The state’s premier marketing opportunity again takes over the Mississippi Trademart for the Mississippi Business & Technology EXPO 2007. The Wednesday and Thursday event marks the 24th year for the business extravaganza. The title sponsor for this special event of the Mississippi Business Journal is Comcast Business Class.
“From MBJ’s standpoint, EXPO provides an opportunity for us to participate in networking opportunities with exhibitors and attendees,” said publisher Joe D. Jones, who’s been involved with the event for over a decade. “We renew old acquaintances and make new friends every year. And, EXPO is different every year. We work hard to keep it fresh. It stretches our capabilities and tires our staff but it’s well worth it.”
Comcast’s regional director of business services, Doug Hodnett, says the company is involved with EXPO because of the type of people the event draws. “It brings in businesses and attendees from all over the state,” he said, “and we’re interested in playing a role, not just in Jackson, but all over the state. It’s a good fit for us.”
Although Comcast has been involved with EXPO for a number of years, this year marks its third as title sponsor. In addition to the title sponsorship and a company booth, Comcast also sponsors the Cyber Café where attendees have access to Internet services. Some 25 to 30 Comcast employees are participating in EXPO where most information they provide will center around commercial customers.
The MBJ’s Robbie Bell, vice president of business development, is pleased with Comcast’s title sponsorship.
“Three years ago, we were delighted to welcome Time Warner Business Class as the first title sponsor of EXPO,” she said. “The partnership has been very successful, seeing attendance grow from 3,500 to over 5,000. Comcast recently purchased this division of Time Warner, and we are happy to say that it’s been a seamless transition in our relationship. We appreciate their support and look forward to a long and successful venture with them.”
Ron Jones, general manager of the Mississippi Business Journal, says the EXPO has grown over the years he has been involved with it. “The growth has been in both booths and attendance,” he said.
He observes that exhibitors are doing more planning for the event and are having better displays and more marketing opportunities for their businesses.
“The EXPO is always the third week in January and the exhibitors and attendees tell me it is a great way to kick off the New Year from a marketing standpoint and to see what’s new in the marketplace,” Ron Jones said.
Hodnett is excited that Jackson is now the regional office for Comcast with markets in Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana and several other states. In Mississippi, the company has service in multiple markets providing operations for all size businesses. In all of those markets, they are beginning to offer multiple bundled services to businesses that include digital video on demand and wireless Internet with high-speed access. The regular commercial services office is also in Jackson providing support services for the Comcast sister areas in addition to technical and sales/customer service.
The big news is that Comcast is not just a cable company any more. It now provides home telephone service with unlimited long distance in Canada and the U.S.
“I feel very good about business in general and especially in Mississippi. We’re committed to grow,” he said. “We have several hundred employees and over 200 in the Jackson metro area alone.”
Comcast has a major focus in customer service, particularly developing and enhancing its resources in the handling of service calls. “We’re offering services not available before, such as power boost, and launching new services for businesses,” Hodnett said. “We’re expanding with record growth in all areas – traditional and new services.”
He says that growth is truly nationally and locally. The last three quarters have shown significant growth in video, high-speed Internet access and telephone service.
“When we acquired Time Warner in Jackson and Rankin County, we made a major commitment to Mississippi,” he added.
Comcast Business Class is the business-to-business arm of Comcast Cable, providing scalable and customizable broadband Internet, Wide Area Network connectivity and video solutions for companies of all sizes. The facilities include thousands of miles of fiber optic backbone within the Mississippi service area alone.
Comcast Cable is the nation’s largest provider of cable services and is expanding its cable operations to deliver state-of-the-art communications services for businesses.
The company’s vice president and general manager, Ronnie Colvin, is a native of Meridian and a second-generation Comcast leader. He recently assumed the position after the acquisition of Time Warner.
“As our company evolves, we will continue providing communications products and services that connect businesses as well as residential customers to what’s important,” Hodnett said. “Comcast provides outstanding service to small businesses, enterprises and and other public and private institutions throughout the nation that seek reliable data products from a trusted provider.”
Contact MBJ contributing Lynn Lofton at email@example.com.