B2B Expo Showcases Business Products, Offers Business Education
By Gary Kauffman
If you could get 500 people coming to your company in one day, would it help your business?
Most businesses would like that kind of exposure and Jessica Jones believes that is what the 2nd annual Business to Business (B2B) Expo at Savannah Rapids Pavilion on Oct. 19 will provide.
“It’s almost like having a second brick-and-mortar store and having 500 people walk through your door in one day,” said Jones, a sales representative for Buzz on Biz and coordinator of the B2B Expo.
But there’s more than just being able to display your services and products at the Expo – it is designed to help people with their business practices as well.
“Most of us spend 95 percent of our time working in our business instead of on our business,” said Buzz on Biz publisher Neil Gordon, who spearheaded last year’s inaugural B2B Expo. “For one day, consider doing something for yourself – and for those you represent at your company.”
The B2B Expo is a combination of information and vendor booths designed to help businesses be successful. With eight local experts speaking on a wide variety of business topics and 40-plus vendor booths and displays, there’s something to enhance any business.
“It’s good education all day long,” said Sheri Osburn, owner of CertaPro, who attended last year and will be back this year. “Every single one of last year’s speakers brought a lot to the table.”
The first B2B Expo was so successful that a new venue was needed this year. Last year’s event was held at The Foundry at Rae’s Creek, a charming location but a bit cramped for the number of people attending.
“Last year’s site was pretty,” said Amy Kilpatrick, founder of Nspired Networking. “But with the size of the event, and because it’ll probably grow every year, moving to a larger space was a no-brainer.”
Kilpatrick was a last-minute pinch-hitter as a speaker last year and was eager to return as a featured speaker this year.
“I do a lot of these events and they’re not always what you expect them to be,” she said. “But Neil and his team at Buzz did a great job with the variety of vendors and the format. Anytime you can have an eclectic mix of speakers and great attendance throughout the day, that’s an event worth putting on your calendar.”
Last year’s Expo featured 32 vendor booths, and Jones said there are already more than that signed up, with a goal of 50 booth spaces. Many are returning for a second year, but there are new vendors who attended last year and decided, based on what they experienced, that they wanted to have their business represented.
Robin Baxley, co-owner of Best Office Solutions, is one of those returning. She said last year was successful from both an educational and sales standpoint.
“We got the opportunity to educate a lot of business leaders in the area about some to our products and services,” she said. “And we sold several of our sit-and-stand desks to people who saw them there.”
They were also able to connect with another vendor, Premier Networx, to help with some of their own business needs.
Jones said that among the vendors, there are some who are using space as a mini-showroom to display their products.
“It’s not just all booths and signage,” she said.
The B2B Expo will also provide a unique twist on providing food. Jones said three or four local family-owned restaurants who offer catering will be set up to provide samples of what they offer. It provides both food for those attending and advertises their catering services to those who may not realize they provide it.
“What better way to get people to know about them than to try their food,” Jones said.
Eight speakers will make presentations during the daylong event, with topics ranging from how to resolve conflict in the workplace to creating a succession plan for exiting your business, from how to coach good employees into great employees to finding the right location for a business.
“It’s a wealth of knowledge in all things relating to running a business,” Jones said. “We’re encouraging people attending to bring a colleague, an employee, a client – anyone who can benefit from it. It’s great to get your sales reps in front of these people.”
Even the experts presenting the topics are looking forward to learning more.
“I’m looking forward to getting tips from my peers,” Kilpatrick said. “Everybody is always learning new things.”