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Businesses use expo to increase awareness, create connections

Businesses use expo to increase awareness, create connections

Journal News


For area businesses, having a booth at the largest regional business-to-business expo on the Interstate-75 growth corridor is about more than just improving their bottom line in the days following the event.

Many of the more than 125 exhibitors at the West Chester-Liberty Chamber Alliance Business Expo, held Tuesday at Skatetown USA, also make invaluable business connections and raise awareness about their product or services in the community at large.

Jenny Tatman, branch manager of PNC Bank’s location just off Cox and Tylersville Road, said the bank has been attending the expo for all of its 14 years and sees more than just a marked increase in new customers as a result of the event.

“A lot of (existing customers) come back to us and ask what else they can check out and open up,” Tatman said.

Planes Moving & Storage, a five-year expo participant, does not necessarily see an immediate increase in business following the event, but the chance to market its residential and corporation relocation services is invaluable, according to Jeff Lobaugh, director of business development.

“It gets our name out in the community,” Lobaugh said. “It lets them know what we’re all about.”

Four Bridges Country Club, which has been attending the expo through all its years and venues, sees the event as more than just a way to boost its bottom line via walk-through customers.

“You get to networking with other people, you feel them out, you find out like interests and now there might be an opportunity to partner up for an event later this years,” said Donna Myers, membership director. “I know I see all this people year after year and if I can’t make every single (chamber) luncheon, I know that they’ll be here.”

Stephen Johnston, president and founder of West Chester-based human resources consulting company Your Infinite Possibilities, said being at the expo was important, even if he didn’t have a booth at the event.

“It gives me an opportunity to find out what other businesses are in the area,” Johnston said. “I’ve actually set up two opportunities that I might have to work with two businesses and then two others where I’m giving them my business because they were here and I ended up talking to them today.”

Jack Landis, branch manager for First Choice Coffee Services, said the business signed up for a second year of the expo because the West Chester-Liberty Chamber Alliance is “really focused on the growth corridor” along Interstate 75.

“We wanted to be where everything is happening and be in the mix where all of the businesses are growing,” Landis said.

Tracey Nickell of Loth Office Furniture Outlet said attending the expo for the first time last year helped the business “make some nice connections in the area.”

“We cater to small and medium-sized companies so that’s really who we see here at the expo,” Nickell said.

Joe O’Gorman of Full Throttle Indoor Karting said the quality and the pace of the networking at the last year’s expo is what prompted him to return for this year’s event.

“You spend a lot of time talking to people, people are curious,” said O’Gorman, who noted that two group events he booked during the 2013 expo covered the cost of the go-kart company’s chamber membership.