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Chamber hosts Business Expo 2013 to get small companies in front of customers

Companies big and small relied on inventive marketing strategies to attract people to their booths at Business Expo 2013, hosted by the Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce, on June 12.

In live cooking demos, chefs of Masterpiece Cuisine Catering cooked lobster macaroni and cheese and flambéed doughnuts in rum and brandy. Attendees and other exhibitors stopped to watch and eat, giving Masterpiece employees decked in bright red chef coats the perfect opportunity to market the company’s catering services.

Event manager Chris Lee said the food and cooking spectacle let the company stand out from the other 170 booths, most offering financial services, insurance packages and distribution deals.

“As long as we can get great clients, we’re always going to be at these mixers to try and show off what we can do,” Lee said.

Employees of Las Vegas Club Crawl, which offers Vegas nightlife tours, took a more direct approach, asking visitors, “Do you like to party?”

Hoping for a repeat win for Best Booth at the Business Expo, operations manager Evelyne Jobim said people would stop because the booth looked like a good time.

The Lowe’s booth relied on a quieter tactic to get people to line up: a mini-golf course.

“Vegas is a golfing town so why not?” said Hope Negro, a Lowe’s representative. “It’s a little more interactive to get the leads.”

And building that kind of personal relationship was the goal, said Cara Roberts Clarke, director of communications for the Metro Chamber.

“For a lot of small businesses, it’s hard for them to get their foot in the door,” Clarke said. “The Business Expo is a great way to help them make that business-to-business connection.”

Clarke estimated the expo attracted more than 2,000 visitors, up from 1,700 attendees last year, pointing to an increased confidence in the economy for why more companies were investing their time at such events.

With a staff of just five employees, candy company Las Vegas Fruits and Nuts said the expo was a way to network more intimately with businesses looking to give gift baskets to clients.

“Every business needs marketing,” said manager Donna Cutler, standing by a table of bite-sized cubes of plain, raspberry and peanut butter chocolate fudge. “This is how you get the word out.”

Contact Melissah Yang at
myang@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0491.

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