EXPO marks 30-year milestone

by Lisa Monti

Published: March 29,2013

Tags: EXPO, Lisa Monti, Mississippi Business Journal

The 2013 Mississippi Business and Technology EXPO, the state’s largest business-to-business networking event, will mark its 30th anniversary milestone April 4 at the Trade Mart Building in Jackson.

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Thousands of attendees are expected to take in more than 100 exhibits, attend free seminars and take part in several special events throughout the day.

The EXPO is presented by longtime sponsor Comcast Business Class and is a special project of the Mississippi Business Journal. The event is open to the public and general admission is free with a business card.

“This is the only business-to-business networking event in Mississippi,” said Tami Jones, Mississippi Business Journal’s advertising director. “It’s not to be confused with a job fair.” Exhibitors introduce themselves to the attendees and to each other, she said. “Whether you’re an entrepreneur, a sole proprietor or CEO, this is one event you want to attend.”

The day kicks off at 8:30 a.m. with the 50 Women Alumni Breakfast, the first reunion of the state’s top women leaders who have been honored by the Mississippi Business Journal each year since 1997.

“It’s the first time we’ve invited all the women to come back and network,” said Jones. “Tons of women have been asking for a reunion as a way for them to get together from all over the state. The word is getting out about it and we’re very optimistic about the alumni breakfast turnout.”

After the breakfast, there will be a ribbon cutting and champagne toast to open up 30th anniversary EXPO.

The exhibits will open and remain available all day. Also throughout the day, Hinds Community College’s Eagle Ridge Conference Center will offer free seminars by professional trainers on topics such as customer service and marketing strategies.

Attendees will see the red carpet “activity aisle” placed down the center of the Trade Mart. From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., EXPO-goers will find a variety of health and wellness offerings, plus a photo booth and caricatures by Ricky Nobile.

The Cyber Cafe, sponsored by Comcast Business Class, also will be open throughout the EXPO.

The Top 40 Under 40 luncheon will begin at noon. It is sponsored by BancorpSouth and LUBA Workers’ Comp and has been honoring young business leaders since 1993.

“Of all the events, this is the one that doesn’t lack nominations,” said Jones. “The award carries a lot of clout.” She expects about 400 people to attend the luncheon this year. Afterwards, the crowd takes in the Business and Technology EXPO and visits the exhibits.

At 5 p.m. the red carpet activity aisle is transformed into a networking party for the EXPO’s Business After Hours, featuring fabulous food plus entertainment by Chris Gill and the Sole Shakers.

Attendees will get to taste delicious bites from about a dozen restaurants and caterers who are vying for prizes. Judges will select winners in the food and visual presentation categories.

Attendees also can enter a drawing for chance to win a cruise with a business card. Business After Hours winds down around 7:30 p.m.

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