2017-04-12 / Business

News from Southern Midcoast Maine Chamber

Discover local businesses at April 18 B2B showcase

Did you ever drive past a business and wonder what they do? Take our friends from SERV-PRO of Bath/Brunswick, do you know all that they do? Or when looking at financial institutions, have you tried to find out what is different about one bank or credit union compared to another? What about technology services — do you know who does networks and IT as opposed to design and layout of websites?

All of this can be discovered at the B2B Marketplace Expo on April 18, from 1-5 p.m., at the Hilton Garden Inn in Freeport, and sponsored by Bath Savings.

This annual business showcase is a chance for business people from the region, job seekers and organizational leaders to meet up to 40 businesses who will have display booths designed to greet guests and let them know what they do.

The event is presented in collaboration between the Southern Midcoast Maine Chamber and the Greater Freeport Chamber of Commerce as so many of our businesses serve customers from both regions. This event is free admission, and a business card or resume is encouraged at the door so the organizers can connect with you.

This is an annual event with many traditional aspects, however, we do have some slight modifications this year to make it extra unique.

One highlighted change that the public will notice almost immediately when entering the banquet hall will be the photographer. Jeff Morris from Pierce Studio in Brunswick has generously offered to slash his rates for professional headshots down to $100 per package. For those who have never had truly professional headshots before, that is an incredible deal and more than 40 percent off his regular rates.

He will have a shooting station setup and likely you will see people getting headshots right there at the event. We encourage any business person who wants to get headshots to attend in business attire. We also strongly recommend that you contact Jeff at his studio prior to the event to make sure he doesn’t have reservations at the time you would like to be there — however walk-ins are also welcome.

This is the perfect time for a realty agency, car dealership or any sales manager to get headshots of their entire sales team at a discounted rate.

Another new feature of the B2B Marketplace Expo is the keynote speaker and lunch provided before the event even begins. Tom Whelen, president of Bath Savings Trust Company, will be doing a lunchtime presentation called, “Community Leadership — Influencing Those Around You.”

Whelen is an experienced leader, who has been a facilitator at Hyde School, campaign chairman of the United Way capital campaign, and even has his own TedTalk on leadership. He is an asset to our region and he will be sharing his thoughts with us at lunch.

The lunch is $25 per ticket, and must be reserved prior to the event, but one lunch ticket is included for all businesses who have a booth. The keynote lunch will begin at noon, and then the exhibitors will be back in the exhibitor hall by 1 p.m. for the kickoff of the B2B.

The third big change this year is that we will be denoting which businesses are in the process of hiring. As many of you know, there are a number of businesses looking to hire right now (never more apparent than the 61 businesses who had booths at the Hiring Fair last month).

With that, the businesses that are currently looking for employees will be tagged on their booth with a sign saying so. This is why we strongly encourage job seekers to come out and meet the businesses too, and why we don’t limit attendance just to chamber members or business owners.

If you are looking to start a career with one of these companies, take some time to get to know them and if you have a resume or a business card to give to them, this is an optimal time to do that. This event is designed to promote these connections and interactions and I hope you will all be there to join us in meeting these businesses.

Lastly, as of this writing, there were still five or six booth spaces available (which is rarely the case). If your business would like a space, the best thing to do is call SMMC or GFCC to get a registration from. Both chambers have information on their websites too, but this late in the process a call is probably best. SMMC is 725-8797 and GFCC is at 847-5240.

It’s finally spring in Maine, and it’s a great time to shake off the winter blues and start connecting with each other again. Look for a special advertisement in the Friday edition of The Times Record of the businesses you can expect to see there, and mark some time off Tuesday afternoon to meet some local business. Get a headshot, get a lead, make a connection, make a friendship. It’s all possible at the 2017 B2B Marketplace Expo.

Hope to see you there.

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