“Business After Hours,” the premier networking event for the Mississippi Business & Technology EXPO, kicks off Jan. 13 at the Mississippi Trade Mart. There is no charge for the event; attendees need only bring two business cards to get in the door. The floor will remain open throughout the event and exhibitors will be able to remain in their booths to interact with visitors.
“We had more than 1,500 in attendance last year,” said MBJ account executive Ashley Varnes. “The EXPO event is bringing companies to Jackson from all over the state, and After Hours will give everyone a chance to relax and get to know each other and their products that much better.”
Mangia Bene Catering will be back again to provide hors d’heourves and beverages. The popular catering service has been in operation since 1994 and is operated by renowned Jackson restaurateur Jeff Good, co-owner of the Bravo!, Broad Street and Sal & Mookies restaurants of Jackson. “With three of the metro area’s top restaurants backing us, Mangia Bene Catering is the premiere choice for catering in Central Mississippi,” said caterer Aven Whittington. “From presidential dinners to the Mistletoe (Marketplace) Preview Party, we really can do it all.”
“We are honored to once again cater this year’s EXPO,” said Whittington. “Business After Hours is where we really get to have fun. Expect surprises and favorites from BRAVO!, Broad Street, and Sal and Mookie’s. We’ll see you at EXPO.”
EXPO is also pleased to welcome back the talented music group “The Chill.” The Vicksburg act, whose first appearance was at the 1984 World’s Fair in New Orleans, boasts an eclectic soundtrack from classic rock to Motown to special variety dance music, everything from Frank Sinatra to the Eagles. “We had the Chill headline After Hours last year and they brought the house down,” said Varnes. “They stay booked year-round and we’re lucky to have them back.” The group’s website says that individual members have performed with such national acts as B.J. Thomas, The Monkees and Smokey Robinson.
Business After Hours will be open at EXPO from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Door prizes will also be offered including a cruise for two provided by McGehee Travel and Cruise of Jackson.
MBJ account executive Virginia Hodges said, “Business after Hours is an event that I look forward to every year — not only for the great music and food but the chance to network with other business professionals that you don’t get a chance to see but once a year. In this busy age of e-mails and texting, it is so great to see clients and colleagues in a relaxed environment and catch up on their lives and business. The other great advantage to Business After Hours is that you meet new business men and women from all over the state and you get to network with them. You never know who you will see at Business After Hours, but you know it is going to be a fun event.”