VANDALIA — It is said that when one door closes, another opens. That can certainly be said about this year’s version of the Vandalia-Butler Chamber of Commerce Business at the Crossroads.
The closing of the Airport Expo Center forced the gathering to change the venue to Butler High School, but it also offered an opportunity to re-think the entire concept. That has led to significant changes and benefits to the business community according to Will Roberts, CEO of the Chamber.
“This is a new venue with new opportunities for us,” said Roberts
. “We are going to have four different classrooms for breakout sessions on eight different topics. That’s something that wasn’t available to us at the Expo Center.
Those topics will include sessions on the Department of Labor’s new overtime rule; QuickBooks; commercial lending; data breach, prevention, and retention; business start-up, growth, and recovery; Affordable Care Act updates; and a Chamber member benefit update.
Those sessions will be held between 3-5 p.m. and are open to all Chamber of Commerce members, even if they don’t have a booth set up.
From 5-6 p.m. the Business Connection networking will return. This time is described as a “networking party” by Roberts and will give local business leaders time to network with each other.
Doors open to the public at 6 p.m. for 90 minutes.
“This year the business to community piece will be from 6-7:30 p.m. so we have three solid hours from 3-6 p.m. of nothing but business to business activity,” said Roberts.
Discussions of how to re-think Business at the Crossroads have been ongoing for the past four years according to Roberts.
“This is really a total re-write of the business expo model used nationwide and is intended to give our businesses a bigger benefit,” he said. “Don Schweitzer, the Vice Chairman of our Board of Directors, suggested we do something of this magnitude. We are really excited about it – we think this will be a home run for the business community.”
Reach Darrell Wacker at 937-684-8983 or on Twitter @VandaliaDrummer.