Chamber Chat - Business Showcase

Apr 23

By Meg Moss

The Sanford Area Growth Alliance Chamber of Commerce is proud to announce the upcoming Business Showcase. The Showcase is replacing what has been, for many years, known as the Small Business Expo. We received feedback from our members via our Small Business Advocacy Committee that it was time to change things up a bit.

A business expo, or in this case, the Business Showcase, provides an excellent networking opportunity, along with opportunities for learning. You'll meet new clients and customers, as well as fellow businesspeople with whom you could form strategic alliances. You may even find a mentor, or non-competing business owners you can learn from.

The Showcase will take place on Thursday, June 29th from 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm at the Dennis A. Wicker Civic Center. It is being billed as a Business to Business event, bringing together like-minded businesses who are wanting to grow their client base. We will be capping the number of vendors at fifty-seven, and encourage members to submit their registration early. There is “early bird” pricing for booths for Chamber members; $190 for a regular booth, or $290 for a large booth. Early bird pricing ends April 27th at 5:00 pm. Thereafter, booths for Chamber members are $210 for a regular booth, and $320 for a large booth. Non- members are able to participate in the Showcase as well, but prices are as follows: $420 for a regular booth, and $640 for a large booth.

Businesses can register by visiting our website at, or by emailing Morgan Barbour, the Growth Alliance Events Manager, at

Chron Online offers a few tips on how to make the most of your time at a Showcase. First, talk to people you don’t know! We often feel drawn to talk to people we've met before, and reconnecting with them may prove beneficial if you haven't spoken in some time. However, focus on talking to people you've never met. Look at the event map beforehand to determine where you might find these people, so that you walk in with a plan.

Secondly, schedule follow-up dates. When you meet people you wish to talk with further, plan to have lunch or coffee. Set a date, if you can do so without being too pushy. Otherwise, plan to discuss when to meet via phone or email. Eighty percent of business expo participants don't follow up with their connections, which works in your favor. Remember that actual business transactions may not take place at the Showcase itself, so it’s up to you as the business owner to do the follow up to turn that new relationship into a customer.

And third, keep notes to help you remember who you’ve met. When you sort through the pile of business cards you've collected after the show, you won't clearly remember many of the people you met. To jog your memory, jot down notes about each person on the business card when you receive it. Note whether the person is a strong business prospect. Writing a note on the card also shows the person that you are talking to that you're truly interested in what they have to say.

Beyond simply having a booth at the Showcase, businesses also have other marketing opportunities associated with the event. Sponsors will receive publicity on our local radio stations, recognition at Chamber events, and their company logo on our Showcase marketing materials. Marketing opportunities range from $500 - $1,500. There are also opportunities for businesses to be a beverage cart sponsor. For as little as $75, a business can have their logo printed on signage for one beverage cart for a thirty minute time block. To take advantage of these marketing opportunities, please call our office at 919-775-7341.

We look forward to seeing everyone at the Civic Center on June 29th – both vendors, and attendees!

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