February 17, 2012

The 2012 Clare Area Chamber of Commerce Business Expo, themed “Rope in New Business,” is offering business owners the chance to exhibit their companies at this networking event. The expo will take place on February 23, 2012 from 1 – 7 p.m. at the Doherty Hotel and Conference Center, located at 604 N. McEwan St. in Clare. A significant lead-generating resource for businesses, the Expo will offer business owners the opportunity to network with more than 50 exhibitors and 1000 attendees.

“It’s a great place for business to business networking,” said Lynnette Sheldon, 2012 Business Expo chairperson.  “The Expo puts a lot of different types of businesses in one place enabling the public as well as other businesses to see what types of products and services are available.”

Designed to be part expo and part business social event, the expo accomplishes both by providing a spacious exhibitor floor along with conversational areas for casual one-on-one discussions with existing contacts or building new relationships.

“This is a great way for businesses to promote their products and services,” Sheldon said. “The expo gives businesses the ability to talk with potential customers in a relaxed environment.”

The Expo also offers a feature many others do not. “Rope in New Business” is based on a western theme which is used in the décor and some exhibitors dress the part as well.


“The theme part of the Expo makes it fun for the exhibitors and the expo committee,” said Sheldon. “It makes the event different every year. We have fun with it.”

Door prizes will be given away throughout the event and the silent auction will be going on all day. There will even be an award for the best decorated booth. Auction items include a water filtration system, advertising space with local media organizations and a one night stay at the Little River Casino Resort. A portion of the proceeds from the silent auction are donated to local scholarships programs and to fund community events.

“Most of the exhibitors are local businesses and take pride in giving back to the community,” Sheldon said. “We couldn’t make this event, or many others, happen without their support.”

The expo provides a chance for businesses to network with one another for mutual support and grow a wider support network. Businesses and individuals do not have to be affiliated with the chamber to attend the expo.

“One misconception of the business expo is that it is only for businesses to attend,” said Sheldon. “The expo is intended for everyone and it’s free.”

The Expo After Hours will take place from 5 – 7 p.m. A cover charge of $2 will allow the individual to enjoy hors d’oeuvres and networking opportunities.

This year’s sponsors include Chemical Bank, Cops and Doughnuts, Mid Michigan Community College, MidMichigan Medical Center-Clare, Morning Star Publishing Company, Central Restoration, Gateway Title, Herrick House/The Mulberry Café, Kyle’s Manufacturing, Northern Logistics, Schumacher’s Agency and StageRight/Filcon.

All businesses, non-profits and organizations are invited to participate as exhibitors. Discounts are available for Clare Area Chamber members. Admission is free for all attendees of the 2012 Clare Area Chamber of Commerce Business Expo.

Businesses interested in purchasing exhibitor space to display their company’s product or service should call (989) 386-2442. Booths are filling up fast, call today.

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