Saturday, June 25, 2011

The 2011 Modesto Chamber of Commerce Business Expo

Community Business College attended the 7th Annual Modesto Chamber of Commerce Business to Business Trade Show on June 23rd. It was held in the Harvest Hall at the Modesto Center Plaza and had about 75 businesses demonstrating their wares and services.
Community Business College was there for two reasons: 1) to promote our vocational program graduates to employers and 2) because we also now offer campus-based classes for businesses online business classes about how to start a new business; running a business and market a business to more customers.

This trade show booths are exclusive to Modesto Chamber of Commerce member vendors, but was open to the public. The job placement department sent out free tickets and invitations to all of the school's programs' job seekers and also to employed graduates in order to introduce them to new and active businesses in the Modesto area.

The overall goal of the show for (mostly) small business is to boost their businesses and gain new customers. The Annual Business-to-Business Trade Show opens new markets for businesses and increases awareness for its members. It is especially beneficial to remind people (especially business-to-business consumers) what's available locally.

This year's expo had tools for exhibitors including a workshop about how to prepare the booths and attract attention. It seems that some didn't heed the advice as their booths were pretty bland and a lot of people sat behind their table and chatted more amongst themselves than with expo attendees.

One of the radio stations (AM 1360 KFIV) did a live broadcast and interviews from the fair and people really seemed to enjoy it. The DoubleTree Hotel made the most of their "home-field advantage" by hanging lots of balloon arrangements from the ceilings and gave out chocolate chip cookies plus a stuffed "Mr. Cookie" toy. The cookies made a great dessert to the main course of "naked burritos" handed out by QDoba and the fruit appetizers handed out by us at Community Business College.

In addition tot he information on the school's vocational program, our booth provided information on the MyCAA, WIA and TAA training funding programs available to the school. These are great programs that can get people training and job placement assistance without saddling them with student loan debt.

The show ran from 3 PM to 7 PM Thursday. At the end of the show (around 6:30) things slowed down and some booths began packing up. Community Business College, however, was one of the stalwarts that stayed to the end.

It was a good experience and we made a lot of new contacts. The best part of the show was getting to see graduates who are employed coming to our booth and telling us how much they enjoy their new jobs.

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