GALLERY: Full house brings success for charity and businesses at EXPO 23 in Skegness
Dave Holt of Bingo Supermarket in Skegness was displaying the latest digital technology bringing a popular seaside tradition to the big screen.
There was no ‘knock at the door’ from a person picking ping-pong balls to slow down the proceedings – and yet the ‘full house’ staring at me seemed somehow unbelievable.
Had I actually won? Another member of the audience cried out ‘full house’ so I jumped in too. Yes, I had won – and my share of the prize meant £25 was on it’s way to my chosen charity, the Skegness RNLI.
Expo 23 opened at Southview Holiday Park last Wednesday having moved from the Richmond Holiday Park, which is now under new ownership and being refurbished.
For more than 36 years the show, then known as Caterex and held over two days, was organised by Skegness, East Coast and Wolds Hospitality Centre (SECWHA).
It became widely known as a one-stop shop for anyone in the catering industry, attracting exhibitors from across the region.
However, with the demise of SECWHA, the event has now been taken over by the Chamber.
As well as a 29 stands offering a variety of services and goods for the hospitality industry, a number of seminars took place where visitors learnt more about the major developments planned for the town, including those at the Skegness Gateway, the Railway Station, shopfront grants and the Learning Campus/ College.
The whole day was an opportunity for business to catch up with traders with whom they do business and make new acquaintances.
Bob Walker, chairman of the Skegness area Business Chamber, said: “We put the bingo in as a bit of fun held between the seminars which is all part of the new format of the show.
"The event has new organisers and a new venue and there is a lot to be excited about.
"It’s been a tough few years because of Covid and whatever and now we have the cost of living crisis, but talking to the exhibitors the feeling is good – they are looking forward to a good year.
"We are pleased with the turnout and stands tell me they have done some business, which is what it is all about.”
Martin Brown, director of Natterjack Creative in Skegness, was there to promote the Visit the Seaside discount voucher brochure.
By Easter 100,000 copies will be distributed within the Lincolnshire coast’s hospitality industry as well as at venues such as the Hildreds Centre in Skegness.
"It’s now our 23rd year of producing this booklet and we expect by the time it goes to print there will be 76 pages full of offers from businesses and attractions,” he said.
"There is a very good feel about the coming season and a lot happening.”
That was also the message from Chris Baron, Chair of the Connected Coast Board. who presented the seminar on the Town Fund projects.
He said: "There is now £100 million investment in the coast and a few years ago you could never have expected this.”