Business Expo to offer marketing, networking opportunities
Tue, 04/04/2023 - 1:13pm caleb
Annual Chamber of Commerce event to be held on Thursday, April 20, at Kirtland Community College
Caleb Casey | Managing Editor
The Grayling Regional Chamber of Commerce will conduct its annual Business Expo on April 20, and there is still time for vendors to register for a space at the annual event.
According to Chamber of Commerce officials, the registration deadline for the event is April 13. Businesses can register for the Business Expo online via www.graylingchamber.com. Use the “Events” dropdown menu to select “Business Expo,” click on the “Register” pop-up, and then click the black and white “Register” link. Cost to register a space at the event is $100 for Chamber of Commerce members or $200 for non-members. There is a $10 add-on fee for electrical access, according to the registration page. Registered participants have the option to pay $10 for a table or bring their own table to the event. There are also sponsorship opportunities for the event for more business exposure, chamber officials said.
Hayley Strohpaul, Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, said approximately 30 businesses had signed up for the 2023 Business Expo as of Thursday, March 30.
“They’ve been rolling in,” Strohpaul said. “I think last year we had about 50 booths, but we’re hoping to have more than that.”
The Chamber of Commerce cancelled the Business Expo in 2019, 2020, and 2021 because of gathering restrictions and the COVID-19 pandemic, and the chamber is now trying to build the event back up to where it was before the three-year hiatus.
“Pre-COVID we had like 100 booths,” Strohpaul said.
Strohpaul said the 2022 Business Expo had hundreds of people from the public attend the event, but organizers are hoping for more going forward.
“We had a good number. It wasn’t the same as before, but we had a good turnout,” Strohpaul said.
Strohpaul said she hopes more local businesses will sign up for the event and utilize the marketing and networking opportunities.
“We’re really hoping to get more participation from the businesses,” Strohpaul said. “We’re hoping businesses will take advantage of this marketing opportunity.”
The 2023 Business Expo will be held at the Kirtland Community College Event Center (4800 4 Mile Road) on Thursday, April 20.
Strohpaul said Kirtland Community College offers “everything we need under one roof.”
“Kirtland is great. Their departments work really hard to put on their events,” Strohpaul said. “It’s just a nice professional setting for this event.”
From 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. the Business Expo will feature vendor to vendor networking, and from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. the event will be open to the public. There is no admission charge.
Strohpaul said the event will include a cash bar and the chamber is hoping to have music again this year. As of last week, the Chamber of Commerce was also in the process of lining up restaurants to have a variety of food at the event. Strohpaul said the wide variety of food available was one of the highlights of the 2022 Business Expo.
“We’re hoping to get a lot of participation from our restaurants,” Strohpaul said.
According to Strohpaul, another highlight of last year’s Business Expo was the creative booths. The Chamber of Commerce is again encouraging businesses to be creative with their offerings this year; Strohpaul said memorable booths and networking can help build “good connections.”
“The possibilities are endless,” Strohpaul said.
Strohpaul said any businesses that are interested in being a part of this year’s expo but are unsure of what to offer or how to offer it can contact the chamber by phone at 989.348.2921 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“We’re more than happy to give ideas and make it successful for them,” Strohpaul said.
“I just really want to encourage the businesses to take advantage of the opportunity to network with the community, promote themselves to the community and other businesses, all in one day,” Strohpaul said.