Corridor Nine to host annual Business Expo
By Bonnie Adams, Managing Editor
Westborough – In just a few weeks, over 100 businesses and 1,300 visitors are expected to converge at the Doubletree Hotel in Westborough for the annual Corridor Nine Area Chamber of Commerce Business Expo. The expo, now in its 23rd year, will be held Wednesday, April 2, from 4 to 8 p.m. at the hotel's 5400 Computer Drive location.
Karen Chapman, the chamber's vice president, said the event is now one of the biggest events of its kind in the region.
“When we first started out in 1991, it was a very small event, with just a handful of exhibitors,” she said. “Last year we were sold out with 125 businesses and had 1,300 visitors. We expect this year to be just as big.”
The “secret” to the expo's success for so many years, she said, is that it is held for only those four hours as opposed to a day-long event.
“We know companies are busy as are the attendees,” she said. “This is a great and time-effective way to create brand awareness, educate potential clients and meet the decision-makers.”
Exhibitors are not just from the chamber's core towns of Westborough, Northborough, Southborough, Shrewsbury and Grafton, Chapman said.
“It really has become a regional event,” she said. “We have businesses coming from all over Worcester County and the 495 region.”
There will again be a diverse variety of exhibitors, including financial services, health and fitness, nonprofits, golf courses, restaurants, catering and retail.
Traditionally, many of the businesses offer raffles to win prizes and services, Chapman said. Attendees will also be able to sample “the most amazing dishes,” she added, from local restaurants and stores, including two that have recently opened in the area, Noodles and Buffalo Wild Wings.
Although it is a business expo, the chamber staff always adds an element of fun. New this year, Chapman said, will be a photo booth for attendees to take pictures with friends new and old.
There will be plenty of free parking available but because a large crowd is expected a shuttle service, courtesy of Knight's Airport Limousine Service, will also be in place for the convenience of attendees.
Admission to the event is free; all that is required, Chapman said, is a business card.
“Where else can you come face to face with the who's who of the business community?” she added. “It's a also great way to see who's emerging and what the trends are.”
The Business Expo is made possible, Chapman noted, due to its generous business partners and sponsors: Presenting Sponsor (for the third year in a row) – Harvard Pilgrim Health Care; Hosting Sponsor – Doubletree Hotel; Marketing Sponsor – PENTA Communications; Supporting Sponsors – Canobie Lake Park, Charter Business, Cumulus Global, Fletcher Tilton PC, Mark's Moving & Storage, Inc., Sigma7 Group, Small Business Insurance Agency and Wegmans; and Media Sponsors – ?Community Advocate, WTAG/WSRS and Worcester Business Journal/MetroWest 495Biz.
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