The Exposure business networking and trade show sells efficiency, and those in attendance were buying.
The Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce event at Century II Expo Hall provided those who sell business products or services a chance to see a lot of potential customers quickly.
Kent Venters, branch manager for Manpower, normally spends a lot of time seeing who might want to employ his temporary or permanent workers. It’s a lot of phone calls and visits.
But with about 200 businesses within easy walking distance in Expo Hall on Thursday, he found he could make a lot more contacts much more quickly.
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“I can get as much done today as I can in a week of running around town,” he said.
Deb Bennett was at the show pitching an embroidery business, Deb’s Designs, that she runs from her home in Clearwater.
The $150 cost of the space she rented would be paid for by just getting one job, she said. By lunchtime, she already had a nibble.
“He’s got my card, now it’s up to him,” she said.
Angie Elliott, the chamber’s manager of business programming and events, said the show’s floor space sold out, the first time that has happened in her five years, even though there were fewer exhibitors than last year.
The ones who came apparently found it so effective that they wanted more space, she said.
Also, she said, attendees just weren’t going to the educational seminars, she said, so those are gone. People were more interested in checking out exhibits and businesses and networking with one another, she said.
Many of the vendors offered fun activities, free food or other goodies, and a chance to learn about the products or services they had to offer.
Many of the attendees were in business casual, with a few suits sprinkled in. But Deauntre Shaffer was dressed as a frog.
Normally a technician for Ribbit Computer, on Thursday he was the company’s mascot. He said he didn’t at all mind standing around looking green.
“It gets you a lot of attention,” he said.
Maybe 50 people had stopped by to have their pictures taken with him, he said, and it was only lunchtime.
“Everybody likes a frog,” he said.