Every year, the Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce gives our member businesses and organizations the opportunity to participate in a business expo. This year, the Expo will be held on June 28-29 at the former Food Lion building at the Village Oaks Shopping Center in Fairlawn.
On Thursday, the Business Reception will be from 5 – 8 p.m. This year the reception will be open to the public for a charge of $10 per person. Live music will be provided by Mark Nichols, CEO of LewisGale Hospital – Pulaski and the band Magic Moments. Food and beverages will be available from local eateries. Come out and enjoy the evening, view never before seen by the public models from Radford Arsenal, and get better acquainted with some of our premier area businesses, organizations, and attractions. TWO TICKETS TO THE GREENBRIER CLASSIC AND ALL THREE CONCERTS (TOBY KEITH, BON JOVI, AND ROD STEWART) WILL BE AUCTIONED OFF AT 7 P.M.
On Friday, Expo will again be open to the public from 3 – 7 p.m. The admission will be $2 or 3 cans of food per person. The Radford Arsenal models will continue to be on display and the opportunity to learn more about area businesses will continue. In addition, attendees will enjoy hearing former Delegate Benny Keister and friends tell stories about Fairlawn, and Claytor Lake State Park Rangers will give a nature talk. Winners of the coloring contest will be recognized, and more!
The organizations are there to get their message out to the community, so everyone is encouraged to come and learn more about all the wonderful things we have in the area.
If you are a business owner/manager reading this and are not participating in Expo, you might want to consider doing so next year. If you have signed up to participate this year, here are a few tips/reminders to help you take the fullest advantage of your investment of time and money:
*Set your goals in advance. Determine your target audience and how you will reach them. Make a list of the things you want to accomplish at/get out of the show. “What is the main thing that you want to share with visitors to your booth?” Answering this question will help you create a theme and design for your booth.
*Design your booth carefully. Not only should it be relevant to the purpose of your business, but you should present a consistent visual system. An interesting display or something out of the ordinary will attract visitors to your booth.
*Answer the question, “What promotional items really work?” Make sure that, regardless of what promotional item you have, that it is something that people will actually use. They should also support your theme. An eye clinic, for instance, could give away small eyeglass repair kits.
*Be present for the entire event. Don’t think you’ll just give it an hour or two and leave brochures in your booth.
*Don’t hang out with people you already know. Meet new people and greet everyone who comes by your booth as a prospective customer/client. You won’t accomplish this by talking with your friends the entire time.
*When people come by your booth, approach them without being overly aggressive. Engage passers-by in conversation, then they will be more likely to take a closer look at what you have to offer.
*Be selective about the literature you take. The visitors to your booth are likely to be overwhelmed if you have a large selection of brochures. Just take a very few pieces that emphasize the message you want to deliver about your business’s products/services.
*Take plenty of business cards. Not only might you need these for serious inquirers about your business, but you might want to trade business cards with some of the other vendors who could be of help to you in the future.
*Think how you’ll introduce yourself. Have a sentence or two ready to open a conversation with a stranger.
*Very soon after the event, make a prioritized list of contacts. Follow up with a letter, post card, or whatever you planned to do well in advance of the Expo.
HOPE TO SEE YOU AT THE EXPO ON THURSDAY AND FRIDAY!!!