BANGOR, Maine — Seminars, social media marketing tips — and free food — will be available at the Bangor Civic Center, which the Bangor Region Chamber of Commerce will turn into an exhibition hall on Thursday.
One of the highlights of the Bangor Business Expo is the Taster Showcase from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. It will feature free samples from at least 13 local merchants including Ann Marie’s Kitchen, Bangor Wine and Cheese, Frank’s Bakery, Geaghan’s Pub, Governor’s, Maine Traveling Chef, Miguel’s, Moe’s Original Bar-B-Que, Oriental Jade, Specialty Sweets, Stone Fox Farm Creamery, Tim Hortons and Winterport Winery.
The Expo, which runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., will feature exhibits and presentations by 100 Bangor-area businesses and organizations.
Attendees can register for a $3,000 door prize and sit in on free sessions offered by social media marketing expert Rich Brooks, owner of Flyte New Media of Portland.
Brooks is a nationally recognized speaker specializing in entrepreneurship, Internet marketing and social media.
“I was there a few months ago teaching social media to farmers,” Brooks said.
In the first session on Thursday, Brooks will teach people how to build a business with social media. In the second session, he will talk about how to convert social media into marketing and turn things such as Facebook “likes” into actual customers and leads.
“I have two presentations: First is really kind of an introduction targeting people who don’t have social media presence or a very bare-bones one,” said Brooks, who has more than 9,000 Twitter followers.
The first presentation starts at 9 a.m. and the second starts at 10 a.m.
“The thing is I know the people in Bangor are already doing great stuff, but I know there are still a lot of people who don’t know how to get started,” Brooks said. “For example, a lot of people have Facebook, but they don’t know how to maximize its effectiveness beyond getting friends or getting liked. I’m going to walk them through that process.”
Brooks said a lot has changed in the industry in the 15 years since he started Flyte New Media.
“Especially lately, I have seen a trend toward more businesses seeing social networking and media as a necessary part or requirement of their business rather than a novelty,” he said.