Learning Experiences

Business Expo Will Feature a Wide Array of Educational Programs

Mobile marketing. E-mail marketing. Social-media marketing.

These are terms that most people in business has no doubt heard, and that most have uttered themselves. But not many can truly say they fully understand them, or know how to effectively utilize them to move their company or organization forward.

They’ll have a much better appreciation after attending the Western Mass. Business Expo 2012 on Oct. 11 at the MassMutual Center. Indeed, among the nearly two dozen informational programs to be presented that day will be “The Growing Role of Mobile Marketing: New Trends in Mobile and Why Consumers Love It,” “The Power of E-mail Marketing,” and “Social-media Marketing Made Simple.”

“E-mail marketing is the most cost-effective, targeted, trackable, and efficient way to build and maintain relationships for all types of businesses and organizations,” said Corissa St. Laurent, director of Regional Development for Constant Contact New England, which will present the latter two programs. “In this [e-mail] session, participants will discover how communicating with customers regularly can help a small business stay connected and generate increased referrals and repeat sales, as well as unwavering customer loyalty.”

As for mobile marketing, Tina Stevens, president of Stevens 470, who will present that program, said research shows that the number of mobile Internet users will exceed desktop users by 2014, and business owners must be prepared for that eventuality.

“Mobile devices have become so easy and convenient to use, they are now an integral part of our on-the-go lifestyle,” said Stevens. “Many of us are using a mobile device as much as, or more than, our desktop computer. We want businesses to realize that this is happening, and help them find ways to use this mobile technology to their advantage.”

These programs, part of the broader Sales & Marketing category of programs, are good examples of the way in which the Expo is much more than a networking event and opportunity for a company to gain exposure — although those opportunities exist as well, said Kate Campiti, associate publisher of BusinessWest, which will again produce the event.

“We want to provide attendees with tools, resources, and knowledge that business owners and managers can take back to their offices or plants and put to use the next day,” said Campiti. “That’s why we’ve made educational programs such a big part of the Expo. The expertise offered by our many speakers is one of many ways of providing value to attendees and exhibitors alike.”

The full roster of educational programs will be finalized over the next few weeks, said Campiti, adding that, in addition to Sales & Marketing, other categories will include Management & Leadership and General Business. In addition to the 21 seminars, there will be a number of Show Floor Theater presentations, including a talk by Michael Martin, vice president of Sales for Vibram FiveFingers, who will tell that company’s intriguing story, while also addressing the broader subject of innovation and how one development — such as the FiveFingers product — can lead to a number of growth opportunities for a company.

Details of the Expo are emerging, said Campiti, adding that organizers have been meeting through the spring and summer to finalize programs and fill in a schedule of events that will begin with breakfast at 7:30 a.m. and conclude with the popular Expo Social starting at 4:30 p.m., a get-together that has become one of the more highly anticipated networking events of the year.

Highlights will include more than 180 exhibitors, breakfast and luncheon speakers, presentation of the Better Business Bureau’s Torch Awards, educational seminars and special programs, a Technology Corridor, a Health Care Corridor, and a number of co-located events that will bring more people, energy, and opportunities for doing business to the MassMutual Center.

The event is being sponsored by Comcast Business Class (presenting sponsor), and silver sponsors Health New England, Johnson & Hill Staffing Services, and  Stevens 470. Additional sponsorships are available.

Booths are also still available, and can be ordered by calling (413) 781-8600, logging onto www.wmbexpo.com or www.businesswest.com, or e-mailing [email protected]


— George O’Brien

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