Stalls at the 20th annual Hawke's Bay Today Careers Expo were overwhelmed by more than 2000 students over two days.

Organised by the East Coast Careers Expo Charitable Trust Incorporated, the annual expo gave the region's students a chance to consider career possibilities with providers from around New Zealand, including academia, trades and armed forces.

Hawke's Bay Today had been the event's naming sponsor for 15 years.

Expo co-ordinator Cindy Morgan said the event was all about students taking ownership of their direction. A total of 72 stalls had been constructed at the Pettigrew Green Arena in Napier this year, and more than 2000 students had visited over two days, Ms Morgan said.

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Massey University Hawke's Bay regional recruitment adviser Kerre Devonport-Ward said she was surprised by how busy the evening session for the public was this year.

"When we started [the expo] there were just a few students with a few parents but last night it was very busy and the providers were just delighted."

Ms Devonport-Ward said providers had been overwhelmed by the number of students this year, especially with the unexpected arrival of three busloads of unregistered Central Hawke's Bay students yesterday.

The expo also celebrated its 20th birthday this year. East Coast Careers Expo Charitable Trust's Richard Edmunds said 60,000 students from across the region had attended the expo since its inception 20 years ago. The trust had also given out almost 70 scholarships to deserving students since 2004. After the trust had paid its bills this year, any remaining money would go toward scholarships for first-year students in tertiary institutions or apprenticeships, Mr Edmunds said.