Industry experts encourage that “even with LinkedIn, Alignable, Facebook Live and the latest social media platforms, face-to-face interaction is the key for building trust. Making a personal connection with eye contact, bow, fist bump or handshake, and solid conversation is still the most powerful networking.  By growing your network, opportunities arise, business partners appear, connections are made and trust is garnered in the local community.”

Business specialist Alan Shimamoto created and organizes Olympia’s annual South Sound Business & Career Expo. Photo courtesy: Alan Shimamoto.

Are you looking to get exposure and make meaningful connections with other South Sound Businesses and Leaders? No matter your industry, it’s important to get out there and meet people. For business owners and job seekers, nothing beats tried-and-true networking. At the upcoming annual South Sound Business & Career Expo in Olympia, it’s as easy as spending the day with community businesses and industry leaders.

This year’s Expo takes place at Saint Martin’s University’s Marcus Pavilion on Wednesday, April 17. Organizer Alan Shimamoto explains that this is the free event’s third year overall, but first with the inclusion of a career component. Because of this addition, he’s encouraging local businesses to register as exhibitors and/or sponsors ASAP as booth space is in high demand.

“It’s perfect for any business that wants to get a ton of exposure in a short period of time,” says Shimamoto. Last year there were approximately 60 tables and over 350 attendees at the Expo and this year expands to 80+ tables. Expect double the attendance of previous years.

There will also be a Profit Accelerator track which addresses how to conquer search algorithms, vlogs, and making in-house training material. Photo courtesy: Alan Shimamoto.

There are two sessions. The day’s schedule starts at 9:00 a.m., with the VIP Inner Circle Breakfast. This ticketed event is more than just a meal. Alongside your decadent buffet catered by Saint Martin’s Bon Appétit, VIPs receive special seating for the Profit Accelerator business training, which starts at 9:30 and is free to the public.

During Profit Accelerator sessions, different businesses will host classes on a variety of crucial skills. These 20-minute sessions are still being determined but so far include great local talent. Burd Media explains the intricacies of using Facebook’s search and display algorithms. Media Marketing Solutions (MMS) will then explain vlogs—video blogs—and how they can be used in marketing as well as in-house training videos for your staff. After these, Dan Jones, founder of NorthAmericaTalk.com and its many local platforms including ThurstonTalk, discusses marketing and becoming a disruptor.

“Come to learn strategies from the most successful entrepreneurs that will guarantee to grow you, your business and your life,” says Shimamoto. “You’ll learn from top experts on leadership, business growth, marketing and personal development. You’ll meet business owners and people exactly in your situation and discuss how to build your network together. Lastly, you’ll come away with a plan that immediately executes on growth; no matter what field or situation you’re in. Stop thinking in terms of basic needs, and start aiming for abundance—in all areas of your life.”

The Expo offers in-person networking opportunities for business owners and job seekers alike. Photo courtesy: Alan Shimamoto.

After these sessions, the free Business & Career Expo event continues until 6:00 p.m. Visitors can interact with companies directly. For businesses who are looking to generate leads, make connections and get resources to grow, this is a must attend event! Last year, they also hosted representatives from the Lacey South Sound, Tumwater, and Thurston County Chambers of Commerce, as well as members of the Thurston Economic Development Council (EDC).

For the first time, the organizers are offering a special opportunity to local restauranteurs and catering companies. In exchange for offering 500 free samples, they could qualify for a free table.

To reserve your table, contact Alan and Louisa Shimamoto at Info@SouthSoundEXPO.com or 360-915-2196. They’ll walk you through options, sponsorship levels, and available packages, as well as answer any questions that may arise.

Find recent updates about the South Sound Business and Career Expo by “liking” their Facebook page. Sponsorships and exhibitor spaces are going quickly. Join the ranks of Country Financial’s Olympia Agency, the IN TEAM, American Workforce Group, Accelerate Growth Coaching, Burd Media, KGY & 96.9 KAYO Girls, ThurstonTalk, and MMS today!


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