This year's business expo had a change of venue because the town halls were closed due to renovation. So this year the Hutt Valley business expo was moved to the Petone Working Men's Club in Udy Street. The new venue made a world of difference because visitors had access to the bars and cafes of the Working Men's Club. This made for a far more cozy and matey atmosphere than the cups of tea and homebake stalls offered in the horticultural hall at previous expos. I imagine nobody would complain if the expo stayed there, but if not, I shall see how the business expo for 2015 fares in the renovated town halls of Lower Hutt.
This year's expo featured some surprises. One was a stall where you can get your business trademarked. I have never seen this before. Another was for the cupcake shop down the road, and winners of the lucky draw could get cupcakes imprinted with their business logo. And it was a bit of a surprise to see the Hutt Library there as well. I think the one that would have been popular with the kids if there had been any was Balloon Biz, where you could get balloons with your business logo on them! Some of the businesses were very unusual, such as the one for Alternative Healing with Bioptron Light Therapy.
Other stalls featured land surveys, fitness gyms, Hutt News, Gee & Hickton Funeral Directors (yes, some of them did make you think a bit!), accountants, lawyers, office supplies, technology, banking, human resources and website solutions.
There were some new twists on the draws to win prizes. At several stalls you could throw darts to win prizes. This was the first time I have seen this at the business expo, and the first time I tried darts too. And one stall featured a prize that any rugby fan would die for - a rugby ball with all the autographs of the All Blacks!