Are you looking to make meaningful connections with other South Sound Business owners and leaders? Even in our digital world, it’s important to get out there and mingle. For business owners and job seekers, nothing beats tried-and-true networking. At the upcoming annual South Sound Business & Career Expo, it’s as easy as spending the day in Olympia with community businesses and industry leaders.

This year’s Expo takes place at Saint Martin’s University’s Marcus Pavilion on Wednesday, April 17. Organizer Alan Shimamoto explains that this is the free event’s third year overall, but first with the inclusion of a career component. Because of this addition, he’s encouraging local businesses to register as exhibitors and/or sponsors ASAP as booth space is in high demand.

Alan and Louisa Shimamoto
The South Sound Business & Career Expo is the brainchild of local coach and mentor Alan Shimamoto. Photo courtesy: Alan Shimamoto

“It’s perfect for any business that wants to get a ton of exposure in a short period of time,” says Shimamoto. Last year there were approximately 60 tables and over 350 attendees at the Expo and this year expands to 80+ tables and expect double the attendance of previous years.

There are two sessions. The day’s schedule starts at 9:00 a.m., with the VIP Inner Circle Breakfast. This ticketed event is more than just a meal. Alongside a decadent buffet catered by Saint Martin’s Bon Appétit, VIPs receive special seating for the Profit Accelerator business training, which starts at 9:30 a.m. and is free to the public.

During Profit Accelerator sessions, different businesses will host classes on a variety of crucial skills. These 20-minute sessions are still being determined but so far include great local talent. Burd Media explains the intricacies of using Facebook’s search and display algorithms. Media Marketing Solutions (MMS) will then explain vlogs—video blogs—and how they can be used in marketing as well as in-house training videos for your staff. After these, Dan Jones, founder of and its many local platforms, including ThurstonTalk, discusses marketing and becoming a disruptor.

“Come to learn strategies from the most successful entrepreneurs that will guarantee to grow you, your business, and your life,” says Shimamoto. “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.”

After these sessions, the free Business & Career Expo event continues until 6:00 p.m. Visitors can interact with companies directly. Businesses who are looking to generate leads, make connections, and get resources to grow their business, this is a must attend event! Last year, they also hosted representatives from the Lacey South Sound, Tumwater, and Thurston County Chambers of Commerce attended as well as members of the Thurston Economic Development Council (EDC).

South Sound Business and Career Expo
The event is free to the public but offers an additional Profit Accelerator series of classes, training, and instructional lectures. Photo courtesy: Alan Shimamoto

For the first time, the organizers are offering a special opportunity to local restauranteurs and catering companies. In exchange for offering 500 free samples, they could qualify for a free table.

Industry experts encourage that “Even with LinkedIn, Alignable, Facebook Live and the latest social media platforms, face-to-face interaction is the key for building trust. Making a personal connection with eye contact, an air kiss, bow, fist bump or handshake, and solid conversation is still the most powerful networking. By growing your network, opportunities arise, business partners appear, connections are made and trust is garnered in the local community.”

Find recent updates about the South Sound Business and Career Expo by liking their Facebook page. Sponsorships and exhibitor spaces are going quickly. Join the ranks of Country Financial’s Olympia Agency, the IN TEAM, American Workforce Group, Accelerate Growth Coaching, Burd Media, KGY & 96.9 KAYO Girls, ThurstonTalk, and MMS today!

To reserve your table, contact Alan and Louisa Shimamoto at or 360-915-2196. They’ll walk you through options, sponsorship levels, and available packages as well as answer any questions that may arise.


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