It’s a rainy Wednesday afternoon in the stadium district of Seattle and I have just finished an amazing venue tour and tasting at, of all places, the WaMu Theater/Qwest Stadium (turns out I would like to hold my hypothetical future wedding there…). Included in my tasting is free admittance into the annual Seattle Chamber of Commerce Tradeshow which B&OI has purchased a booth for. It’s a B2B event with a focus on connecting businesses with other businesses – network, network, network. As my coworker, Aimee, and I perused through the aisles of vendors, I was struck at how much work and effort went into creating this event for the local community. There are bar height tables and a food area to relax at, a lounge-esque area, prizes and giveaways…a constant upbeat vibe. Though I wasn’t a huge fan of the announcer coming over the loud speaker every 5 minutes with some bits of info or a new winner, I did appreciate the focus to entertain and keep it lively – as well as the “social” push. Microsoft tags could be seen at a lot of stations and a constant twitterstream screen was up keeping track of the goings-on of the show. We left around 4pm, but it lasted until 7 and my coworkers running the event said there was a lot more people after we had gone.
|Amiee and I in the B&OI booth
If you are fortunate to have an active Chamber of Commerce in your town, try and take advantage of their programs and possibly look into either having them set up or attend a semi-local tradeshow event with your business. Having an open platform to help introduce yourselves to the community you’re based in (or near), as well as visibly showing a better definition of what your company is capable of is a great way to promote your brand and yourself. The Seattle Chamber (@SeattleChamber) does an amazing job at making all their members feel more human (as opposed to being another number) – especially at bigger events. Also, they offer special programs and classes that members can take advantage of and learn some great new tools and tricks. Not to mention the fun networking events.
The tradeshow is a great investment to have more visibility in your community. If possible, take advantage of these fun (though tiring) events and make the most of your local Chamber!