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Date set for B2B Trade Show

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The event’s organizing committee has announced that the 2013 Androscoggin Business to Business Trade Show will take place on Thursday, June 13 from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston. This year’s theme will be “Building Connections for Business Success.”

Renowned for its ability to draw an estimated 2,500 business professionals from throughout New England, the show, presented by the Lewiston-Auburn Economic Growth Council, is considered by many to be the premier networking event in the state. This year’s one-day event will focus on how companies build relationships from the ground up to grow their business.

“Personal relationships are paramount to any successful enterprise,” said committee member Stephanie Lewis of the Lewiston-Auburn Economic Growth Council. “The Business to Business Trade Show provides an opportunity for hundreds of businesses and thousands of professionals to meet, shake hands, and exchange ideas, all under the convenience of one roof.”

Organizers have unveiled an upgraded website that takes advantage of social media outlets including Facebook and Twitter and provides businesses and attendees the ability to register online to streamline the check-in process on the day of the show.

In addition to strengthening the event’s digital presence, event organizers are seeking to build upon their major marketing successes of the previous years.

“For the last seven years, we have successfully sold every last booth,” said Lewis. “Traditionally, we have only averaged a handful of exhibitors from outside Androscoggin County. But as companies north, south, east, and west of us continue to look at Lewiston-Auburn as a market with incredible potential, we’ve seen many new exhibitors and businesses using the event as a personal introduction piece.”

Started in 1995, the event has grown in size and attendance every year. The 2012 event was the largest on record, featuring over 185 booths and 167 exhibitors across 57 market and industry segments.

Lewis expects that the growing need for statewide networking opportunities, as well as the continuing need for businesses to seek out new efficiencies and market opportunities, will create even stronger demand for this year’s event.

“Last year we saw an unprecedented 51 percent turnover of exhibitors, with over 28 percent of exhibitors from outside Androscoggin County,” said Lewis. “When we opened this up with our major statewide marketing push, dozens of new businesses jumped at the opportunity to showcase in L/A. I think the excitement about what’s happening in Lewiston-Auburn has made a lot of businesses around the state take a second look at this area.”

The event is open to the public. Business professionals are encouraged to attend and are admitted for free when they present a business card at the door.

Recognizing that small businesses make up the majority of business growth in Maine, this year’s booth fees will remain the same as last year, with costs ranging from $225 to $625 per space. Additional discounts and savings are available for members of the Androscoggin County Chamber of Commerce.

On the morning of the event, exhibitors and attendees are encouraged to participate in the largest Androscoggin County Chamber of Commerce breakfast of the year at the Ramada Inn and Conference Center in Lewiston. Beginning at 7:15 a.m., the annual Kick-Off Breakfast is expected to draw over 400 participants. Tickets are $18 for Chamber members and $25 for non-members. Tickets for the breakfast will go on sale May 10.

Then, immediately following the show’s conclusion, the Chamber will host its largest “Business After Hours” event of the year. Held within the food concession area of the Colisee, the event is free and open to all exhibitors, attendees, and Chamber members.

“Ultimately, this show is about networking and shaking hands,” concluded Lewis. “Even if a business is unable to exhibit, they can still attend and take advantage of the opportunity to interact with thousands of business professionals who are searching for new ideas and new business opportunities.”

Booth space is still available; however, space is expected to sell out. For more information about exhibiting or sponsorship opportunities, see www.b2bMaineTradeShow.com or contact event organizer Calvin Rinck of the Lewiston-Auburn Economic Growth Council at 784-0161 or crinck@economicgrowth.org.

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