Business Expo celebrates successful 20th year

PLATTSBURGH The Plattsburgh-North Country Chamber of Commerce celebrated its 20th year of hosting its annual Business Expo, with those involved behind the scenes considering it getting better with age. Chamber executive vice president Jody Parks said this years expo was absolutely amazing, with more than 185 businesses participating at the June 5 event. Its hard to believe it can get better every year, but it does, Park said. The booths were completely sold out and we had more attendees than ever. There was a positive energy that could be felt at this years expo, said Parks. Many attendees, she added, were genuinely interested in learning about the exhibitors and the services they offer. Everyone had a great attitude and they all had a productive day, said Parks. The comments I heard most often were about the quality conversations they were having with the attendees. Real deals were being made and important business contacts were formed. Curtis Latremore, vice president and commercial lines manager of Latremores Insurance Agency, agreed. His familys business has been participating in the event for the past 14 years, hosting various themes for its booths. This years theme, Latremore Idol, in which people were invited to try their hand at karaoke, won the agency the Best of Show award. The award, said Latremore, added to the overall experience of being at the expo. The pure number of businesses makes it a great place to network with fellow businesspeople, said Latremore. If nothing else, its a great networking opportunity. There arent any events like [the expo] in the Plattsburgh area where you can reach out to that many businesses, said Shannon Rulf of Rulfs Orchard in Peru. Rulfs Orchard, which has been in business for more than 55 years, was new to the expo this year. While many know the business for its acres upon acres of apple orchards, the expo was a chance for the Rulfs to let the public know what other services they have to offer year-round, from Christmas tree sales to the upcoming Strawberry Festival. So many people know us for our apples, are pies or our doughnuts, but not everyone knows that we have seven greenhouses full of fresh flowers or things for landscaping, said Rulf, who added she was pleased with the business having a presence this year at the expo. Were definitely coming back next year. Based on surveys completed by the exhibitors, Rulfs Orchard wont be alone, with nearly all of this years participating businesses anticipated to return to the expo next year, said Parks. It is definitely a long day and a big commitment of time and money, so its encouraging to know the exhibitors find it valuable enough to return year after year, she said. The 2008 Business Expo was sponsored by WPTZ Newschannel 5, Buck Supply & Distribution, TwinState//Voice.Data.Video, Curtis Lumber, Verizon Wireless and Denton Publications.

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