“WOW—I didn’t expect to see 500 people here!” “Just incredible networking—when is the next one?” “Unbelievable…over 100 exhibitors—more than the last convention center EXPO I attended!” And those were just some of the comments received after the recent Jumbo BUSINESS EXPO hosted by Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort, a perfect venue for this event that combined superb one-on-one business contacts with networking and fun.
Organized by the Aventura Marketing Council/Chamber of Commerce, other EXPO partners included the Hollywood Chamber, Dania Beach Chamber, Hallandale Beach Chamber, North Miami Beach Chamber and Prime Time Business Network…and what a powerhouse team they proved to be. Working with Sarah Vanfleteren, Catering Sales Manager for the resort, each organizational partner sold display tables to their members and the VIP area in Margaritaville’s One Particular Harbor, was filled to capacity with 55 tables while the Compass Rose ballrooms were filled with 59 tables. Each partner organization invited all their members and encouraged their exhibitors to invite their business clients…and they did just that!
Exhibitors were delighted with the easy access parking and unloading in Maragaritaville’s attached garage and the opportunity to set up early. Guests appreciated the special valet parking rates and the increased valet parking staff to accommodate the large crowd. Just about every type of business you could imagine had a display table there….from the financial institutions, hotels, hospitals and auto dealerships to technology companies, TV and cable services, jewelry designers, florists and the education, health and wellness providers….there was something for everyone. Door prizes galore as each exhibitor brought in door prizes, and some were creative. If there were a contest for the most creative door prize, perhaps Tina Druth of The Imperial Club just might have won with her 5’ tall teddy bear…can’t you just imagine someone walking out with that enormous prize? Better yet, you can also imagine how many people came to Tina’s table attracted by the oversized teddy bear and giving her the opportunity to talk to them about The Imperial Club. Ah…now that’s great marketing!
Onstage in the Compass Ballroom, guitarist Tony Cruz provided music, although the sound of business connections being made was music to the ears of the partnering organizations. Midway through the evening, it was time for the grand prize drawing by Cate Farmer, General Manager of Margaritaville, who was thrilled to have so many new visitors to her beautiful resort. “We are so happy to welcome everyone here to Margaritaville, and we hope you will come back, either as a resort guest, or with your corporate or personal event!” She drew the winning business card for the grand prize of a two-night stay at Margaritaville, and it was none other than Jesus Abikarram, Freedom Tax immediate past Chairman of the Hallandale Beach Chamber. Right afterwards, exhibitors drew their own winning business cards for their door prizes, and you could see a lot of happy faces there.
As the evening wound down, a number of the exhibitors and guests decided to check out the restaurants at Margaritaville, and they certainly had their choice. Some went to Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville Restaurant and others made a beeline for JWB, known for their steaks and seafood.
And so, the question remains…. how do they top this EXPO next year?
For more information: margaritavillehollywoodbeachresort.com; aventuramarketingcouncil.com; hollywoodchamber.org; daniabeachchamber.org; Hallandalebeachchamber.org; nmbchamber.com; primetimenetwork.com