PLATTSBURGH - Businesses from across the region will come together once again as the Plattsburgh-North Country Chamber of Commerce hosts its annual Business Expo.
The event, now in its 22nd year, will return to the Plattsburgh State Field House on Rugar Street next Thursday, May 20.
Chamber of commerce executive vice president Jody A. Parks said the expo brings together businesses from "just about every sector of the business community." Businesses like Northern Insuring, CVPH Medical Center, and Rulf's Orchard, are among those that return to the event year after year, joining businesses new to the expo like Wooden Ski and Wheel, WELCare Family and Sports Chiropractic, Off the Field Sports and Greer Cicarelli Photography, among others.
"There is no other time of year you're going to have this many businesspeople under one roof for one day," said Parks. "[The expo] includes just about everything you can possibly imagine."
The expo has come a long way from when it was started, said Parks, then only hosting about 25 booths. That number has more than quadrupled in size and is something Parks attributes to how people have come to value it as "one of the greatest networking opportunities in the area."
"Every year it got a little bit bigger and a little bit better and here we are today, 22 years later, with 186 booths on the floor," said Parks. "It's something people look forward to every year."
One of the fundamental objectives of the expo is to encourage people to do business at the local level and meet the people they do business with face to face, said Parks.
"As you walk through the show, you're going to find things you didn't even know we offered here in Plattsburgh," said Parks. "It's nice to see what these companies have and what they do so you kind of remember what they're all about ... It's good to know what's going on in our community."
And, just because it's called a "business" expo, don't let the name fool you. There's much fun to be had at the event, said Parks.
"Some businesses will do a giveaway for the day ... others like WIRY do giveaways all day long," said Parks. "They're making it fun for people. They realize the expo is a good place to share information, but it's also a good place to just to make contact with people and to have a good time."
Parks recommends, if attending the show, to set aside at least a couple hours, if possible.
"It does take a while to get through the whole show," said Parks. "There's lots to see and lots to do and many, many people to talk to."
The expo will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with admission $3 per person. An after-party will be held at the Naked Turtle on Dock Street.
Free coffee will be offered all day at the expo, courtesy of La Quinta Inn and Suites and Glens Falls National Bank.
The event is sponsored by TwinState Voice.Data.Video Inc., WPTZ Newschannel 5, AT&T, Curtis Lumber, Buck Supply and Distribution, and Denton Publications.
There are currently a few booths available, measuring 8 ft. by 10 ft., at a cost of $395 for chamber members and $495 for nonmembers.
"When the booths are gone, they're gone, so I would say call as soon as you can if you're interested," said Parks.
For more information or to check availability for booths, contact Parks at 563-1000.