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New look, layout for annual business expo

POSTED: July 24, 2014 12:03 a.m.
FCN file photo/

Business representatives and potential customers mingle during the 2013 Cumming-Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce Small Business Expo. This year’s event will be from 1 to 6 p.m. Aug. 27 at the Lanier Technical College Forsyth Conference Center.

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CUMMING — There’s plenty of room for businesses both new and well-established at the 2014 Business Expo.

Presented annually by the Cumming-Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce and title sponsor the Forsyth County News, the expo offers something for every business owner, said Jason Mock, director of the chamber’s Small Business Services Center.

“If you are a new business or an old business, this is the perfect place for you to network among your peers in the community,” he said. “Especially if you have a new product or service that you’re trying to get out to the general public, this is a great time to showcase that.”

This year’s event, which is set for 1 to 6 p.m. Aug. 27 at the Lanier Technical College Forsyth Conference Center, offers room for 66 businesses to display information about themselves.

Mock said there will be a few changes to this year’s event.

“We listened to our vendors and our sponsors from years past and got some feedback from them and changed it up a little to allow for more open space,” he said.

“So what you’ll find when you attend this year’s expo is the center of the room will be kind of a lounge area so that people can relax a little bit, hang out and continue networking with one another without having to leave the expo floor and go out to the lobby.

“Hopefully, it will add a new dynamic to the expo that our vendors, our sponsors and our guests will appreciate and enjoy.”

Thanks to the new floor layout, some booths will be labeled “premium” due to their close proximity to the lounge area.

“That’s a little higher-dollar booth,” Mock said. “It’s $100 more than the regular price.”

Through Aug. 1, booths are available for $500 for a regular location and $600 for the premium area. After that, the price for any remaining booths will rise to $650 and $750, respectively.

Mock said last year’s Business Expo drew 63 vendors.

“So if we can get close to that number again, we’ll feel very good about the expo,” he said.

“We’re selling booths on a daily basis, but there’s still plenty of booth space available. I would love to sell out by [Aug. 1].”

Another change this year, Mock said, will be the elimination of a pre-expo luncheon with a featured speaker, which had been offered the past of couple of years.

“There won’t be any speakers, so it’ll be straight-up business-to-business networking from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.,” said Mock, adding that the event is open to the general public.

Each year, the expo typically draws hundreds of spectators from the community. At 4 p.m., Business Expo After Hours will begin and run the final two hours.

“That’s where some of our local restaurants will come out and we’ll have beer and wine for folks, so it should be a good time,” he said.

Mock hopes for a good turnout of businesses and the community.

“It’s a jam-packed full day of getting out and networking, talking with folks,” he said. “And it’s just a great opportunity if you own a business in this community and you’re looking to grow and expand your business. The expo gives you that platform to do it.”

 

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