Chamber business expo planned for March 4

It probably goes without saying that customers take many forms.

At the Chamber we have many customers – members who invest in the Chamber and we provide programming and services to them throughout the year; people who are relocating to our community often contact the Chamber for maps or other useful information; new businesses who are looking to start operations in our community call the Chamber to discuss our community’s benefits and resources. For your business, who are your customers?

The most obvious “customer” is the single individual who buys one of your products or services for their personal use. But for some businesses, your customers are other businesses. You provide a service that primarily benefits another business entity. A not-for-profit organization has customers too – you provide education and information to potential customers; you develop relationships with potential funding sources to continue your mission. Whether your customer makes a purchase decision on the spot and leaves with something tangible, ultimately your goal should be for your business to be top-of-mind when the customer does need your product or service.

What if there was an event where you could promote your organization to all these forms of customers?

The Chamber Business Expo is just that – an opportunity for our local business community to promote your business, your services and your talented team to members of the Chamber of Commerce as well as the general public. Planned for March 4, businesses and organizations are encouraged to set up booths, displays and demonstrations to showcase your organization. Sign up new customers, sell items, invite current customers to stop by and get a special coupon. Spend time talking with other business representatives.

Booth packages are currently available starting at $400, which includes an ad in the program which will run in the Parkersburg News and Sentinel prior to the event. Chamber members receive a $200 special discount for a booth. This event is also open to those businesses that have not yet joined the Chamber – we would encourage you to participate and see how involvement with the Chamber can help grow your business.

The Business Expo will be held at the Elite Sports Center. From 4-6 p.m. the event will be open to Chamber members. During this time the Parkersburg News and Sentinel will host a special Business After Hours at the Expo to allow Chamber members to network with one another during the first two hours of the event. From 6-8 p.m. the Expo opens to Chamber members and the general public. Participants are also asked to provide a door prize item as all attendees will be entered to win prizes throughout the event.

To reserve your booth or learn more about the opportunity to participate, please contact Darlene Dimit at 304-485-1891, Ext. 242.

What a great event to offer special education, promotions and sales available only by having a booth at the Chamber of Commerce Business Expo! Thank you to our current Business Expo partners: The Parkersburg News and Sentinel, Crown Event Rentals, Pepsi Beverages Company, Results Radio and the Elite Sports Center.

Upcoming Special Events:

* 2013 Position Paper Presentation, Feb. 6 from 8-9 a.m., Parkersburg City Council Chambers. The Government Relations committee will present the 2013 Position papers to our membership and elected officials. Attorney Aaron Boone will also give an overview of the recent Business Court seminar held by the WV Chamber of Commerce. Open to all Chamber members.

* Biztec Bits & Bytes Lunch & Learn, Feb. 15 from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m, WV Central Credit Union, 809 Division St., Parkersburg. Chamber member Biztec will launch their quarterly technology education series, dealing with IT issues for all size businesses! The first topic will be “Reducing Virus and Spyware Risk in Your Organization.” Free for Chamber members. Register on-line at www.movchamber.org

* February Business After Hours hosted by Marietta Memorial Hospital Feb. 19 from 6-8 p.m. at The Blennerhassett Hotel. Register on-line at www.movchamber.org. Recently named one of America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Coronary Intervention by Healthgrades, MMH invites their fellow Chamber members to meet the award-winning cardiovascular team. Free for Chamber members. Register on-line at www.movchamber.org

* Chamber Public Relations Committee meeting with Special Guest Jim Smith, Parkersburg News and Sentinel, Feb. 20 from noon to 1 p.m., Judge Black Annex, 319 Market St., Parkersburg. The PR Committee will be inviting representatives from all the various media outlets to join us during the year and provide tips/guidance to Chamber members. At February’s meeting, Smith will be the monthly rep to share tips on how to get your event in the newspaper, the best way to submit a story to the newspaper and how to prepare for an interview with a newspaper reporter. Open to all Chamber members. Please RSVP to info@movchamber.org if you are planning to attend.

* February Lunch & Learn with Sandifer Tax Service, Friday, Feb. 22 from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., WV Central Credit Union, 809 Division St., Parkersburg. Attend this Lunch & Learn to hear more information about “Taxing Situations – How the Latest Tax Law Changes will Affect You and Your Business.” Free for Chamber members. Register on-line at www.movchamber.org

Jill Parsons is president/CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of the Mid-Ohio Valley.

Visit this space every other Sunday for more Chamber news. We also invite you to call us at 304-422-3588, email us at info@movchamber.org, or stop by the Chamber office at 409 1/2 Market St., Parkersburg.