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Tables Still Available for Lehigh Valley Meet the Buyers Expo

By Colin McEvoy on August 31, 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.

Excitement is building for the upcoming 2015 Lehigh Valley Meet the Buyers Expo, but there are still tables available for buyers interested in participating.

The second bi-annual Expo will be held on Oct. 22, giving small businesses the opportunity to meet face-to-face with government and private industry professionals to discuss business opportunities, develop leads, and discuss procurement deals for products and services.

Six buyer tables are still available, and there is no registration fee for buyers to participate. For more information or to register for a table, visit the Meet the Buyers Expo website, or contact Sally Handlon at 484-241-4124 or via email.

“If any Lehigh Valley companies are interested in developing their local sourcing contacts, this is the place to be,” said Handlon, president of Handlon Business Resources and a board member with the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC).

The Expo is expected to include about 50 buyer tables and draw more than 300 small business attendees.

Sally Handlon

Sally Handlon

“A total of 94 percent of the buyers who participated in the first Expo in 2013 are coming back,” Handlon said. “That really speaks to the importance and value of this event.”

Attendees will have 3 to 5 minutes to talk to the buyers in a one-on-one setting, similar to a “speed-dating” style. Once that time is up, they move on to the next table and speak to another buyer for another 3 to 5 minutes. Businesses can select which buyers they want to meet.

Among the buyers participating this year are PPL, Air Products, B. Braun, St. Luke’s University Health Network, Lehigh Valley Health Network, Capital Blue Cross, UGI, Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem, TD Bank, the cities of Allentown and Bethlehem, and the counties of Northampton and Lehigh.

The expo is being organized by the Local Sourcing & Business Diversity Council of LVEDC, which seeks ways to provide growth opportunities for our small business sector through local sourcing/supply chain education and networking.

About 240 small business attendees and 38 buyer companies participated in the first Lehigh Valley Meet the Buyers Expo in 2013, which was well-received by both the attendees and the companies involved.

Small businesses that wish to attend can include women-owned, minority-owned or veteran-owned companies, or businesses with less than 20 employees. The registration fee for participating small businesses is $25 before Oct. 15. Afterward, the cost will rise to $40.

A series of free workshops have been hosted throughout the year about the Expo, so attendees will know exactly what to expect and how to be as prepared as possible to strike up a partnership with prospective buyers.

A video recording of the full seminar is available for free on the Expo website.

Attendees may purchase a box lunch for $20, but must order online by Oct. 15. A free box lunch will be provided for up to two company representatives for each buyers’ table.

Ten collaborating partner organizations are working to provide the 2015 Meet the Buyers Expo, including LVEDC, the Lehigh Valley Workforce Investment Board, Community Action Committee of the Lehigh Valley, Community Action Development Corporation (Allentown and Bethlehem), Lehigh University SBDC, Manufacturer’s Resource Center, Nazareth-Bath Chamber of Commerce, Slate Belt Area Chamber of Commerce, and Whitehall Area Chamber of Commerce.

The event’s sponsors include LVEDC, PPL, Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem, TD Bank, Handlon Business Resources, Capital Blue Cross, First Niagara, Wells Fargo, American Bank, Direct Energy, Lehigh University, Baker Institute of Lehigh University, Embassy Bank for the Lehigh Valley, Pinnacle 7, and the Women’s Business Enterprise Council.

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