05/22/05 — Third annual Business Expo has 80 vendors

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Third annual Business Expo has 80 vendors

By Turner Walston
Published in News on May 22, 2005 2:07 AM

Who wants an interactive, educational experience about the products and services offered by Wayne County businesses and merchants?

OK, who wants free stuff?

Get both Monday at the Wayne County Chamber of Commerce's third annual Business Expo at Goldsboro Country Club. The event is free and open to the public from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. After 4 p.m., the expo will be open to chamber members and guests.

The chamber is also planning a separate show Tuesday for Seymour Johnson personnel who hold government purchase cards. That free event, also at the country club, will be held from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. and includes a pig picking.

On Monday, 80 vendors will be showcasing their companies and offering samples. Free food will be provided by Pizza Inn, Mickey's Pastry, Bojangles, Walnut Creek Country Club, Wayce Ham and Krispy Kreme.

"This is the best way for anyone to see, touch, feel and experience the products of Wayne County," said Patty Graham, the chamber's director of membership and marketing.

Even people who have lived here for a long time may want to come and see what's new, she added.

The vendors include restaurants, cellular phone companies, office equipment and supplies, assisted living facilities, auto dealers, landscapers, beverages, medical supplies, temp agencies, hotels, real estate agents, travel agencies, rental agencies, carpet cleaners and retailers.

The Goldsboro News-Argus, Wayne Community College, Mount Olive College and Wayne Memorial Hospital will also have booths.

Attendees can sign up for door prizes that will be given away throughout the day. One of the prizes will be $100. Many of the vendors will be holding their own drawings. Everyone will also be given a chance to push a GM "Hot Button" for a chance to win a GM vehicle.

WGBR and Oldies 107.9 will be doing live remotes from the expo from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The expo gives all businesses a chance to meet the public, said Mrs. Graham. "We're giving small businesses a chance to at least have a storefront for the day."

After 4 p.m., the focus shifts to business-to-business networking. The chamber will hold its Business after Hours reception from 5-7 p.m. Typically, those events are open only to chamber members, but guests are welcome Monday. Call 734-2241 for more information.

The Tuesday expo is a new version of "Chamber Fest," an event that the chamber used to hold at Seymour Johnson, Mrs. Graham said.

It is intended to match around 500 Seymour Johnson personnel authorized to use government purchase cards with local businesses that accept the cards and can meet their needs, she said.

"There's $54 million worth of purchases made every year with those cards," she said. "We would like to see that money spent locally rather than ordering items through the Internet or wherever."

Tuesday's events kick off at 9 a.m. with a presentation about the cards. The trade show will be held 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., including the pig picking. There will then be a presentation from 1-3 p.m. on ways that the military and businesses can link up.