For those who hear calls to “buy local,” but aren’t really sure where to start, the Prince William Chamber of Commerce’s Connections tradeshow, held at the Freedom Aquatic & Fitness Center provided dozens of options. The largest business expo in the Prince William area, it features exhibits by more than 100 area companies, encouraging members of the public to get to know where to find goods and services in the community.
“We are proud to host the largest trade show in the greater Prince William area,” said Chamber President & CEO Rob Clapper. “This is an opportunity for the community to meet the people behind area businesses and to discover local services they may not have known about…it is a showcase for all that Prince William companies have to offer.”
Attendees of this free event enjoyed the chance to win raffle prizes and try food samples from area restaurants and caterers including Glory Days Grill, R&R Catering, Grafton Street Restaurant and Uno Chicago Grill. Julie Mullen of Northern Virginia Family Service won the $250 cash raffle prize sponsored by Dominion Virginia Power.
For exhibitors, Connections offered a chance to network and meet potential customers. “Brand awareness is our number one goal with any community outreach opportunity or sponsorship,” said University of Maryland University College at Quantico Director Kevin Holmes. “Sponsoring Connections was a great fit for us because of both the business-to-business and business-to-consumer networking it provided.”
Each year, the Chamber recognizes the top exhibitors in three categories. The 2013 Connections winners were:
- Best Overall – Apple Federal Credit Union & Turner’s Total Communications (tie)
- Most Creative – Matrix Computer Consulting
- Best Marketing Message – US Logoworks
Event sponsors included 95 Express Lanes, Gift & Garden USA, Piedmont Physical Therapy, PNC Bank, Prosperity House, University of Maryland University College and ActionCOACH of Old Town Manassas, 95 Express Lanes, Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center, Excel Courier and Verizon Wireless.
|The Chamber recognized Apple Federal Credit Union as having one of the “Best Overall” exhibits at Connections, the largest tradeshow in Prince William.|
|Diane Lemansk with Keller Williams was one of several business owners to join the Chamber during Connections, the area’s largest tradeshow.|