Fifth Edition of the Western Mass. Business Expo Set for Nov. 4

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The Western Mass. Expo, set for Nov. 4 at the MassMutual Center, will be the fifth produced by BusinessWest.

The first four have constituted what Kate Campiti, the magazine’s associate publisher, described as both an effective way for BusinessWest to expand its mission, and an intriguing learning experience on a number of levels.

Regarding the former, she said the show has become another way in which the magazine has moved beyond the printed word to serve the region’s evolving business community. As for the latter, she said that phrase ‘learning experience’ applies not only to the art and science of event planning and execution, but also, quite literally, to understanding more about the players and issues shaping the scene locally.

“Over the first four years, we’ve learned not only what area business owners and managers want and expect from the year’s biggest business-to-business event,” she noted, “but also about how quickly and profoundly the world of business — and this region — are changing, and how people have to be diligent to avoid being left behind.”

Lessons from those first four years will be applied to the fifth show, she went on, adding that organizers are still putting together pieces to the show, and those basic goals of informing attendees and helping participating businesses become better able to compete will shape the day’s schedule of events and programs.

Several components of the roster of offerings are known — from the return of the Pitch Contest staged by Valley Venture Mentors to demonstrations featuring participants in a robotics program at Pathfinder Regional High School, to seminars on a wide range of topical issues — and others will come together over the next few weeks, said Campiti, adding that details and updates can be found at wmbexpo.com.

Fast Facts

What: The Western Mass. Business Expo
When: Nov. 4
Where: The MassMutual Center, Springfield
Events and Activities: Breakfast hosted by the ACCGS; lunch hosted by the Professional Women’s Chamber; Show Floor Theater presentations; informational seminars; Pitch Contest; matchmaking opportunities; and more.
Exhibitor Information: Booth sizes and rates are: 20×20 showcase unfurnished: $2,250; 20×20 showcase furnished: $2,400; 10×20 double unfurnished: $1,250; 10×20 double furnished: $1,350; 10×10 corner unfurnished: $850; 10×10 corner furnished: $925; 10×10 standard unfurnished: $750; 10×10 standard furnished: $825.
For More Information: Call (413) 781-8600, or visit www.wmbexpo.com

The expo will again be presented by Comcast Business, which has been the show’s lead sponsor since BusinessWest began producing it in 2011. Director-level sponsors are Health New England, Johnson & Hill Staffing Services, MGM Springfield, and Wild Apple Design. The Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst is the education sponsor, 94.7 WMAS is the media sponsor, and Elms College is the information-center sponsor.

The day-long Expo will kick off with a breakfast hosted by the Affiliated Chambers of Commerce of Greater Springfield (featuring keynote speaker Dan Kenary, CEO of Harpoon Brewery) and conclude with the Expo Social, one of the year’s most popular networking events. In between will be a lunch hosted by the Professional Women’s Chamber, more than 150 exhibitors, opportunities for ‘matchmaking,’ and myriad chances to network, learn and gain exposure.

The learning component has been an important part of the Expo since the beginning, she went on, adding that this year’s edition will no exception. The seminar’s tracks — sales & marketing, workforce development, and ‘hottest trends’ — speak to what’s happening in business today and also to a desire by Expo organizers to provide attendees and exhibitors with insight they can take back to their offices and plants the next day.

“Today, the biggest issue facing business owners and managers is their workforce,” said Campiti. “People want to know how to put a great team together, how to keep together, how to identify talent, and how to cultivate talent, and we’ll be putting together a track of seminars that will help them do all that and more.

“Meanwhile, two of the biggest challenges remain marketing your business and selling your products and services,” she went on. “And in many respects, the landscape is changing in both realms.”

Sponsorship opportunities are still available, said Campiti, with many forms of exposure provided for those who attach their names to the show. Those interested in exhibiting should call (413) 781-8600 or visit www.wmbexpo.com.

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