EMACC Super 50/50


The EMACC Educational Foundation was established to assist students (both full and part time) who have worked very hard to enrich their future through higher education. The foundation grants scholarships each year. In 2011, the Educational Foundation granted an incredible 11 scholarships totaling $17,500.00 – it was through your contributions and the diligence of the Foundation Committee that this was even possible!

EMACC is holding a SUPER 50/50 where the proceeds will benefit this wonderful foundation. You can buy a book of 5 tickets for $100.00 or you can purchase single tickets for $20.00 each. This is a definite win-win situation! You might be the winner of a couple thousand dollars AND your act of kindness by purchasing a ticket will help a determined student in need.

You can find more information about EMACC and the Foundation by visiting www.emacc.org. The drawing will be held at 7pm on January 18, 2012 during the EMACC Annual Meeting being held at the Shadowbrook (1 Obre Place, Shrewsbury). Good Luck!

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In Case You Missed It: EMACC Super Expo Boot Camp Re-Cap


The Eastern Monmouth Chamber of Commerce Super Expo 2011 Committee (disclosure: I am a member of the Chamber and Expo Committee) arranged for Eric Taylor, author of Mastering the World of Selling to come and present on best business expo practices yesterday morning at the Staybridge Suites in Eatontown. Eric brought his high energy, savvy sales and engagement practices to the group after a masterful introduction by Tom Fraim, Chair of the Expo Committee.

I took notes (because I am kind of nerd like that) and I figured I’d share some of the important touch points on preparing for and presenting at a business expo.

BEFOREHAND

Micro Marketing: Now is the time to be thinking about and ordering your promotional products and giveaways.  A good amount of lead time is 3-5 weeks. Donna and Dale Szakats from Initial Impact recommend giving out a useful tool that will keep your business top of mind with your customer.

Pre-Marketing: Let your contacts know that you are exhibiting at/sponsoring the event and make use of the “Golden Ticket” above to invite them to attend. Don’t forget to include contacts in your social networking platforms on-line, email marketing programs and your phone lists. Be sure that your are not sending emails to people who have not “opted in” to receive your emails. Without the opt-in, you are sending spam and people really don’t like that.

Business Description: Each exhibitor will receive a 30 word blurb in which to describe their business in the event program that will be handed to each guest at the door. Put some thought into what you want to say and the 30 words that best describe your business to a potential customer.

Prepare Your Follow-Up Pieces: Believe it or not you will be doing yourself a great disservice if you don’t have your follow up ready to go before the event.  There is the “Law of Diminishing Intent” that comes into play after 48 hours. If you can get requested information into the hands of potential customers as soon as possible, it’s puts you at least one step ahead of your competition.  Remember – No follow-up, no sale.

Strategize: One of my favorite sayings is “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” This is true with a business expo and fail may be the equivalent of fumbling through your interactions awkwardly and looking more buffoonish than professional.  Make a plan.  What are your goals? When setting them a good rule of thumb is to use the SMART goals system whereby goals are: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely.  Write AND practice your elevator pitch or 30 second commercial so you are comfortable with it.  Be sure to sell your benefits and value to a potential customer.

What To Bring: Make your booth visually pleasing. Be sure to have plenty of business cards, colorful and attractive collateral (no one wants to carry around a photocopy) and anything you feel best represents your product or service. Be sure to also bring an “Expo Survival Kit” that includes Altoids or other breath mints and hand sanitizer.

Door Prize: Donating a door prize will earn you extra exposure at the event as well as create an opportunity for a potential customer to try your product or service.   If you don’t work in an industry that necessarily can giveaway something, consider purchasing a restaurant gift card, iTunes gift card or the like to give away. I remember last year I won a $25 gift card to Applebee’s from Lowy’s Moving Service. Yes, a year later I still remember.

WHAT TO EXPECT

Networking: Arrive at the event early and plan to stay late. Make the most of the time you will have in front of a captive audience that are as eager to learn about your business as you are to talk about it.  Be sure to listen as well.  One of the biggest values that comes out of an expo is the opportunity for your new contacts to refer business to you.

Attitude: Engagement is key to success and connecting with people. Smiling; looking inviting will make people feel more comfortable talking to you.  Be approachable, put the cell phone away for a few hours. You’ll live.

How To Handle A “Hawk”: If you have exhibited at a business expo before, you’ll recognize the “Hawk” right away.  He/she is the one who took full advantage of the free entrance and walks around to every booth to hard sell their product or service. You stand as a captive audience stuck at your table with no escape. Well, never fear, here’s how to handle the hawk gracefully.  Allow them to get through their elevator pitch, (hey you never know) but if it goes on beyond that offer out a handshake thank them for stopping by and offer to connect online through Linked, Facebook or Twitter.

AT SUPER EXPO

Have Fun: This is most important so I decided to put it first. There is a lot of energy and people at Super Expo, enjoy the experience.

Don’t Judge A Book By It’s Cover: Treat everyone equally.  You never know who might be your next biggest customer or referral source.

Go First: Be the first one to speak and introduce yourself. This way you have control of the direction of the conversation.

Time is $$$: Be brief and upfront with what you have to offer. Quickly qualify and disqualify potential buyers. Don’t let someone who is a dead-end block you from speaking to someone who looks interested.  Like the “hawk” offer a handshake, thank them and move on.

Booth Time: If you are exhibiting alone, it is a good idea to remain stationed at your booth to answer questions and talk with attendees.  If the booth is staffed with more than person, take the opportunity to walk and work the floor. Get to know the other exhibitors. Don’t stand or sit behind the booth be out front and approachable.

What To Wear: Look as professional and presentable as possible not only are you selling your product or service, in a way you are selling yourself as well. If you have attire with your logo on it, by all means wear that.

Super Expo will be on Wednesday, April 27th, 2011 from  4:00pm to 7:30pm at Branches Catering in West Long Branch.  All exhibitors and sponsors will have a 3:00-4:00pm networking hour to meet and greet. Comfort Inn Middletown-Red Bank is a proud sponsor for the second year in a row. Lou Russo will be hosting from 94.3 The Point Lou & Liz in the Morning and Eric Taylor will be our emcee. There will be close to 100 exhibitors and we are expecting between four and five hundred attendees. There are no bad exhibit spots at Super Expo.  Food and drink are spread throughout the event rooms.

You can see photos taken by Lewis Sasaki of Sasaki Photography LLC on Facebook. He will also be the official event photographer. Eric Taylor will also be presenting at the Eastern Monmouth Area Chamber of Commerce Business Networking Breakfast on “Building Your Personal Brand”. The date is set for  Wednesday, April 13, 2011 from 7:45am to 10:00am at Bamm Hollow Country Club located at 215 Sunnyside Road Lincroft, NJ. The cost is $20 for members and $30 for non-members.

What are your best practices when exhibiting at a business expo? Please share your tips and advice in the comments below.

CVR to Receive Donations From EMACC Holiday Party


Every year the Eastern Monmouth Area Chamber of Commerce chooses a local organization and collects donations on their behalf at the annual Holiday Celebration & Networking Party.  This year’s recipient is CVR (Center for Vocational Rehabilitation), a behavioral health/partial care program including psychiatric evaluation and assessment, individual and group counseling.

CVR is in the business of reconstructing lives. Its purpose is to give individuals the opportunity to work in, live in, and to be contributing members of the community. Much of the success of CVR can be attributed to the active role that the organization has played in the local community, as well as the associations it has gained through this commitment to the community.

CVR provides job placement services to people with disabilities, including continuous, long-term support that keeps the employees and employers motivated and satisfied. Job coaching services are designed to ensure the success of the employee and the satisfaction of the employer.

In addition to all of the other services CVR offers, they also provide a nutritional program with healthy meals for people with special needs. The event flyer is posted below with all of the event information including a “Wish List” of healthy food items. Donations will be collected at the EMACC Holiday Party.

Join us Wednesday, December 8, 2010 at 5:30pm at Bamm Hollow Country Club in Lincroft.  The cost to attend is $30 in advance for chamber members and $50 for non-members. There will be an additional $20 charge for walk-ins.  Last years holiday party was at Bamm Hollow also and it was fantastic.  Great food and great people, don’t miss this chance to network, spread some holiday cheer and support CVR.

Up & Coming Events to Find Comfort Inn Middletown


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Seasonal Outdoor Heated Pool

The next week or so is going to be very busy with events around the community and many of those I will be representing the Comfort Inn Middletown.  It’s wonderful that spring is in the air and we’re shaking off the winter doldrums.  I’d love to connect with you at any of the events mentioned so please come say hello.

The Jersey Shore Convention and Visitors Bureau will be holding a general membership meeting this evening, April 21, 2010, from 5:00pm to 7:00pm at Doolan’s in Spring Lake. The focus of the meeting will be packaging Jersey Shore locations to appeal to tourists. I found out last night that Cliff Moore, “The Brand Of Me” will be presenting  at the meeting as well.  Two great reasons to not only attend but also to join the JSCVB if you are not already a member.

Tomorrow night, April 22, 2010 will be a busy night of juggling events. The Monmouth Ocean Development Council will be hosting a “Meet & Greet the MODC Board of Directors” at the MODC offices in Wall from 5:30pm to 7:30pm.  The fee for the event is $20.00 and you can make your reservations by emailing the MODC here.  Following the MODC event, I’m heading over to Lakewood to catch an early season Lakewood BlueClaws game.  As a baseball fan, I relish every opportunity to be able to catch a game live.

Clean Ocean Action will be holding their 25th Annual Beach Sweeps on Saturday, April 24th from 9:00am to 12:30pm. There are 69 locations throughout the Jersey Shore area that you can participate.  All you have to do is show up at the designated meeting spot for the location you choose. You can find more information on Clean Ocean Action’s Website here.  I’m looking forward to it and the weather is supposed to be lovely.

On Tuesday, April 27th, from 6:30pm to 8:00pm Two River Community Bank, 1250 Route 35 South, Middletown, invites area business people to a free networking, wine and cheese included. Call for details at (732) 706 9009.

The Eastern Monmouth Chamber of Commerce is also celebrating a 25th anniversary. Wednesday, April 28 come out to Branches Catering in West Long Branch for Super Expo from 4:30pm to 7:00pm. Entrance is free with business card  to connect with local area businesses.  The Comfort Inn Middletown-Red Bank is a first time proud sponsor of this event.  There will also be great prizes and giveaways.

It’s a busy busy time and if we don’t catch up at one of these events, please call me at (732) 671 3400, email, comment here, Facebook or Tweet us. I’d love to meet you and if you would like a tour of the hotel or just have a cup of coffee contact me.

Comfort Inn Middletown Proud Sponsor of EMACC Super Expo


EMACC Super ExpoJoin the Comfort Inn Middletown at theEastern Monmouth Area Chamber of Commerce Super Expo on Wednesday, April 28, 2010 at Branches Catering in West Long Branch, New Jersey. We are a proud sponsor of this event and look forward to meeting you there.  The Expo is open to the public free of charge with a business card from 4:00pm to 7:30pm.  There will be close to 100 exhibitors bringing you the newest products and services in the Eastern Monmouth Area.

There will be complimentary food stations and great prizes and giveaways.  The Grand Prize is an XBOX with Game Bundle courtesy of Trinity Worldwide Technologies.  You must be present to win. The host for the evening will be Lou Russo from “Lou & Liz in the Morning” from 94.3 The Point.

To view a copy of the flyer click here.  For more information, visit the EMACC Website.

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