The inaugural Middleburg B2B Expo was hosted by Salamander Resort and Spa, The Middleburg Future’s Group and the Town of Middleburg on Thursday, January 18, 2018. The event was an opportunity for Middleburg-based businesses to create a tighter network of support with the other businesses in Town. It was also an occasion for employees at the Resort to make connections and learn about individual members of the local business community.
The event started at 9:00 am and everyone in attendance was welcomed by Town Councilman, Bridge Littleton, and General Manager of the Resort, Reggie Cooper. Both men talked about the value of connections in the community and how the event was intended to build upon existing relationships and to foster new ones.
“We had 25 local businesses in attendance,” said Jamie Gaucher, the Town’s Director of Business and Economic Development. “As this was the first time an event like this had happened in Middleburg, we were pleasantly surprised by the turnout.” Participating companies and organizations at the event had the option to either have a table where they could display marketing material, showcase individual products and host conversations with other attendees or to simply mingle in the crowd and engage others. Over 120 people participated in the 4-hour event.
Dan Keyes, a partner with Middleburg Marketing, commented that “This was a great event and I can’t wait to do it again next year. We made some very valuable connections to local businesses we didn’t even know where here in the community.”
Chris Bernard, the Director of Ecommerce for West Federal Retail said: “It’s always amazing when I talk to people around here who have no idea that we’ve grown from one little store in town to 30+ locations, so it’s fun to share our story.” West Federal Retail is the parent company of Lou Lou Boutiques, Crème de la Crème, and Zest Clothing & Company.
The organizers are already planning the next iteration of the Middleburg B2B Expo and although the first event exceeded expectations, they know that it can be improved. “We certainly have our work cut out for us, but this was a great start,” said Littleton. “Being able to leverage an asset like Salamander and to pull together so many members of our business community is an opportunity that I am already looking forward to.”