April 12 Chamber event designed for residents as well as businesses, says Director Amy Todd
by Melanie Jongsma
LANSING, Ill. (March 25, 2019) – Last April, 34 businesses set up booths at Kacey’s Banquet Hall, and over 150 people streamed through to meet local business owners, learn about community organizations, and pick up free samples. Though Business Expos are not a new concept—several surrounding Chambers of Commerce have hosted them—2018 was the Lansing Area Chamber’s first experience with the concept. Chamber Director Amy Todd felt it went well, and she received encouraging reports from participating businesses who connected with new customers, participating organizations who recruited new members, and resident attendees who were impressed with the number and variety of local businesses.
This year the Lansing Area Chamber Business Expo will return to Kacey’s on Friday, April 12, with a few changes that Todd hopes will improve and enhance the event. For one thing, the Expo is scheduled in the afternoon/evening—from 3:00pm until 7:00pm—giving residents a chance to stop by after work. For another, several new businesses have signed up to participate, including some from outside the Chamber.
Plenty of opportunity
Todd says there are “really not a lot of rules” for how organizations are allowed to participate. She encourages businesses to sell product, interview potential hires, or announce new product offerings. And community organizations can use the Expo to attract new members or publicize activities. The Lansing Junior Women’s Club joined the last year’s Expo, and they took advantage of the opportunity to recruit a few new members. Todd’s own business—Mancino’s of Lansing—found the Expo a perfect venue for making people aware of their catering business. Since Lansing’s Business Expo is designed for residents as well as businesses, there are a lot of ways to get a return on the investment of time and money.
Chamber members pay a lower rate ($95) to participate in the Business Expo, but for non-members who want to participate at the $170 rate, Todd will apply $50 of that fee to their Chamber membership if they decide to sign up. One new business has already taken advantage of that offer.
Open to the public
The Business Expo is open to the public, and there is no cost to come in and browse the booths. Todd is encouraging all the participating businesses and organizations to provide free samples, giveaways, and interactive games that will attract residents as well as other businesses to their booths.
Registration deadline: March 29
Space is limited to about 40 booths, while still leaving wide enough aisles for visitors to wander comfortably. The sign-up deadline is March 29, and Todd encourages organizations who have been procrastinating to call this week and finalize their registration while space is still available.
Registered participants will have an hour to set up their booths, from 2:00–3:00pm on Friday, April 12. The Business Expo will open to the public promptly at 3:00pm.
More information about the 2019 Business Expo, including registration forms and setup instructions, can be found at the Chamber website: