The North Country Chamber of Commerce held its annual Business Expo this afternoon in Plattsburgh.
This is the 30th year the regional chamber has held the networking event for the region’s business and industry. For the last few years the morning session has been reserved for exhibitors. Doors open to the public in the afternoon. Chamber President Garry Douglas says it’s a condensed networking opportunity. “This is a very diverse and very robust business community that supports things and interacts and wants to do business. And more than ever businesses need more efficient effective ways to devote their time and their resources. And so if you think of it to spend one day in one place to interact with 2,000 potential customers and colleagues as well all the other 159 exhibitors on the floor is a very very efficient way to do business and a very efficient way to do business with business.”
Douglas adds that the morning session is set aside exclusively for exhibitors and features one-minute business-to-business pitch sessions. “They all get a chance to kind-of give an elevator speech to different sets of other exhibitors representatives who are there and then keep mixing up the group so they get a sales opportunity, a networking opportunity, card exchanging. That has become another real value for being an exhibitor at the show.”
Insurance agencies, hotels and tourist sites, banks, investment firms and other sectors were represented. Chris Huchro was manning the booth for West Bay Financial Group. The managing partner says it’s a great way to interact and adds that business in the region is excellent. “Regionally I think we’ve been doing pretty well for longer than the big indicators have been showing. A lot of energy out there in the local businesses and coming into town we’re seeing a lot more activity in our downtown areas. People certainly seem confident and happy and positive. They’re going out and doing things and spending money so that’s good for folks in our line of work, certainly.”
The Development Corporation works to attract and retain industrial companies and also operates industrial parks in the region. Director of Marketing and Business Development Joanne Dahlen says upcoming meetings with Canadian prospects are piquing interest regarding tariff policy. “We’re kind of interested to hear firsthand what they have to say about this. When you’re in Plattsburgh and you talk to companies that are here our economies is so shared. It’s such an integral part of our business is working cross border that it’s really hard to imagine how that would be allowed to change.”
About 160 exhibitors and nearly 2,000 visitors participate annually in the Business Expo.