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Small Businesses Discuss the Benefits of the Lehigh Valley Meet the Buyers Expo

By Colin McEvoy on May 26, 2015

About 240 small business attendees and 38 buyer companies participated in the first Lehigh Valley Meet the Buyers Expo in 2013.

About 240 small business attendees and 38 buyer companies participated in the first Lehigh Valley Meet the Buyers Expo in 2013.

On Oct. 22, small businesses will have the opportunity to get one-on-one face-time with government and private industry professionals, giving them a unique change to discuss business opportunities, develop leads and discuss procurement deals for products and services.

The Lehigh Valley Meet the Buyers Expo is coming back, two years after the first event was held. Leading up to the event, a series of seminars have been held to prepare businesses for how to make the best of their experience. Three more seminars will be held before the Expo, with the next one scheduled for July 23.

But how effective is the Expo? Take it from some of the participants themselves? Below are testimonials from a few of the small business participants, including some who participated in the 2013 Expo, and others who will be participating for the first time and have taken advantage of the seminars.

 

Christopher Morganelli

Founder & CEO of CMorganelli Designs

Christopher Morganelli

Christopher Morganelli

We attended the first Expo and it had a great turnout. We really enjoyed being there, and we made some great connections with businesses that we ended up doing work with. For example, we connected with a company based in Venezuela that we’ve been doing work with on an e-commerce level, and it’s been a tremendous growth vehicle for our business. We’ve also done some consulting work with two other companies that we met at the Expo.

The event isn’t simply that you go there, meet the buyers, and that’s it. It’s more about getting in front of them, introducing yourself, and following up and forming a relationship with these companies. This event gives you a few minutes of face-time to make the connections, and then you continue following up with that relationship after it’s over. It’s a great event.

 

Fred Fenselau

President of Working Dog Press

Fred Fenselau

Fred Fenselau

Thanks to the last Expo, we formed a relationship with the city of Bethlehem that has continued to this day. The city has its own printshop, but they do job out a lot of things too, and their business cards were coming from out of town. They were paying shipping costs for that. We had always wanted to talk to them, but never got around to it, and now we – a local company – produce most the business cards for the city.

What I like about Meet the Buyers is we’re pretty much veterans in this business, but even we don’t’ always contact the buyers we should. This gives you confidence, it gives you momentum, it puts all these buyers in front of you on the same day. It got you to talk to key people that you might otherwise be reluctant about cold calling.

 

Carol Margetts

Founder of Carol’s Health Kaffe

Carol Margetts

Carol Margetts

This is my first time participating in the Expo. I’m hoping to connect with businesses that are concerned about their employees’ health, understand that their bottom line is affected by the health of their employees, and are open to offering alternatives to what people are doing. I think the Expo is a wonderful, wonderful idea. I would have never thought in a million years that this would be available to me as a small business owner. I’m thrilled.

I’ve attended one of the seminars and it was absolutely informative. I think I’m going to go back for another one just because I didn’t have any idea what the Expo was about when I first attended, and I ended up just getting so much information. I love the idea of small business owners helping other small business owners, and the atmosphere was very good. I’m very much looking forward to the Expo.

 

The expo is being organized by the Women & Minority Business Opportunity Council of Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC), which seeks ways to retain and grow the existing small business community with a special emphasis towards women and minorities.

 

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