to a host of keynote speakers.

Neil Clough, star of TV’s The Apprentice, proved to be one of the hardest-working men at the show, book-ending the event with a presentation at Swindon Chamber of Commerce’s networking breakfast – the event that kick-started the show – and wrapping things up with a second presentation after lunch.

Down-to-earth Neil told delegates to learn from their failures. He said he was spurred on to enter The Apprentice after giving up on his dream of being a professional footballer after his father died.

And when he dramatically crashed out of the apprentice at the final hurdle, he was determined to make a success of the business idea that saw him lose the crown.

Sir Alan Sugar described him as ‘the right man with the wrong plan’ after presenting a flawed business plan for an online estate agency.

He refused to make changes to the plan – something he now admits could have led to him winning the competition – despite being given the opportunity to do so.

Neil has now changed the business plan and has launched, as well as running his sales training consultancy and treading the speaking circuit.

Other guest speakers included Excalibur director and LEP board member James Phipps, 4 Networking founder and motivational speaker Brad Burton, Jackie Chappell – British Rail’s first CEO and founder of The Ironing Lady – and business continuity manager Russell Cook.

The event also included a range of seminars and workshops on topics as diverse as LinkedIn, email marketing, cloud computing, sales training, branding, and dealing with Companies House, and speed-, slow- and ladies-networking.