At a glance
The Cumming-Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce Business Expo is set for 3 to 7 p.m. Aug. 4 at Pinecrest Academy, 955 Peachtree Parkway. The cost to set up a booth at the event is $350 for chamber members, $650 for non-chamber members, $450 for members of neighboring chambers of commerce and $150 for nonprofit organizations. The cost to attend the event is $5 for chamber members and $30 for nonmembers. For more information, call (770) 887-6461 or visit www.cummingforsythchamber.org.
In a few weeks, Forsyth County businesses can enjoy social networking the old-fashioned way -- face to face.
To date, more than 50 businesses have signed up for the fifth annual Cumming-Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce Business Expo on Aug. 4 at Pinecrest Academy.
Among them is Tents Tents Tents. Owner William Flynn said his company was supplying tables and chairs for the expo, so he decided to go ahead and register.
“All businesses use our items, so if we can help other businesses make more money by supplying them our items, then it works out for both of us,” he said. “It’s just getting the Tents Tents Tents name in as many people’s hands as possible.”
Jason Mock, the chamber's Small Business Services Center director, said this year’s expo will not have a guest speaker, nor will there will be speed networking as there was in 2009.
Rather, the event will return to the chamber’s core goal of connecting and promoting area businesses, he said.
“It’s a networking event to meet these businesses and so these exhibitors can give information on what they offer to clients,” he said.
Businesses wanting to participate have until July 23 to register, said Mock, who has seen interest in the event increase daily.
The slow economy appears to have a polarizing effect on participation, he said.
“I see some businesses holding out because of the economy, but I see other businesses saying this is a great chance to get out in the community and network,” Mock said.
“Businesses today, I think, are crunching the numbers a little longer and a little harder to make sure those dollars go the extra mile.”
The economy’s not slowing longtime participant Lanier Technical College, said spokesman Justin Bridges.
“We have two different customer bases," he said. "One would be our students, but the second just as important customer base is the employers that hire these students when they graduate.
“We’ve made some really good connections with employers who have taken an interest in our programs and we do a little recruiting at the same time for new students.”
Last year’s expo yielded about 100 vendors and more than 600 participants.
Mock said this year's event, sponsored by the Forsyth County News, is on track to be just as successful. It is open to businesses from all sectors.
“It helps everybody from the health care industry to educational to nonprofits and everything in between,” he said.