By Dennis Seid/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – Even though Randy Groover has the state’s largest Texaco Xpress Lube franchise, finding more customers is always a priority.
Which makes the annual Business To Business Connection a must for businesses and organizations looking to expand their network of contacts.
“It’s a good way to showcase your business,” said Groover, president of Pro Oil Shops, which operates six stores.
And many businesses got that message for the sixth annual event, held at the BancorpSouth Arena.
“We’ve had great attendance and we’ve also had a great response to the new layout,” said Tommy Green, the vice president of the chamber of commerce for the Community Development Foundation. The CDF sponsors the event.
The layout of the show this year was tweaked to allow better traffic flow on the arena floor, Green said. That turned out to work very well since more exhibitors had to be accommodated.
“We had over 70 exhibitors, which is the most we’ve ever had,” he said. “We’ve had a little bit of everything.”
The range of exhibitors included financial institutions, schools, employment agencies, restaurants, radio stations and technology companies, among others.
Amanda Kent, the marketing director of BNA Bank, said the B2B Connection always is a good event for the New Albany-based bank.
“We always get a good response,” she said. “We’ve been in Tupelo for five years, and it’s a good chance to network with other businesses and let other people know more about us.”
Cary Snyder, the owner of Snyder amp& Co., said the event was ideal for her business as well as the other businesses she represents.
“I’m here to network my clients; I’m a networking company, so what better way to do that than here?” she said.
And even for companies that have been around for years, it can’t be taken for granted everybody knows who you are or what you do.
So said Jim Goodwin, who with his wife, Julie, owns Express Employment Professionals in Tupelo.
“We serve a lot of clients – we have more than 100, and 10 of them are here at the show – but it’s always good to talk to your clients,” he said. “We’ve been here 20 years, but even our clients don’t know all that we have to offer.”
The Business to Business Connection, Goodwin said, is a great way to get that message out to current and potential clients.
“And,” he said, “I really believe in what the CDF is doing, and this is one of the things I like to do to support the CDF.”
Following the B2B Connection was the Taste of Tupelo, featuring almost 30 restaurants. Green expected some 2,000 people to attend.