This year’s WilmingtonBiz Conference & Expo is bringing back memories.
Under vastly different circumstances, Greater Wilmington Business Journal launched our region’s annual business expo in January 2011 soon after the Wilmington Convention Center opened.
Our goal was simple – help our often disconnected business community make one-on-one connections, learn about local companies and hear from interesting speakers about current events.
Pulling together this two-day expo in a new facility with three keynote events, 24 seminars and more than 100 exhibitors was exciting and exhausting.
Fast-forward to 2020, when we have nine expos under our belts. Six days before this year’s planned March 18 event, we had to postpone because of Covid-19. We pushed the date far back to September 30, hoping we’d all be able to gather by then.
As we realized this summer that Plan B wouldn’t work, memories of planning the 2011 event began coming back.
We started doing the same thing we did nearly a decade ago – creating an event that allows our business community to gather and make new connections.
The first priority was picking a platform that allows attendees to meet valuable contacts and talk with them one-on-one.
After weeks of searching and demos, we selected a platform called Brella that includes technology to match you with potential customers, vendors and other valuable connections. It also allows you to schedule and conduct one-on-one video meetings on the platform.
We then started rethinking the WilmingtonBiz Expo itself. Unbound by those pesky details of time and space, we thought big.
Instead of trying to squeeze everything into one day, we expanded the event to two days to give people more time to learn about exhibitors and schedule one-on-one meetings.
And we significantly expanded the programming into four areas:
- Keynotes with nCino CEO Pierre Naudé as well as U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis and challenger Cal Cunningham.
- Conversations with the CEOs of Novant Health and NHRMC, East West Partners Chairman Roger Perry and more.
- Seminars on a variety of topics including data analytics, expanding your business, investing, solar energy, commercial real estate and leadership.
- Roundtables with timely discussions on the film industry, angel investing, plans for the school year and more.
We hope you’ll join us. You can learn more on these pages and register now at WilmingtonBizExpo.com
Let me know if you have any ideas, questions or just want to share memories of when this event felt new the first time.
Rob Kaiser is the publisher of Greater Wilmington Business Journal. He can be reached at (910) 343-8600 x204 or [email protected]