Save the Date

Fourth Annual Western Mass. Business Expo Set for Oct. 29

When BusinessWest first presented the Western Mass. Business Expo in October 2011, the immediate goals were to catch the region’s attention, re-energize a concept that had become stale over time, and lay the groundwork for an event that would become an important part of the fall landscape in Greater Springfield.

Three and a half years later, it’s safe to say that those goals have been met.

Indeed, the term ‘Expo’ has become part of the local lexicon, attendance continues to grow with each edition of the show, and the level of energy on the show floor at MassMutual Center continues to increase.

Keeping the needle moving in these directions is a daunting challenge, but this was the assignment BusinessWest gladly accepted in late 2010, said Kate Campiti, the magazine’s associate publisher and sales manager, and it’s one that continues to motivate the staff.

WMassBusinessLogo2014“Continuous improvement — that’s a phrase you hear in businesses large and small and across all sectors; it’s what enables companies to succeed in an ultra-competitive environment,” she said. “And continuous improvement applies to this show as well. It’s not a goal — it’s a mandate from the business community.”

With that in mind, planning for this year’s Expo, which is expected to feature more than 150 exhibitors and draw more than 2,500 attendees, began days after the curtain came down on the 2013 event, said Campiti, adding that a number of component parts of the show are falling into place.

The Affiliated Chambers of Commerce of Greater Springfield and the Professional Women’s Chamber will again stage the breakfast and lunch programs, respectively, she noted, while Northwestern Mutual has signed on as sponsor of the popular day-capping Expo Social, ensuring that it will continue to be one of the best networking events of the year.

“The Expo has been very successful with its basic mission of bringing the business community together — to learn, network, share experiences and ideas, and create some momentum for the region,” said Kate Kane, managing director of the Springfield office of Northwestern Mutual, as she explained her company’s participation as social sponsor. “Our company is all about community, so we saw this as a natural fit for us, a way to bring businesses together and celebrate the many good things happening here.”

As Kane mentioned, education is an important facet of the Expo. Over the years, the event has featured insightful keynote speakers, panel discussions, and seminar leaders, and more of the same is on tap for 2014.

In the weeks and months ahead, details of specific show programs will be presented in this space. In the meantime, area business leaders, educators, and nonprofit managers are invited to submit proposals for seminars and Show Floor Theater presentations that they can lead.

Previous seminars and special presentations have been offered on subjects ranging from social media to one local business leader’s conquest of Mount Everest; from Obamacare to working with Millennials. Presentations should be 45 minutes in length, be interactive, and give business owners and managers insight they can take back to their office or plant. The deadline for submissions is June 20. They may be sent to [email protected]

In addition to Northwestern Mutual and presenting sponsor Comcast Business, a number of other area companies have signed on as Expo sponsors. These include silver sponsors Health New England, Johnson & Hill Staffing, and DIF Design, and education sponsor, the Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst. Additional sponsorship opportunities are still available, said Campiti.

For more information on the Expo, to register for the show, or to purchase a booth, call (413) 781-8600, e-mail [email protected], or visit wmbexpo.com.

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