Business expo ready to make connections

Posted May 16, 2011, at 9:13 p.m.

By Roxanne Moore Saucier

For The Weekly

BANGOR — Wondering how to build a brand? Want some guidance in navigating the challenges of running a business?

Seminars on these topics will be featured when more than 90 exhibitors fill the Bangor Civic Center 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday, May 24, for the annual Bangor Region Chamber of Commerce Business Expo.

It’s all about helping area companies and businesspeople make connections.

From banking, economic development and real estate to media, communications, education and employment services, the Business Expo will have it all.

The event took a break for a few years, explained BRCC Executive Director John Porter, who was eager to get it going again when he took over the reins of the Chamber last year. There’s no theme as such, and that’s by design.

“The real energy of it, the real theme ought to be regular businesses learning about one another and interacting,” Porter said. Already there are more exhibitors signed up than last year, with the expectation that the event will “sell out” its booth space this year.

The day starts with a breakfast reception, with seminars scheduled for 9:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.

Seminar participants are people who have a lot to share, including owners and managers of L.L. Bean, Black Dinah Chocolates, Mad Gabs body care, Bar Harbor Foods, Whitney Wreaths, B&D Fabrication and Shipyard Brewing Co.

Area restaurants will present a Tasters Showcase 3-5 p.m. There also will be speed networking events at 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., and a Networking Lounge throughout the day for those who want to take their time. The Geek Squad will offer assistance and advice all day in the Technology Learning Center.

Admission to the exhibition is free, and there is no charge for the seminars and networking events.

“I went to a lot of these events” in years as a business writer, said Porter, who has a definite philosophy about getting people to turn out for this special day. “If you charge people to go in,” attendance will be less.

“I said let’s not charge anybody” and the result last year proved his point. “We had more foot traffic in the lunch hour,” Porter said. “It’s a very good marketing event and also a decent consumer event. The key to success is the variety is really good.”

The variety he’s talking about includes travel, wellness and personal care, insurance and financial services, and even floral, paint, entertainment, retirement and “green” services.

For information on the Bangor Region Chamber of Commerce and its programs, and on the Business Expo, call 947-0307 or visit http://www.bangoregion.com.

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