When it comes to making business connections work, The Chamber of Gadsden & Etowah County has an arsenal of tools in their toolbox. The fourth annual GadsdenEtowah Business Expo is just one example, and it stands to take place on Tuesday, August 15, 2017 from 10 am to 4 pm at Gadsden Convention Hall.
“Most people think of business networking events filled with dark business suits and long keynote speeches,” said Heather Brothers New, president of The Chamber. “Those folks have never been to our expo.”
For one day, Gadsden Convention Hall will be filled with more than 70 chamber members with individual booths that showcase not only their products, but their personality.
“The beautiful thing about the expo is it really gives our members a chance to network with the general public and other business leaders and owners in a fun, dynamic way,” New said. The event boasts booths with contests and games that range from photo booths to activities that require electronic interaction.
“Our members really know how to show out when it comes to engaging the attendees,” she added. “Attendees are going to be able to sample amazing small bites from several of our area restaurants, take interesting selfies and use hashtags that could win them some great prizes, and even participate in a little dance contest each hour that will pay homage to the decades.”
In fact, the theme of the expo this year is Business Generations: Generating Your Business. Exhibitors are encouraged to decorate their booths to a decade theme and to tie their activities and giveaways to the concept.
“We have a really exciting activity planned for by our stage sponsor this year that we guarantee our area has never seen before,” said Suzy Jouben, who manages marketing and events at The Chamber. “While we would love to tell you exactly what that activity is, you’ll have to actually attend to see it for yourself. But I’ll give you a hint, it is one of the longest running game shows in television history,” she added.
New noted that although the event is designed to be highly interactive and entertaining it is important to note that it achieves its purpose in creating a large number of effective leads for both exhibitors and attendees.
“Our members report to us that they generate significant referrals with a high rate of closed business from this event,” New said. “In fact, we have a high rate of return exhibitors, and our booths sell out months in advance of the event each year.”
Jouben noted that this event is high-energy and is designed to promote the greatest level of connectivity. She added that exhibitors have received training in attendee engagement and how to maximize their referrals with post-event direct marketing.
“You won’t find tables and chairs for resting because exhibitors and attendees won’t be sitting down,” she said. “You’ll find a lot of movement, a lot of conversations and a high level of interactive activity. New business relationships will be forming all day, and that’s why we do this.
“We encourage our attendees to bring their business cards to share with exhibitors, each other and to use for entering contests,” she added.
Members of the Chamber can attend for free and the general public can attend for $5 per person to be paid at the door. Anyone interested in attending are encouraged to see a full list of all exhibitors, and set electronic reminders to attend by register to attend by visiting www.etowahchamber.org/businessexpo.