PINE BLUFF (KATV) - The Pine Bluff Regional Chamber of Commerce's 26th annual Business Expo filled the halls of the Pine Bluff Convention Center Thursday.
Expo organizer Kali Walker said that some significant changes were made to the format of this year's event, which organizers expected to host 118 exhibitors.
"We will have a VIP premiere time from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m. Thursday morning for our exhibitors to meet with their invited customers and clients," Walker said Wednesday afternoon. "This format was used in the past but in recent years the exhibit area was open to the public for the entire time. Our exhibitors told us that they wanted this change because they were spending thousands of dollars to take part in the Expo and were not able to connect with potential customers due to the large crowds of casual visitors.
"With this format the exhibitors are happy to have the two hours of networking time and the general public is able to enjoy the Expo just as they always have," Walker said.
The day began with the annual Small Business Breakfast with guest speaker George Makris of M. K. Distributors and Simmons First National Corp. Business of the Year awards were presented in the categories of small (75 or fewer employees), large (more than 75 employees) and non-profit.
The Expo also hosted a health fair sponsored by Jefferson Regional Medical Center, an exhibition of Jefferson County charitable organizations and the Community Spotlight.
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