Manatee Chamber of Commerce to host annual expo

jtate@bradenton.comNovember 9, 2013 

MANATEE -- Businesses from across Manatee and Sarasota counties will be featured at the annual Chamber of Commerce chamber expo on Wednesday.

Billed as the largest business expo of the year, the Manatee Chamber of Commerce partners with the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce partner to put on the event.

For 13 years, the chamber has hosted this event to give businesses in their organization a networking opportunity with fellow business owners and a chance to grow their customer base.

Bob Bartz, president of the Manatee Chamber of Commerce, said nearly 150 vendors will be featured at the expo.

"Well it's a two fold purpose, it allows businesses to put out their products and service for display and the consumers find it helpful," said Bartz.

The event, which will have door prizes and free appetizers, will last from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on November 13th at the Bradenton Area Convention Center. The cover for members is $5 and $10 for non-members.

Webtivity Design Solutions, a web development and marketing company, has participated in the expo for the past ten years. Troy Newport, business development director, said every year they get a ton of leads.

"This gives you the opportunity to meet people from all over the region," said Newport. "It gives us a different type of advertising from other advertising mediums."

He said this year the company will have two booths and ten staff members working the event.

"We typically have our website designs rotating on TV screens," he said. "We're able to show results."

Webtivity will allow people visiting their booth a chance to win a prize by shooting a suction cup gun

at a dart board.

Not only is the expo a place for local businesses to display their products and services, it's a place for restaurants to introduce themselves to the community.

For that reason, Max McCloud, manager at the Grove House Grill and Banquet Center in Palmetto, chose to join the chamber and the expo. He said the promotion will inform people that the restaurant is open and under new management.

"We want to get our name out there and get out there in the community," said McCloud. "We'll have one booth with a couple of samples."

Those samples include pork rillette on toast tips, chocolate brownies and peanut butter super food bites.

Bartz said each year they hope the event will continue to introduce people to local merchants and places to shops and eat.

"We encourage people to shop local and to use local businesses whenever possible. It will improve the local economy," said Bartz.

For more information visit

Janey Tate, city of Bradenton and Palmetto reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7041. You can follow her on Twitter at Janey_Tate.

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