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Educational opportunities abound during EXPO


The 27th-annual Mississippi Business and Technology EXPO kicks off Wednesday at the Mississippi Trade Mart.

Let the networking and educational opportunities begin.

EXPO, the largest business-to-business event in Mississippi, has established itself as a must-attend for Mississippi businesses looking to promote themselves, rub elbows, socialize and learn what’s new in the world of Mississippi business.

“It gives people a chance to come together and participate at the highest level,” said Blake Wilson, president of the Mississippi Economic Council. The MEC is one of EXPO’s mainstay sponsors.

The booths lining the aisles of the Trade Mart are the centerpiece of EXPO. Spread across the floor of the Trade Mart, they provide instant interaction for businesses seeking new customers and consumers seeking new products and services. EXPO provides those kinds of opportunities in large quantities.

Veteran EXPO participants know the keys to an effective booth are visibility and availability. A flashy sign and an extended hand make it impossible for the booth to go unnoticed.

“That really provides a single source for everybody to get together and network,” Wilson said. “Networking in the business world is so essential. Many a business deal has had its beginnings with two people simply introducing themselves to each other. There is nothing more effective than face-to-face, business-to-business communication.”

EXPO booths also serve a critical need for businesses – providing the latest in the products and services they offer. Technology is evolving so rapidly that the cutting edge can literally change from week to week and month to month. What was hot last year is obsolete this year.

For businesses to take advantage of the newest and best products and services, they first have to know what they are and where to find them.

“All sorts of business people can promote their products and services and learn about other products and services,” Wilson said. “That’s critical. Staying as up-to-date as you possibly can on what’s out there is mandatory. It’s not an option.”

With the national economy mired in a recession that has lasted two years, now more than ever is the time for businesses to sharpen their networking skills and participate in mass-marketing and learning sessions such as EXPO, Wilson said.

“An event like this provides an even greater opportunity in a challenging economy. It’s very, very useful in a good economy but especially in an economy that has presented challenges to all of us.”

The awards programs such as 50 Business Woman of the Year and Top 40 Under 40 that celebrate the best and brightest the state’s business world has to offer extend the networking opportunities beyond the booth clusters. The Business After Hours offers an opportunity for EXPO-goers to network in a looser atmosphere.

“That’s what this event is all about,” said Mississippi Business Journal account executive Ashley Varnes, “is for people to have fun and enjoy themselves. And while they’re at it, they can show everybody what’s new with their business and learn some new things about others. The marketing potential is really tremendous.”

Need more information on EXPO 2010? Click here.


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