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Second-annual Northeast Mississippi EXPO 2000 slated for September

Networking, networking, networking

TUPELO — Recently, a purchasing agent for a north Mississippi manufacturer voiced concern about obtaining materials for her company.

“I’m ordering this stuff from Chicago, but I don’t know that I can’t get it in Meridian or Tupelo,” she said. “I’d love to support local businesses, and I probably could get a better price. I just don’t know.”

If its the goal of your company to market your products and expose your business to hundreds of executives, managers and community leaders, as well as purchasing agents, then the Northeast Mississippi EXPO 2000 is must-attend event.

Scheduled for Sept. 27-28, 2000, at the Tupelo Furniture Market, the 2000 version of the Northeast Mississippi EXPO marks the second year for the networking event.

“We looked at northeast Mississippi and saw a dynamic, unique area experiencing tremendous growth,” said Joe D. Jones, CPA, publisher of the Mississippi Business Journal, which is planning the event. “The annual Tupelo Furniture Market is a very successful event for furniture manufactures, and we thought the area was prime for a general business-to-business trade show.”

Linda Jacobs, MBJ’s director of special events, said she is looking forward to the second year of the Northeast Mississippi EXPO.

“We learned a lot from our inaugural show last year,” she said. “We plan on using last year’s experience as a firm foundation for the EXPO this year and following years. We’ve already added a number of events and activities over and beyond what was offered last year at the Northeast Mississippi EXPO.”

The event begins Sept. 27 at 7:30 a.m. at the Tupelo Furniture Market with the Salute to Business & Industry Kickoff Breakfast. The highlight of the event is the Salute to Business & Industry Awards, which honors small, medium and large commercial and industrial concerns for growth, as well as employee and community involvement.

Last year’s award winners were: The Oxford Eagle (small commercial); R.W. Reed Company (medium commercial); North Mississippi Medical Center (large commercial); Hawkeye Industry (small industrial); ABTco/A Louisiana Pacific Company (medium industrial); and Day-Brite/Capri/Omega (large industrial).

Immediately following the awards presentation ceremonies, a ribbon-cutting will be held at 9 a.m. at the entrance to the exhibition area. The doors open shortly thereafter.

Jacobs said she is expecting about 100 booths to be on hand, seeing hundreds of visitors, as well as networking opportunities afforded between exhibitors. Last year, a wide range of business and industry were represented, including employment and staffing, banking and finance, Internet service providers, trade associations, florists, higher education, media, health care, business machines and technology, government, hotels, printing, advertising and marketing, wholesalers, non-profits, telecommunications, tourism, insurance, manufacturing and publishing.

Admission is free and open to the public. The show runs until 5 p.m.

Immediately after the doors close, a Business After Hours networking function will begin and run through 7 p.m. Food will be provided by local restaurants, and entertainment by local musicians.

On Sept. 28, the EXPO’s hours are 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

Throughout both days, break-out seminars will be offered, as well as door prizes and other give-aways.

Exhibition booths are still available. A 10-foot by 10-foot booth is $400 if reserved before May 15, 2000, and $495 after that date. Additional booths are $450.

Sponsorships for both the Kickoff Breakfast and the EXPO are available. Interested parties should call Jacobs at (601) 364-1015 for information on sponsorships, booths and other general questions.

Contact MBJ staff writer Wally Northway at northway@msbusiness.com or (601) 364-1016.

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