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The Expo Files targets business, technology

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by Patrick Nolan

SBJ Contributing Writer

The business is out there.

"The Expo Files," the 1998 Business & Technology Expo, has undergone a few changes since last year's Business Expo, according to Lisa Nally, vice president of community development and special projects for the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce.

"A lot of our changes are off of evaluations we got back after last year's expo," Nally said. "People wanted a theme, and they wanted it out earlier."

The addition of technology to the name is another of the changes the chamber has instituted in the exposition. Nally said technology is really important to the future of business in Springfield, and the chamber wanted to show how that technology can help businesses.

"We are trying to use the changes this year to showcase some of the technology that different businesses have," she said. "Therefore we added the word technology to the title. For the last six years, it has been the Business Expo.

"It also gives us at the chamber an opportunity to show off the technology we have started. You will be able to register online to attend the expo."

The use of technology is apparent throughout the trade show. From the 13-foot screen that will display the Chamber's web site, to demonstrations of video-conferencing, technology will have a definite presence at the event, Nally said.

"We want to show that technology can actually help speed things up," she said.

Admission to the expo is $2, but complimentary admission is available to those who preregister. Registration forms are available from the chamber, 862-5567, or businesspeople can register online at www.spfld-mo-chamber.com.

The expo will kick off with the "Good Morning Springfield," breakfast at 7:30 a.m. There will be representatives from the city, county and school district there to speak about what is happening in the Springfield community. The breakfast program, sponsored by The Bank, is $10, and requires advance registration.

The Business Connection Luncheon, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., was designed as an opportunity for businesspeople to meet and network with other business owners and managers. Nally said attendees to the luncheon will each have five minutes to pitch their products or services to the other businesspeople at their table.

"It is an opportunity for businesses to sell one-on-one," Nally said. "It is kind of like a meeting marketplace. We'll have tables of 10, and each person will be able to get up and pass out brochures and talk about their company for five minutes. They are able to sell to a small audience personally without having to make nine sales calls."

Competitors won't be put at the same tables, Nally said. "We'll make sure they are separated out." The luncheon is sponsored by Ruell Chappell Music. The cost is $12 and advance registration is required.

At 5 p.m., the Business After Hours mixer will begin. Business After Hours gives attendees the opportunity to make connections and network with other businesspeople while exploring more than 100 different exhibitor booths.

Sponsored by Express Personnel Services, the mixer is open to all expo participants and concludes at 7 p.m.

In addition to these events, there are five free seminars which will be presented throughout the day.

Seminars scheduled are:

"The Year 2000 What's the Buzz All About?" This seminar will be presented by S. Scott Hickman, CPA, technology consultant with Baird, Kurtz & Dobson, at 10 a.m. Hickman will speak on the Y2K bug and offer solutions for businesses who must cope with equipment that is not year 2000-compliant.

"Need a Human Resources Department? Outsource It!" Robert Sells, owner of Express Human Resources, will discuss how to reduce costs, improve productivity and enhance growth opportunities through out-sourcing human resources functions. The program begins at 11 a.m.

"How to Retain and Attract Quality Employees in a Tight Labor Market" is a panel discussion facilitated by the chamber's Greg Williams. Scheduled for 1 p.m., this program features human resource professionals from First Card, O'Reilly Auto Parts, Springfield ReMan-ufacturing Corp. and Penmac Personnel Services, who will discuss their experiences and offer tips.

"Visioneering How to Bring the Future You Want Into Your Company Today." Rosa Archibald and Paula Ringer, owners of ACR Communications Inc., a Springfield-based marketing and development firm, will present the basics of the FocusShift¨ program to help participants facilitate change and make their visions a reality for their companies. This program begins at 2:30 p.m.

"Are You Using Your Office Computer to Its Fullest Potential?" Doug Pitt, vice president of Service World, will discuss how to build a technologically sound foundation for your business, as well as offering problem-solving advice, at 3:30 p.m.

PHOTO CAPTION:

Feedback from participants of last year's Business Expo acted as catalyst for the theme, name change and other improvements planned for this year's expo.[[In-content Ad]]

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