A professor from the London Business School once wisely described networking as “a lot like nutrition and fitness: we know what to do, the hard part is making it a top priority.” Like going to the gym, working on the health of your business is crucial…and easy to de-prioritize in the hustle and bustle of busy everyday life. Make time to attend the fourth annual South Sound Business and Career Expo as either an attendee or—better yet—an exhibitor. Your business will thank you for it.

As the largest business and career expo in our area, this event lures some of the top businesses and employers throughout the South Sound. It’s “a place where you can connect, share ideas, and resources to build meaningful relationships to take your business or career to the next level,” say Alan and Louisa Shimamoto, business specialists and event founders.

This year’s EXPO takes place on Wednesday, April 29 from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. at the Saint Martin University’s Hal and Inge Marcus Pavilion in Lacey. Entry is free and open to the public. More than 500 visitors—first timers and returning superfans—explored over 85 sponsored booths and tables and attended the informational Profit Accelerator workshops in 2019 alone. This year the Shimamotos are expecting another record turnout with as many as 1000 attendees and 100 exhibitors.

2020 South Sound Business and Career Expo
Co-founders Alan and Louisa Shimamoto are excited for the fourth annual South Sound Business and Career Expo in April 2020. Photo courtesy: South Sound Business and Career Expo

Though there’s no set deadline to book a table, “We will sell out,” warns Alan, “so it’s first come, first served.” They’re currently accepting applications for four levels of sponsorship, business exhibitors, career exhibitors, and non-profit exhibitors. Learn more about the various tiers or book a spot soon by calling 360-915-2205 or email at info@southsoundexpo.com.

Some of the 2020 presenting sponsors are from KAYO KGY radio, Thurston Talk, , American Maid, Sans Gilmore Law, Creative 24, JJ Sponton Designs, Accelerate Growth Coaching, and the In Team.

South Sound Business and Career Expo
Come network with entrepreneurs, staffing agencies, and professional coaches at the region’s largest business and career fair. Photo courtesy: South Sound Business and Career Expo

“As seen on TV’s ‘Shark Tank,’ the Ice Chips Grannies, Bev Vines-Haines and Charlotte Clary, will be two of the Key Note Speakers during the Profit Accelerator Workshops,” explains Louisa. “Come hear their story and learn how leadership played a part in the growth of their company. Doors open at 9:00 a.m. to the public and our expo sponsors’ booths will be open then as well. Then at 9:30 a.m. our Profit Accelerator Workshops will begin. With amazing speakers sharing a variety of topics to help any business scale and grow. At 1:00 p.m. the curtains will rise and the Expo will blow the roof off of Saint Martins with sponsors and exhibitor booths open until 5:00 p.m.”

Follow the EXPO on Facebook or use their direct event listing to share and invite friends and coworkers. “Come to learn strategies from the most successful entrepreneurs that will guarantee you to grow you, your business, and your life,” say the Shimamotos. “You’ll learn from top experts on leadership, business growth, marketing and personal development. You’ll meet business owners and people exactly in your situation and discuss how to build your network together. Lastly, you’ll come away with a plan that immediately executes on growth; no matter what field or situation you’re in. Stop thinking in terms of basic needs, and start aiming for abundance—in all areas of your life.”

2020 South Sound Business and Career Expo WorkSource
Sign up to sponsor a table or booth while space is still available but don’t wait too long as they’re filling up fast. Photo courtesy: South Sound Business and Career Expo

Kristy Woodford, a real estate agent for the Holistic Home Group, had an exhibitor booth in 2019 and had an amazing experience. “If you are a local business looking to expand and meet other business owners, this is the event for you,” she says. “It had a little bit of everything: health, art, travel, food/beverage, law, marketing, shopping and more! The talks were fantastic with beneficial information for businesses large and small! I cannot wait for April 29…I will have an exhibitor booth again this year!”

2020 Presenting Sponsor Sans Gilmore agrees. “An advantage of having a booth at the Expo is lots of new contacts,” he says. “Of course, those of us who were there, we all support each other’s businesses and that’s what it’s really about in the community here.”

Want to see more? Find an assortment of Expo videos, photos, and updates via Facebook or at SouthSoundExpo.com. Reach out to Alan and Louisa with questions or to reserve your space today. But the event has nearly doubled each year since it began so don’t wait too long. Snag a place while they’re available and come ready to share your ideas, products, and passion with some of Western Washington’s entrepreneurial leaders. As author Michele Jennae says, “Networking is not about just connecting people. It’s about connecting people with people, people with ideas, and people with opportunities” Get out there and get ready for an amazing 2020 with your business thanks to the South Sound Business and Career EXPO!

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