Face-to-face Expo-sure: Thursday Chamber event to draw many businesses, residents

kjahner@newsobserver.comApril 8, 2014 

— From people who will massage your payroll books to those who will massage your back, from a lawn doctor to people doctors, from bowling and go-carting to the place that can make the trophy for the winner -- the Business and Consumer Expo 2014 will give Garner residents a pretty broad idea of what’s available in town.

The Chamber of Commerce’s Business and Consumer Expo 2014 at Garner United Methodist Church will offer residents a free look at Garner’s various business offererings.

“It’s become somewhat of a community event,” former Chamber vice president and current volunteer Faye Gardner said. “(Residents) come and look at the various vendors, and they realize they don’t have to go to Raleigh ot get these services available in Garner.”

The eighth annual Expo, like last year’s, runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will include about 80 wide-ranging businesses and organizations looking to reach consumers in the community. Typically well over 1,000 residents make their way through the various stations over the course of the day in an event designed to facilitate awareness and familiarity.

Businesses didn’t have to be chamber members to participate, but they did have to sign up early because the event generally sells out tables and booths quickly.

Gardner said similar events focus more on business-to-business connections, but she said the Expo is designed for everybody. The chamber promotes it as a chance to establish face-to-face rapport and build relationships in a world of increasingly digital and long-distance communications.

“People do business with people they know and they like. It gives them a sense of confidence and assurance, puts a name and a face together,” Gardner said.

The event features free samples, giveaways, drawings and family giveaways throughout the day.

With large numbers expected Thursday, the chamber has arranged a shuttle from the parking lot in the Forest Hills shopping complex accross U.S. 70 less than a half-mile away. The pick-up and drop-off points will be the front door of the Garner UMC on one end and 5th Avenue Coffee on the other.

Jahner: 919-829-4822; Twitter: @garnercleveland

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