Local chambers often offer opportunities for residents to meet and benefit from local business. One example of this type of event would be a Business-to-Consumer Expo.
At an expo, exhibitor tables are filled by local businesses. Displays include information about products offered by the business, a slideshow of photos or maybe the chance to drop an entry to win an item or service. Branded table covering and unique signage attract attention. Promotional items – ranging from coffee mugs, tote bags or pens to koozies, nail files or tape measures – branded with company name and colors, fill the room.
It could be said that an expo like this is a win-win situation for the exhibitors as well as the attendees. Exhibitors benefit from the increased visibility and possibly even sales of items offered at their tables. The event gives them a face-to-face meeting with prospective customers that, in these times, is sometimes hard to come by.
Attendees to the expo meet local businesses, sometimes recognizing the faces behind the registers or the “voice” of that business. Receiving cute promo items, as well as the chance to win a Grand Prize Giveaway, is the icing on the cake. It may be a free massage, a free carpet cleaning or a box of Fannie Mae chocolates – winning is the best!
Taking it a step further, local guests may opt to receive further communications in the form of email or text messages. Some offers may include a trip to the brick and mortar store or office to receive the giveaway, thus raising the visibility to the actual location of the company.
As a chamber, we hold three expos each year. One is the Five Star Business and Health Expo in February at Medinah Shrine Center. In March, the CELEBRATE: Bridal and Special Event Expo focuses on the party. Whether it’s a wedding, prom, quinceañera or anniversary, the exhibitors address the celebration element, and DJs, travel agents, jewelry displays and more fill the booth spaces.
A popular event is the “What Women Want” Expo held Sept. 26 at the Holiday Inn. If I told you it’s all about chocolate, shopping, pampering and inspiration, does that entice you? Exhibitors fill the aisles with shopping opportunities, pink items or bling – and there is always chocolate. In its eighth year, the Pink Expo is a “pink” event that gives a portion of its proceeds to Breast Cancer Awareness. Survivors are celebrated, and the atmosphere is a very positive one.
Searching out your local business expo can create a stronger bond within a community as both business owners and Joan Q. Resident come out happy winners.
Luanne Triolo Newman is the executive director of the Carol Stream Chamber of Commerce.