Exposure is like speed-dating for business, and this year’s mood was upbeat, with high hopes that some matches might be made.
Everybody at the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce’s business expo on Thursday was cheerful and eager for you to try out their ping-pong ball toss or computer-building competition. Mostly, they were happy to talk about the businesses, which ranged from morning coffee to end-of-life care.
The number of companies or groups at the event was way up this year – all 220 slots at Century II Expo Hall were sold – said Angie Elliott, manager of business services for the chamber. That compares with last year’s 185 booths.
“Trade shows like this are an economic indicator,” she said. “More people are out looking to spend money, so this speaks well.”
Some people at the event:
▪ Cindy Miles, owner of On a Shoestring marketing, said she tried Starkey’s putting competition.
“I got down and tried to shoot it like pool – still didn’t make it – but I can play pool better than I can play golf.”
▪ Jeff Schneider, business development consultant for P1 Group, a large construction contractor, comes to the show to shake hands and get the company’s name out there.
“But two years ago we had a guy come in here and we actually arranged to do a job for him,” he said.
▪ Bill Ramsey, chief technology officer for Cybertron PC, said he liked the chance to meet people and catch up on how the people and companies had changed since last year.
“I also really love all the creative stuff people do to draw people in. That baseball thing is really cool,” he said, referring to Hotel at Old Town and Hotel at WaterWalk’s computer baseball pitch-hit game.
▪ “I just say, ‘Hey, how are you doing?’ and they’re pretty good about coming over to talk,” said Bonnie Zapletal, marketing manager for AFC Doctors Express, on how she keeps bringing people over to talk to.
▪ “I love running into people I’ve known a long time and see what everybody is up to,” said Kelly Cooper, human resources director for Homestead Health Center.