By Brielle Urciuoli
HAMILTON — Who says art and business do not mix?
For the second year in a row, The MidJersey Chamber of Commerce hosted its business expo against a backdrop of beautiful gardens and unique pieces of artwork in Grounds for Sculpture’s Seward Johnson Center for the Arts building in Hamilton. The event provided the opportunity for different businesses — from banks to gyms and everything in between — to meet and find both new clients and other business services that they may need. Marylin Silverman, owner of Word Center Printing, found her first business expo to be quite useful. “I met a variety of people who could be helpful to me and hopefully I can be helpful to them,” she said.
Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Robert D. Prunetti believes the location was a key factor in selling out the event, which hosted 65 vendors representing Central Jersey businesses both big and small.
“Members love the fact that we brought them to such a beautiful place,” Orsola Anderson, the chamber’s marketing and communications manager.
Aaron Goldberg, a business representative of Gentec System Management, agreed. “It was a pretty good choice because once people are done with the business expo, they can go walk around,” he said. “I think it draws people in.”
The MidJersey Chamber of Commerce holds two expo events annually, while working year-round to promote economic growth and foster relationships among businesses in the state.
“We’re all about members supporting members,” Liz Tindall, the chamber’s vice president, said. Lately, she said, the chamber has been focusing on stressing how important it is that businesses appreciate arts and culture. “The vibe is incredible.”
In addition to the scenic location, the Women in Business committee hosted two sold-out speed networking sessions, which Tindall compared to a speed dating service for businesses, where candidates had less than two minutes to deliver their “elevator speech” to other businesses. Then, they rotated around the room until each person had met one another.
“For the 90 seconds you had, it was well worth it,” said Mary Anne T. Brenner, vice president of 3rd Fed Bank. Brenner said she spoke to more than 30 businesspeople and plans to follow up with at least 10 of them.
Though the event sold out, vendors who were not able to come may have another opportunity to showcase themselves in the MidJersey Chamber of Commerce’s next expo, which will be in late July at the Stone Terrace in Hamilton.
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