When you head for the Business to Business Expo April 1-3 in the Salt Palace Convention Center take plenty of business cards along, advises Bill Paulos, co-chairman of this year's show. It will be a great "networking" opportunity.
Sponsored by the Salt Lake Area Chamber of Commerce, the Deseret News, Bank One, Sprint PCS and KSL-TV, the expo is billed as the biggest and most diversified business trade show in Utah.Paulos said most business trade shows focus on certain industries, but the Expo is purposely kept diversified.
Maria Sweeten Pace, director of special projects and programs for the chamber, said the theme of this year's expo is "Expand Your Network" and exchanging business cards is a good way to do that.
This year's expo will be located in the same general area of the Salt Palace, but the number of exhibit booths has been expanded from 335 to 368 and only 36 remain unsold. The entrance to the show will on the north side of the Salt Palace a little east of the entrance used in the past.
A highlight of the expo is the opening night Wednesday April 1 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. It is by invitation only, but chamber members are welcome and many businesses are passing out free tickets.
Sponsored by Bank One, opening night will have entertainment, prizes worth at least $500, food and the traditional balloon drop. Each of the 2,000 balloons has a slip of paper inside that may be redeemed for a prize worth at least $5.
The food court has been expanded from 12 to 18 vendors who give away food and drink.
On Thursday, April 2, the expo hours are 11 a.m.-7 p.m. and on Friday, April 3, the hours are 11 a.m.-4 p.m. No children are allowed, but adults can get in simply by filling out a card that is made into a name tag that identifies a person's business affiliation, Paulos said.
Drawings for the 30 major prizes continue on the second and third days along with entertainment, celebrity chefs cooking their favorite dishes and food. Some booths have wheels visitors can spin for prizes and there also are chances to putt a golf ball for prizes.
Gary Howard of Howard Communications will be the master of ceremonies for the celebrity chef demonstrations.
At the end of the show, the chamber will award prizes to exhibitors for the most original, most colorful, most creative, most sophisticated and the best of show booth.