Monday, April 15, 2013

VAN WERT - The Van Wert Business Expo is expanding this year. The event, which is slated for May 16, will be not only an event for businesses to reach out to other businesses, but also to share with the general public.
"We have tweaked it to kind of combine two events into one," explained Van Wert Area Chamber of Commerce President/CEO Susan Munroe. "The first event would be a business-to-business expo, where businesses will have the opportunity to reach out toward one another and network, as well as take part in a workshop together. Then with the second event, they will have the opportunity not only to reach out to other businesses, but to reach out to the public with the Taste of Van Wert County from 5-7 on the evening of May 16. So they'll be able to have the business-to-business time as well as be able to reach out to consumers."
One other big change this year for the expo is the location. The event will be held at the Van Wert Elks Lodge Banquet Hall. Munroe shared that she was listening to suggestions after last year's expo about shortening the hours for exhibitors and a different type of location.
“We’ve moved this event to a newer, more corporate venue," explained Munroe. "This facility is centrally located in Van Wert, air conditioned, has ample parking, and attendees can purchase beverages from 5-7 p.m. during the Expo and Taste of Van Wert County while browsing the business exhibits.”
The Business-to-Business Expo will be conducted from 3-5 p.m., again giving those participating vendors an opportunity to network with other exhibitors.
"More than 85 percent of those participating last year expressed that they generated their leads and/or sales by being at the Business-to-Business Expo last year," Munroe stated.
At 5 p.m. the doors will open to the public. There will be no admission charge, and visitors will be able to sample free appetizers and sweets from several local establishments and access the cash bar while browsing the business booths.
Munroe commented that exhibitors will have a chance to reach key customers, business executives, and management, along with the community at large. She went on to note that booth space is limited, so businesses considering taking part should register for the event as soon as possible. And promotion through various media will assure quality event traffic to get a look at each business. Exhibitors will also be featured in the event exhibitor guide.
“This event combines the best of both worlds,” she added.
Booth space includes free wi-fi, an exhibitor guide listing, a six-foot display with table cloth and skirting, and up to two box lunches. Chamber members can register to exhibit for $125. The non-member rate is $225. Food vendors may exhibit free in exchange for providing appetizers or desserts to visitors at the event. to reserve a space or to get more information, contact the chamber at (419) 238-4390 or email Businesses can also register on line at
Gold Sponsors for this event include the Kenn-Feld Group, K&L Ready Mix, Koorsen Fire & Security, Vantage Career Center, Van Wert Manor and the Van Wert Elks Lodge #1197.
The expo will be held Thursday, May 16 from 3-7 p.m. at Elks Lodge 1197 at 1 Elks Rd., just off Van Wert-Decatur Rd.

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