Friday, June 11, 2010

Get Face-to-Face with Your Customers at the BIG Expo & Job Fair

Companies looking for the perfect place to find leads, begin building strong business relationships and to close deals can look no further than the upcoming 2010 BIG Expo and Job Fair Presented by Gwinnett Medical Center on August 19 at the Gwinnett Center. Face-to-face is the best way to explain comprehensive information, to qualify leads and to clear up questions that might otherwise become insurmountable objections. After all, how many businesses have you sold without meeting the investor face-to-face?

According to a Forbes Insights study, "Business Meetings: The Case for Face-to-Face," business executives overwhelmingly prefer face-to-face meetings with more than eight out of 10 saying they like in-person contact over virtual. The Forbes Insight study further revealed that those who prefer face-to-face meeting agree that they help build stronger, more meaningful relationships and give the ability to "read" another person along with greater social interaction.

"Our visitors are looking for a business opportunity. The Expo gives you the chance to sell them yours," said Melissa Britt, program & events manager, Gwinnett Chamber. The Expo is the perfect marketing channel for organizations offering business opportunities, franchises, licenses, advice or support services and investment opportunities.

Britt recommends that after purchasing a booth to start spreading the word about your participation in the Expo. "To achieve maximum results in terms of sales and business growth at the Expo, it is highly recommended for companies to begin preshow promotion as soon as possible," says Britt. "Most importantly make sure that your own customers know that you will be exhibiting."

By purchasing a booth for as little as $320, research has shown you are likely to generate 20 to 30 solid leads and display your product or service to more than 500 qualified prospects each hour.

For more information on purchasing a booth at the 2010BIG Expo and Job Fair, visit

Partnership Gwinnett Summit: Strong Vitals. Healthy Outlook.

With over 130 relocations and expansions accounting for over 7,500 jobs and over $360 million in capital investment since Partnership Gwinnett's inception, it is clear that the Gwinnett Chamber understands the essentials keeping its community vitals strong and what it takes to drive a healthy community and economic development initiative to promote jobs and wealth for Gwinnett and the Greater Atlanta community. On August 24th, T-Mobile will present the Partnership Gwinnett Summit where guests will learn about the key elements of a successful community and economic development plan – economic diversification and wealth creation, education and workforce excellence, quality of life enhancements, and marketing and outreach – and how Gwinnett is progressing in these areas.

"Gwinnett has become a powerhouse community for proactive economic development in metro Atlanta," commented Nick Masino, vice president of economic development, Gwinnett Chamber. "The Summit captures our collective success and drives our vision for the future, while providing an opportunity to recognize and thank all of those who make Partnership Gwinnett metro Atlanta's leader in community and economic development collaboration."

The Partnership Gwinnett Summit, which is an annual event, provides a unique opportunity to meet with leaders from both the public and private sectors guiding the economic and community development of Gwinnett. Panel presentations and discussions featuring leading local and state experts will address overall economic viability of Gwinnett County along with special sessions on workforce development, public policy, business recruitment strategy and more.

"Partnership Gwinnett provides a vehicle for affecting positive change in Gwinnett and the surrounding region while marketing to the world all that Gwinnett has to offer," said Gwinnett County Commission Chairman Charles Bannister. "As other companies around the country and the world think about where they want to be in the 21st century, you'd better believe Gwinnett County is higher on their lists than ever before."

Partnership Gwinnett unveils its annual report at the Summit every year touting the community's achievements in business development, education and workforce, quality of life and marketing.

Some of this year's highlights will include:

  • The relocation of two large corporate headquarters in less than a year with Asbury Automotive and NCR
  • Gwinnett County Parks and Recreation was recognized as the number one park agency in the nation receiving the coveted Grand Gold Medal Award for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management from the National Recreation and Park Association and the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration
  • The launch of a regional comprehensive entrepreneurial development initiative, the Metro Atlanta Council for Entrepreneurship, attracting more than 380 small businesses to the program. Its goals are to identify, enable and promote all innovative, high-growth, high-impact companies and to foster and accelerate the region's entrepreneurial culture
  • After three years of coming close to achieving the top legislative priority, transportation, for the Gwinnett Chamber/Partnership Gwinnett Legislative Agenda, the Georgia General
  • Assembly voted to allow referendums throughout the state on transportation funding. The historical legislation, recently signed into law by Governor Sonny Perdue, creates 12 regional districts across the state (including Gwinnett in the ARC region). "Regional roundtables" comprised of local elected officials (Chairs and a Mayor from each county) will develop a project list to be voted on by citizens in the 2012 general primary and be funded by a one penny sales tax.

Commenting on the Partnership Gwinnett Summit, Ann Brooks, spokesperson, T-Mobile, said that they are thrilled to be partnering again with the Gwinnett Chamber in presenting the Summit. "Wireless technology is an integral part of the 21st century and economic development," said Brooks. "We are looking forward to highlighting wireless as an essential element of economic development to Gwinnett and metro Atlanta's leaders at the Partnership Gwinnett Summit."

With the support of investors and partners, like you, we are connecting Gwinnett with the world and creating an even higher standard of excellence than ever before! With more than 200 business, community and elected leaders, the Partnership Gwinnett Summit on August 24th from 8:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at Gwinnett Technical College, is the perfect opportunity to get involved and build connections to strengthen your organization. For sponsorship and registration information, contact Lindsay Myers at 678-957-4944 or

Let’s Do Business Gwinnett

By: Gwinnett Chamber President & CEO Jim Maran

There is an estimated $20 million dollars in daily business that is currently being lost to companies outside of Gwinnett specifically, but also Metro Atlanta.

Our ultimate goal for the "Let's Do Business Gwinnett" Economic Stimulus Plan is to change that statistic by affecting a shift in local business-to-business and government-to-business purchasing so that five percent of the amount now spent outside the Gwinnett area is returned to our local community.

According to similar programs in comparable counties/regions, if we can achieve just a five percent shift in purchasing, that could mean as much as $1 million dollars each day or $365 million dollars each year that will impact our local economy. That's more than $1.8 billion dollars pumped back into our local economy in five years.

We'll do this by increasing public awareness about the advantages of buying from local businesses and promoting area businesses.

We hope to not only improve the bottom line for these businesses, but also improve the local economy overall and create a sustainable future for our community.

We are asking businesses and local governments to take a look at their purchasing habits and seek out-of-area purchases they could potentially bring back into the local area. Doing so makes our community and region a better place to live by creating a stronger economy for our businesses.

Here's how it works. We've created a simple five step plan that anyone can use to make it happen. First, go to and visit the "Do It Ourself" page.

Step One… Agree to Participate:
Commit to review your company's out-of-area spending and consider, where possible, to return a portion to Gwinnett County. Fill out the online form.

Step Two… Hit the Books:
Pinpoint dollars your company sends out of our area and look for a niche. It might be products, services, consumables like office supplies or printed materials, or items unique to your business.

Step Three… Check for Partners:
Use our directory of Pledged Companies or use the Gwinnett Chamber's online directory to find companies in the Gwinnett and Metro Atlanta area offering anything you need, or call us directly for assistance: 770-232-3000. We'll help you find a partner. Or two, or three…

Step Four… "Let's Do Business"
If you can get it locally, and it meets your needs, your standards, your price, why not buy here? Companies in Gwinnett County may not have everything you need, but they might have some of it. Contact them and start doing business today.

Step Five...Tell Us:
Get some recognition for your hard work. Tell us how you were able to identify out of the area purchases, to bring back to the Gwinnett County. Or tell us how you were able to help a company bring back dollars to our region by providing a new service or product to meet their needs. Tell us when you had to hire a new employee because of a new customer. Submit your story online.

That's it. Simple. Direct. But impactful. Again, if we can achieve just a five percent shift in purchasing, that could be $1 million each day or more than $1.8 billion dollars pumped back into our local economy in five years.

As this money moves through the community it 'multiplies' and could result in significant job growth jobs. The impact—at only five percent—would be overwhelming.

In closing, this campaign enriches our tax base and boosts sales tax revenue while improving public services, streets, schools, parks and playgrounds, expanding business, attracting businesses, and creating jobs. Ultimately that means lower taxes for everyone without jeopardizing important services.