McAllen Chamber Celebrated 19th Annual Business Expo

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As originally published by Texas Border Business newsprint edition November 2017

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The McAllen Chamber of Commerce proudly conducted the 19th Annual Business Expo on Thursday, September 14, 2017, at the McAllen Convention Center in both Exhibit Halls A and B with over 150 exhibitors. The 2000 attendees and business leaders learned and discovered many new businesses and opportunities. The event was sponsored by The Monitor and Inter National Bank.

This Business Expo is a massive event that hosts PrimeTime, an event to highlight new members who joined the McAllen Chamber and are given an opportunity to showcase their business to other businesses, community leaders, and citizens/consumers of the area. “This is not your typical trade show. This event is fun, entertaining and one of a kind,” said McAllen Chamber of Commerce vice president of membership services Blanca Cardenas. “There is no cost to attend the event. We want to make sure we promote our members to the community and our members are able to connect with other chamber members and the community.” Chamber members distributed samples, goodies and other nifty items. Primetime hosted 45 new businesses to the public, all the way from entertainment to furniture made of a single piece of wood.

The business expo started at 10:00 am with the classic MegaNetwork, where more than 150 people connect on a personal level and have a minute and a half to pitch their business to potential clients. Shiny flyers fanned across circular tables amid stacks of business cards while Rio Grande Valley professionals networked during a breakfast meeting before the 19th annual Business Expo opened its doors to the public. “We call it the mega network,” said Cardenas. “Each person gets 90 seconds to market their business to everyone around them, and then we do rotations — kind of like speed dating.” The McAllen Crime Stoppers were the sponsors of this event that lasted more than one hour.

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Doors opened to the public at 11:00 am, a crowd of people was already lined up to discover what new businesses were brought to the event. Attendees were encouraged to fill a “passport” with stickers that they could obtain from the exhibitor and sponsor booths. The more stickers they had, the better their chances to obtain a better prize. The business expo gave more than 150 items away which included free nights at local hotels, $25 and $50 gift cards, electronic devices, and even a 42” LCD screen!

The schedule for the event was full and featured at 1:30 pm a special speaker, Jan Hargrave, a highly qualified speaker that has been hosted on ABC News, The Steve Harvey Talk Show, and many other TV shows and magazines. Hargrave gave an amazing presentation about non-verbal communication. More than 200 attendees learned about the secret language of success. She talked about how to tell if someone is lying to you, how to appear confident when nervous, different handshake styles and meanings, gender communication differences, culture differences, and power plays.

After the amazing seminar, a karaoke contest was conducted at the event. Almost 15 participants amused the public with their interpretations. A panel of judges qualified the contest and selected the top three contestants for a cash prize. The winners were: Roberto Escudero in first place interpreting “Un Dia Llegara” by Josh Groban, Cindy Malacara in second place interpreting “If It Makes You Happy” by Sheryl Crow, and Alejandro Torres in third place interpreting “Aires Del Mayab” by Cecilia Gallardo. After their amazing presentations, they were awarded $250 to the first place, $100 to the second place, and $50 for the third place.

The feedback from the exhibitors and the sponsors was very positive. “We actually got way more than we were expecting,” said Thomas Luksa, CEO of Landstar Telecom. “…we have signed four new customers thanks to the Business Expo and we have some potential customers on the waiting list, count us in as a Gold Sponsor for next year,” said Thomas. This event would definitively not be possible without the help and support of the sponsors.

Title Sponsors: The Monitor, Inter National Bank

Gold Sponsors: Copy Plus, Shah Eye Center, Perspective Hospitality, Mega Doctor News, Texas Border Business, Forged, Landstar Telecom

Silver Sponsors: Crime Stoppers, Spikes, Boggus Ford, Smart Stay, South Texas Citrus Alert, Ayala ENT, Reliant, Valley Town Crier, Wells Fargo, IBC Bank, Hidalgo Bridge

Bronze Sponsors: Multimedios, De Shopping En El Valle, Xcell Orthopedics Physical Therapy, Insurance Advisor, Ocean Gate Hospitality, Spectrum, R Communications, Commercial Kitchen, Verizon, Imperio Network, US Lawns, Staff Force, McAllen Family Urgent Care

The Business Expo is McAllen’s and the region’s premier opportunity to grow a business, providing Business to Business networking opportunities as well as Business to Consumer exposure, thereby making it the perfect event to showcase, advertise, and sell products and services. Booths range all the way from $125 for a 10” by 10” booth up to $200. Every business is invited to exhibit.

The McAllen Chamber Business Expo was started in 1997 at the McAllen Civic Center, now at the McAllen Convention Center we have grown through the years to over 150 vendors that showcase and sell products and services at the Business Expo. The Business Expo is open to the public. We invite area business leaders, decision-makers, and the general public from McAllen, and the entire Rio Grande Valley to see the wide variety of businesses in our area.

The Business Expo is a great way to connect, not to mention the extra recognition your business will receive. We bring people to you.  Businesses are permitted to sell products and services at the Expo.

After the great success this event brought, the scheduled day for it to return to McAllen is September 13, 2018. Special thanks to the sponsors that helped put together this event. More exciting things are to come at the 20th Annual Business Expo. A special event will be organized to celebrate the acceptance that the expo has had with the business community. The McAllen Business Expo is now the prime expo of the Rio Grande Valley thanks to our supportive community.