ACG Louisiana Hosts 4th Annual Louisiana’s Got Talent Small Business Expo

NEW ORLEANS – The Louisiana Chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG Louisiana) will host the fourth annual Louisiana’s Got Talent Small Business Expo on Thursday, Nov. 16, at Harrah’s New Orleans Hotel, 228 Poydras St., from 3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

         The free expo is an opportunity for a select number of the region’s excellent small businesses to showcase their talents and expertise, organizers said. The expo also offers to exhibitors the opportunity to meet with procurement officers from some of New Orleans’ top companies.

         Exhibitors represent some of the outstanding talent listed on ACG Louisiana's Excellent Small Business list, organizers said. The list is an integrated referral network of businesses that are small within their industry but have an outstanding track record of excellent goods and services and have the desire and capacity to grow. Dozens of excellent small businesses will exhibit their companies and capabilities and cultivate connections with the Greater New Orleans business community, organizers said.

         “The expo is wonderful for creating connections between small business owners,” says Susan VanWingen, firm director of NANO LLC, a local architectural design firm on the ACG Louisiana's Excellent Small Business List. She met Charlotte Henry of Harley London, another Excellent Small Business, at a previous ACG Expo. VanWingen said she was “quickly enamored with Harley London's fine wooden products,” and the two have worked together to create custom wooden journals for client gifts, and have continued to cultivate their relationship and to refer clients to one another since their initial meeting.

         During the expo, some of the region's industry leaders will engage in SpeedNetworking sessions with registered exhibitors. These short, pre-arranged meetings allow prospective vendors or subcontractors to learn the specific needs, requirements and opportunities to work with the top businesses in the Greater New Orleans area.

         A few of the industry leaders expected to be in attendance at this year's expo include Cox Communications, Inc., Laitram, LLC, Audubon Nature Institute, Gibbs Construction, LLC, Landis Construction Co., LLC, and the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.

         NANO LLC’s VanWingen also lauded the expo's SpeedNetworking format. NANO LLC had its first introduction to Robért Fresh Market at the expo and, after about a year of continued follow up and relationship building, NANO LLC was hired to provide architectural design services for the renovation of the market's new Baton Rouge location. “Thanks to the SpeedNetworking session that introduced us to Robért Market, we were able to develop a relationship that put NANO LLC front and center when Robért had a need for architectural services,” VanWingen said.

         Capping off the event will be a catered cocktail reception for further networking among registered expo participants and ACG Louisiana members in a relaxed environment.

         “ACG Louisiana is excited to host the fourth annual expo” says Scott Whittaker, chair of the ACG Louisiana's Business Community Outreach Committee. “The idea behind ACG Louisiana’s Business Community Outreach Program is to help foster sustained economic growth of the local economy from the ground up. The expo offers local, small businesses opportunities to build relationships within the Greater New Orleans business community to enable them to organically build and grow capacity as the economy continues to develop.”

         The event is co-sponsored by the New Orleans Business Alliance, Harrah's New Orleans Hotel and Casino, the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program and the GoodWork Network. ACG Louisiana expects to have hundreds of people in attendance. Event sponsors, ACG Louisiana members, and the public can circulate among the exhibit tables, learning about the excellent small businesses operating in the New Orleans business community, many of whom are minority or women-owned, organizers said.

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