Networking event returns with rocking theme
by Sarah Fay Campbell
Coweta County's largest business trade show, the Big Expo, is coming up Thursday.
The annual event, put on by the Newnan-Coweta Chamber of Commerce, is held at the Summit Healthplex on Highway 34 East and presented by Delta Community Credit Union.
The Big Expo features booths from businesses and industries all over Coweta — and the booths are usually full of giveaways, from pens and candy to cups and all manner of other promotional items. And plenty of bags.
"It should be great," said Candace Boothby, president of the Newnan-Coweta Chamber of Commerce. There are more than 80 vendor booths, and some 1,500 people are expected to attend.
The expo will be open to the public from 4 to 7 p.m, and admission is $5. A chamber members-only session will be held from 1 to 4.
New this year, visitors will get tickets to sample from three food booths. Several catering companies and restaurants exhibit and offer samples. "It's a lot to ask a food vendor to come in and feed 1,500 people," Boothby said. "The intent is to sample from our wonderful food vendors so that you find something you like and you will go visit their establishment."
Tickets can be bought at the door or online at www.NewnanCowetaChamber.org . Those with smart phones can just show their tickets on their phones, without having to print it out.
There will be several exhibitors outside, including several car dealerships, and booths in several locations inside.
"We think the value we create is just phenomenal for the people that exhibit and for the people who come to be part of it," Boothby said.
This year's theme is Rock Your World, and the rock star motif will be carried throughout the event. "We're going to make it fun and encourage people to do rock-themed booths," Boothby said. There will be rock music and "I'd love to see some dressed in costumes," she said.
The theme is honor of "LinkedIn Rock Stars" Mike O'Neil and Lori Ruff, who will be doing four seminars. Two will be held Wednesday at the Newnan-Coweta Chamber of Commerce. The 9;30 a.m. session is "Busting Sales Goals with LinkedIn" and the 3 p.m. show is "How Associations use Social Media to grow the member base."
Thursday's sessions, at the Delta Community Credit Union atrium, will be "The LinkedIn Big Data Connection" at 11:30 a.m. and "Marketing in the Face of the Social Media Storm" is at 3.
“Mike and Lori present a really entertaining way of introducing this incredibly effective way to reach new and existing customers,” said Boothby. “They are both Forbes Top 50 Global Social Media Power Influencers and LinkedIn Top 50 Most Connected, so people have clearly discovered these ‘rock stars’ and are taking advantage of LinkedIn.”
Tickets are $49 per session; a super ticket for all four sessions is $99.
“You really don’t want to miss this fun and informative presentation on LinkedIn,” said Boothby. “This time next year, a major portion of businesses will use this method of increasing sales and profits," she said. And, "we could not have brought them to town without Walt (Gutierrez of Toyota of Newnan)."