Behind the scenes at Childcare Expo Manchester, from a visitor’s perspective

26th June 2018

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By Hayley Smith

As an annual visitor to the Childcare Expo in Manchester and an ambassador for the Childcare Expo events (and a generally nosey person), there was no way that I could turn down an opportunity to go behind the scenes for the set up of the recent 2018 event! I volunteered to work alongside the fantastic team at Broadway Events, who are responsible for bringing us the fabulous Expos on the Thursday and Friday of the event, and I will try and give you a small insight into those two days…

So I had booked two days holiday from my usual day job (in early years) and I turned up at EventCity on Thursday morning at 11am, wearing comfortable footwear as advised! I was immediately made to feel extremely welcome and was introduced to the team members as I was handed my high-visibility jacket and my ‘organiser’ badge!

I almost felt part of the team as I sat down for the briefing, but soon realised I was very much out of my depth as each person in the circle before me explained their vital role in organising this huge event. It was then my turn to introduce myself – my turn to explain my role in this team and what I was doing here – what was I doing here? What could I offer this well-oiled machine of event planners? I started to talk; describing my background in early years and the reasons why I visit the Expo each year, I explained my interest in how exhibitors are chosen and how the Expos are advertised. As I talked and watched the reactions of the other people in the circle, I realised why I was there – I am the target audience of the Childcare Expo, and as such I was able to give  opinions and perspective from a visitor’s point of view. As my anxiety faded, I settled into my role in the team and watched as the Childcare Expo which I am familiar with appeared around me.

On set-up day (Thursday) I had the opportunity to meet an array of efficient and knowledgeable individuals, from the organisers and exhibitors to the EventCity staff, who couldn’t be more accommodating. I began to feel the familiar energy and buzz of the Expo events as everyone busied themselves getting things set up, but still had time to exchange a smile or a helping hand where needed.

As Friday arrived, so did the visitors – I was still an ’organiser’ but was keen to mingle with the visitors and hear about what had attracted them to visit the Expo, and whether they had visited before. Everyone I approached was happy to chat to me, and their energy and positivity reminded me why I love being a part of the Early Years community.

I am proud to be a part of an exhibition which celebrates that community and encourages it to come together. I believe that we are all part of the Childcare Expo and we all combine to make them the great events that they are, so thank you to you all – to the organisers, the exhibitors, the venues and the visitors – keep up the good work!

If you would like to become a Brand Ambassador for Childcare Expo, please contact We can’t wait to hear from you!

Why attend Childcare Expo?

Join over 2,500 like-minded individuals from the early years sector who are dedicated to improving both practice and their childcare settings.

Attend educational seminars to credit your CPD

Meet the experts to have your questions answered

Receive fantastic onsite offers and discounts

Experience expert-led informative hands-on workshops

Network with peers and industry players

Pick up hundreds of new product ideas and services

And most of all, enjoy a great day out with your colleagues

100+ exhibitors | 1000s of industry players | 100s of experts