More than 2000 students from schools throughout the region from Wairoa in the north to Dannevirke in the south have been checking out the prospects for their working futures at the Hawke's Bay Careers Expo staged at the Pettigrew Green Arena during the past two days.
It had clearly hit the mark, exhibitors spoken to yesterday confirmed.
"This is our first time here and it has been really positive," principal tutor with Napier-based Premier Hairdressing Academy Debbie Paviour said.
"We've had about 250 of our forms filled out and there's still four hours to go," she said yesterday afternoon.
"We'll have to go and get some more."
As it was with many of the 72 stands, there was a constant stream of Year 12 and 13 students, boys and girls, stopping to check out and talk over a potential career.
"It's been really helpful," 16-year-old Brittany Miller from Taradale High School said.
"I'm looking at maybe a doctor as a career," she said she as spent time at the Hawke's Bay District Health Board's stand where she and friend Tanisha Blanch chatted with programming national co-ordinator for the DHB Chanelle DesLandes.
Tanisha said she was interested in a career in early childhood work. The EIT put on displays covering all its available courses, with the 2014 prospectus created especially for the event.
It proved popular and was snapped up by the hundreds of students who poured through the doors hour after hour.
EIT marketing director Brenda Chapman said the benefit of such an event was that young people could consider a wide range of career prospects under the one roof.
"They can talk to people and get their questions answered. They can try things out," Ms Chapman said. Like 16-year-old Angus Webb from Taradale High School who had the opportunity to pick up an electric guitar and run through a few sharp riffs accompanied by music lecturer Tom Pierard on drums.
"We've had some good kids come through. They see the guitar and decide to have a go in front of their mates," Mr Pierard said.
At the EIT's carpentry stand there was some fun accompanying the function as visiting students were invited to see how many accurate hammer blows it took to sink a 10cm nail into a chunk of timber.
There was laughter and groans of "oh durr" when nails were bent or missed, although one lad's calm but skilled four-blow effort resulted in a chorus of "choice".
He then stepped across to the nearby table and filled out an interest form for the EIT's trades departments.
East Coast Careers Expo Charitable Trust's Richard Edmunds said there were several new career stands this year, including agencies such as New Zealand Customs.
"There's also a stand featuring the petroleum industry and a lot of hands-on stuff this year," Mr Edmunds said.
All three Defence Force services were on site along with all of the country's major universities.
There was colour and diversity - everything from the hotel and tourism industry through to television and film, aviation, beauty therapy and media.
Mr Edmunds said the interest from Bay schools was such that a strict timetable had to be arranged to get them all through and to give them all plenty of time to take it all in.
"We have around 400 students on average in here at any one time," he said.