Chamber announces changes for Business Expo 2013

The Pine Bluff Regional Chamber of Commerce has announce several changes to its annual Business Expo event. Business Expo 2013 will be held Thursday, May 2, at the Pine Bluff Convention Center.

This year’s Expo will have an overall theme of “Hidden Treasures.” Exhibitors are encouraged to be creative in the planning of their booths while using this theme.

Additionally, the chamber is introducing new Expo hours from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., with a “VIP Premiere” preview time from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. During this time, the arena will be open exclusively to exhibitors and their invited customers and clients. In a major change from past events, Expo will only be open to the public from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m.

According to Expo Chairman Stephen Lasseigne, these changes should allow exhibitors to have more direct business-to-business contact with their customers and prospects and optimize networking opportunities.

“The changes in Expo hours are in response to feedback from our past exhibitors,” Lasseigne said. “They wanted to devote more time to meeting one-on-one with other exhibitors and customers before the general public comes in to check out the booths. We feel that this will allow for good customer service while still generating potential new clients. After all, business for our local companies is the main purpose of Expo.”

Initially, booth sales were limited to members of the Pine Bluff Regional Chamber of Commerce; however, booth rentals are now open to the general business public.

Simmons First National Bank is the sponsor of the Business Expo Breakfast, which begins at 7 a.m. and features guest speaker George Makris Jr., CEO-Elect of Simmons First National Corp., as well as announcement of the Small, Large and

Non-Profit Businesses of the Year.

Tickets for Expo breakfast are now on sale at the chamber office. They are $15 per person. A general admission armband to Expo costs $5.

Two special events also will be held, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., during Expo: a health fair and a community spotlight.

The health fair, presented by Jefferson Regional Medical Center, will be located at the back of the arena and will feature several informative booths. Various health screenings will also be available to Expo visitors.

Community Spotlight, sponsored by the Pine Bluff Convention and Visitors Bureau and Southeast Arkansas College, will feature information on 18 charitable organizations serving Jefferson County and will be located in the West Concourse.

Pine Bluff National Bank will present the event’s grand prize at the end of the day. Fairfield Federal Credit Union will treat exhibitors to an exclusive social during the move-in time on the day before Expo. Tara Promotional Products Inc., will host the Exhibitors Hospitality Suite during Expo.

Billy Coble with KTRN will broadcast live from 9 a.m. to noon. The radio remote is co-sponsored by JRMC and Strong Manufacturing.

Each eight-by-10-foot booth will include eight-foot back drapes, three-foot divider curtains, a six-foot table and two chairs. Chamber member businesses may reserve space at $250 per booth. The non-member rate is $360 per booth. For additional information on booth space, contact the chamber at 535-0110.