PARKERSBURG - Area businesses got the opportunity to show what they could offer to potential customers Tuesday night at the annual Business Expo.
Around 74 businesses and organizations had booths set up at the E.L.I.T.E. Sports Center in south Parkersburg to promote their products, services and facilities to the public and other businesses that could use what they were offering. More than 600 people attended the Expo Tuesday.
"I am really happy with everything," said Jill Parsons, president and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of the Mid-Ohio Valley. "We have had just a great response from the business community.
Photo by Jeff Baughan
A portion of the crowd attending the Chamber of Commerce of the Mid-Ohio Valley’s Business Expo at the E.L.I.T.E. Center in Parkersburg walks through the building. A total of 74 exhibitors were represented at the event.
"Even up until Monday, we had businesses and organizations signing up for booth space."
The first two hours of the Expo were open exclusively to chamber members to allow businesses to interact. The final two hours were open to the public.
"There are a lot of great local companies," Parsons said. "My hope is that I hope people realize what a variety of businesses that we have in the Mid-Ohio Valley."
Parsons hoped people would be able learn about the businesses available in the area while businesses could discover other businesses that they could use for goods and services.
Through promotions and giveaways, the businesses can get their names out into the community and let people know they are here, she said.
"We want to really thank the businesses who are here and are sharing information about their products and services with the attendees," Parsons said. "It is great partners that allow us to put on this event."
The Parkersburg News and Sentinel was one of the sponsors of the Business Expo.
"It was a great opportunity for the paper to partner with the chamber and area businesses to sponsor the event and promote the local business community," said Jim Spanner, publisher of the Parkersburg News and Sentinel.
The Blennerhassett Hotel set up a booth with samples of the food available through its on-site catering services for conferences and meetings as well as information about The Taste Of Parkersburg event, its Wine and Dine events every third Thursday of the month and more.
"This is our first time here in a few years," said Emily Smith, sales and catering manager for the Blennerhassett Hotel. "This is for the Parkersburg area businesses and we want to promote ourselves and show off what we can do for those out in the community."
Smith said a lot of people visited the hotel's booth and talked about things the hotel might be able to do for them.
"We have been really happy with the turnout," she said. "People are stopping by, people we know and new people.
"I can't see us not doing this again next year. We are just getting the word out about what people can do in downtown Parkersburg."
Glen Pope of Mineral Wells was interested in seeing what was available around the area.
"We wanted to see what was going on in the city," he said. "We didn't know when the Expo opened.
"We came out here in the morning and they told us to come back at 6 p.m. We came back."
He signed up for promotions and giveaways being offered throughout the event.
Terri Smith of Parkersburg took advantage of the warm weather and was able to walk out to the E.L.I.T.E. center to see what the Expo was about.
"We thought we would come and see what was here," she said. "It is nice. There were a lot of businesses here. I was surprised. I didn't think there would be that many here."
Keith McClung of Crown Event Rentals said his company has been around for a couple of years doing events and was looking to expand its clientele.
"Since we opened two years ago, we have really geared a lot of our marketing efforts to the bridal and wedding industry," he said. "We just wanted to share with the corporate industry what we can do for them, whether it be rentals for a company picnic or an inside party they might be having.
"Whatever they need we can help them out. We wanted to expose ourselves a little more to the corporate clients."
McClung said people have walked up and talked to him about his business.
"Sometimes when the traffic is slower, you can actually make better contacts, because you actually have time to talk," he said. "Having the opportunity to talk is good.
"We have made some really good contacts this evening."