And there are many things to fill in that blank with, from information technology (and how to make the most of it) to employee benefits; from social media to ever-changing employment laws. There are dozens more ways to fill in the blank, as anyone doing business in today’s ultra-challenging environment can attest.
That’s why experts in such matters are so valuable. And that’s also why the 2017 Business & Innovation Expo of Western Mass., set for Nov. 2 at the MassMutual Center in downtown Springfield, will feature a host of experts.
They will have ‘a seat at the table,’ to borrow a popular phrase from business, and those attending the Expo can have one as well.
Indeed, there will be a number of industry-expert panelists, as well as ‘Ask an Expert’ roundtables that present attendees with an opportunity to have a small-group, 45-minute session with regional industry leaders. (Space is limited to 10 at each ‘Ask an Expert’ table, and pre-registration is required at www.wmbexpo.com.
Overall, the show’s many programs are designed to help attendees become more innovative and work ‘on’ their business, not merely in it.
“Innovation comes in many forms,” said BusinessWest Associate Publisher Kate Campiti. “It might mean new-product development, new and improved technology, or new ways of doing business. But it also means looking at the many aspects of running a business in different ways, with an eye toward greater efficiency and continuous improvement.
“The Expo will put a premium on all these forms of innovation,” she continued, “and the expert tables, as we’re calling them, are just part of that equation.”
Other elements of the Expo, once again presented by Comcast Business, include a number of seminars with panels of, yes, more experts; robotics demonstrations; presentations from area technical high schools focused on how they’re readying students for the jobs of today and tomorrow; and much more.
As for the expert roundtables noted above, these will be tables of 10. The presenter will make a brief presentation and then field what will certainly be a host of questions from those filling the other nine seats.
Commitments are still being secured, but at present, experts have signed on to focus on such topics as social media, healthcare reform, employment law, improving public-speaking skills and being more assertive, issues with family businesses, and funding a business venture.
Other elements of the day-long seminar include:
• A fund raising breakfast for Revitalize CDC’s JoinedForces program. The event will take place from 7:30 to 9 a.m. on the Expo show floor. The master of ceremonies will be state Rep. Aaron Vega. Revitalize CDC has been supporting veterans for more than 25 years. JoinedForces, in partnership with businesses, civic organizations, and other nonprofit agencies, provides veterans and their families with critical repairs and modifications on their homes to help make them safe, healthy, and energy-efficient. Parking in the Civic Center garage will be validated at the conclusion of the breakfast. Additional sponsorship opportunities are available. Call (413) 781-8600 for additional information;
• Several educational seminars, including a number of panel discussions. These include a panel addressing common marketing myths, another featuring area media representatives who will discuss how business owners and managers can make better use of the media resources available to them, a seminar titled “How to Build Skills to Help You Succeed,” and other panels addressing cybersecurity and marijuana in the workplace;
• A lunch program, 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m., featuring keynote speaker Ron Insana, senior analyst and commentator for CNBC, addressing the impact of “Trumponomics.” For ticket information, call (413) 781-8600 or visit www.wmbexpo.com;
• A Retail Marketplace in the atrium of the MassMutual Center. Retail vendors will include LuLaRoe, Springfield Macarons, Springfield Thunderbirds, SKM Jewelers, Sassy Mama’s Delectable Cupcakes, Lipsense, Rodan & Fields, Fork Art, the Shops at Marketplace, and more. In addition, there will be numerous booth demonstrations, giveaways, and specials. For example, Kitchens by Curio will offer virtual-reality demonstrations of their kitchen and bath remodels, Dani Fine Photography will offer a headshot session plus digital images for only $49, and DiGrigoli Salon will return to the Expo with free haircuts and manicures, just to name a few;
• The day-capping Social Expo, sponsored by Xfinity, from 3:30 to 5 p.m. This popular networking event will feature a ‘best in show’ food-sampling competition. Restaurateurs interested in participating should call (413) 781-8600; and
• More than 150 exhibitor booths featuring businesses in virtually every sector of the economy.
In addition to Comcast Business, sponsors include Johnson & Hill Staffing Services and Wild Apple Design Group (executive sponsors), Inspired Marketing (show partner), MGM Springfield (corporate sponsor), Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst (education sponsor), Xfinity (social sponsor), Elms College (information booth sponsor), Smith & Wesson (Workforce Development sponsor), Savage Arms (JoinedForces and Workforce Development parking sponsor), and the Better Business Bureau (contributing sponsor). Additional sponsorship opportunities are available.
Exhibitor spaces are also available; booth prices start at $800. For more information on sponsorships or booth purchase, call (413) 781-8600, ext. 100.