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Companies utilizing EXPO 2000 opportunity to promote current projects or community activities

Free seminars, nonstop networking, innovative products

Leland Speed, chairman of EastGroup Properties in Jackson, is on tap to kick off the Mississippi Business EXPO on Thursday, Jan. 12, a

two-day extravaganza at the Mississippi Trademart that will include free seminars, nonstop networking and innovative product and service


“Mississippi Business EXPO is in its 17th year, and each year it gets bigger and better,” said Linda Jacobs, special events director for the

Mississippi Business Journal. “The secret to making it a success is to have repeat exhibitors. Eighty-five percent of our exhibitors are previous

year’s exhibitors and are experienced in trade shows. Our exhibitors are trained in showcasing their products and services to a wide variety of


Some companies utilize the EXPO format to promote current projects or community activities.

“We’re doing it not only to promote our products and services, but also to promote business activities in the community,” said Bobby Burks,

president of the Jackson division of BancorpSouth. “We’re involved in what goes on in the area, and we support all of the aspects that are related

to business.”

EXPO attendees will get a first glimpse of BancorpSouth’s new business service, which will be unveiled at the EXPO, Burks said.

“The EXPO provides a great opportunity to exhibit our wares with people that attend,” he said. “Our new business service, which will debut at

the EXPO, is the result of polling local business people and packaging services into one product. We’re very excited about it.”

Tickets for the Salute to Business & Industry Kick-off Breakfast on Jan. 12, with Speed as the keynote speaker, are $25 each; a table of eight is


About 300 early birds are expected at the breakfast, which begins at 7:30 a.m. and is hosted by Trustmark National Bank and Newschannel 12.

The ribbon cutting to open the EXPO will take place at 9 a.m.

A luncheon honoring Mississippi’s leading young professionals, MBJ’s Top 40 Under 40, and sponsored by AT&T, GodwinGroup and SunCom,

will feature Gov. Ronnie Musgrove as keynote speaker. Tickets are $30; about 400 people are expected to attend.

Marshall Magee, president and general manager of WTYX-FM/Arrow 94.7, said participation in the annual EXPO allows the radio stations to

“be around the cutting edge advancements of the businesses represented at the EXPO.”

“We have the opportunity to let some of these businesses talk to potential customers with the live on-location broadcasts we do from the EXPO,”

Magee said. “Arrow 94.7 and WVIV get to present visuals and audio of what we’re up to…and it’s a great place to see all of our old business

friends and make new ones in a very positive atmosphere.”

The MetroJackson Chamber of Commerce will host a jazzy Business After Hours from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. with participation from several local

restaurants, including My Favorite Spaghetti, Primo’s, Dennery’s and Penn’s.

Julie Bennett, division public relations manager for CenturyTel, said the effectiveness of participating in the EXPO proved highly successful last


“We met our goals and objectives as an exhibitor,” Bennett said. “As a result, we maintain our booth space and location from year to year.

Because of our success as an exhibitor and minor sponsor with past EXPOs, CenturyTel chose to provide greater sponsorship this year with the

introduction of a new event by the MBJ, Mississippi’s Leading Businesswoman. The ability to target several demographics and build significant

brand awareness on a local level and across state lines is an opportunity that we won’t miss.”

On Jan. 13, about 300 professionals are expected at the luncheon honoring Mississippi’s Leading Businesswomen, sponsored by CenturyTel,

which will culminate with the announcement of Mississippi’s Leading Businesswoman of the Year. Tickets to the buffet luncheon, which starts at

11:30 a.m., are $25.

Sponsors of EXPO 2000 include Trustmark National Bank, Century Tel, GodwinGroup, Dennery’s, Newschannel 12, Sign-A-Rama,

WTYX-FM/Arrow 94, AT&T, National Awards, Metrocenter and SunCom.

EXPO hours on Wednesday, Jan. 12, are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. On Thursday, the EXPO will open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information on

booth space, tickets or events, contact Jacobs at (601) 364-1015 or 1-800-283-4625.

Contact MBJ contributing writer Lynne Wilbanks Jeter at lwjeter@yahoo.com or mbj@msbusiness.com.


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About Lynne W. Jeter

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