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April 24. 2013 10:02PM

North Country business expo features talks, exhibits, plenty of networking

BRETTON WOODS - Facebook, Twitter and texting are going to take a back seat, at least temporarily, to good, old-fashioned, face-to-face conversations at the Omni Mount Washington Hotel Tuesday, May 14, during the Mount Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce's 15th annual Business to Business Expo.

The event is billed as the largest trade show and networking event of the year in the North Country, with more than 90 local and regional business exhibitors, three free workshops, the Expo Awards luncheon, and a silent auction.

Marti Mayne, chamber PR manager, said the event is called "Profitable Paths: The Power of Positivity" and is "designed to offer premier networking and sales opportunities while showcasing a wide array of products and services offered by local and regional businesses."

Those businesses run the gamut of what the regional economy offers, from finance, health and education, to construction, communications, technology and tourism.

"Leaders from these local and regional companies will be on hand to provide plenty of resources, products and services to help Mount Washington Valley businesses grow, become eco-friendly and succeed," Mayne said.

Though the onsite networking is the event's greatest asset, the chamber and its partners know that to survive and thrive in this fast-paced global economy requires knowledge of social media and how to use it to the best advantage.

Not so long ago, advertising in the seasonal trade and tour guides was enough for businesses in the tourism-based economy of Mount Washington Valley, but now it seems the rules of the marketing game change as quickly as the water level of the White Mountain rivers after a sudden rainstorm.

To help North Country businesses out, from 9:15 to 10:15 a.m., Jason Robie, president of Ridgeview Technology, will present a free workshop of social media called "Facebook Times, That Are A Changin'."

It's back to basics at the second workshop of the day. A panel of insurance, investing and OSHA professionals will present "Shop Talk" from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.

Several of the region's premier marketing professionals will give participants advice at the "Is the Group Market for You?" workshop, which runs from 11:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.

There's no charge for the workshops, but registration is required. Tickets for the Expo Awards Luncheon, at which MWV businesses, environmental and student leaders are honored, are $45 and must be purchased in advance.

Attendees can bid on items in the expo's silent auction, which runs throughout the event. The silent auction is followed by a live auction, with four big ticket prizes: an African photo safari for two, ski trip to Schwitzer Mountain Resort, and two weeks at Camp Tohkomeupog for boys.

The highest bidder on this unpriced item wins coffee with Gov. Maggie Hassan. For more information, go to mountwashingtonvalley.org.


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