Trade Show Checklist

2019 Chamber Expo Logo with year onlyMark your calendars for Wednesday, November 6! The Sarasota and Manatee Chamber of Commerce have partnered again to offer our members the greatest of networking opportunities, Chamber Expo 2019. Only five (5) booths remain – click here to register today!

Attended by hundreds of Chamber members and guests, this networking event offers complimentary light bites, lots of door prizes, and the opportunity to make valuable connections and learn more about local businesses so we can all “shop local.”

If this is your first trade show, we’ve got you covered! This checklist will help exhibitors have a successful Expo experience, whether it is their first show or their 50th.

Gather a team and set a goal.

Having a small team and being relaxed shows professionalism and will help engage visitors. To achieve this, set specific goals in advance. Doing this will also help you evaluate the level of success you had from your event participation.

Clearly market your unique selling propositions.

First impressions matter, and you only have a few moments to show visitors why they should consider you.

Create buzz using PR or social media.

Don’ wait until the date of the trade show to promote yourself using press releases or social media. A press release can be a great way to promote yourself online, and our press release tool makes it easy to distribute. Sharing information on your social media can also create buzz, encouraging viewers to attend your event.

Assign roles to each team member.

Assigning different roles to team members helps you stay organized and work efficiently.

Have a door prize.

If possible, offer a prize that in some way complements your business and appeals to a variety of people.

If you are using technology, don’t rely on it solely.

When working correctly, technology can enhance and differentiate your booth, but technology troubles are common. Prepare in advance to ensure success.

Have inexpensive but nifty (and useful) giveaways.

Whether you choose branded canvas bags, calendars, wristbands, etc., giveaways are an effective tool at trade shows. They are a great way of drawing people to your booth, setting your booth apart from the rest, and increasing your brand reach.

Welcome everyone who comes near. 

Take the initiative to welcome and interact with visitors. Invite individuals to check out what you have to offer or start a conversation. These friendly gestures are simple, but can make a big difference.

Expect some rejection, but know that many visitors just need a friendly push in the right direction before really getting interested in your products or services.

Network with other exhibitors.

This event is a great opportunity to gain insight from other experienced exhibitors and compare and learn from how they approach trade shows.

It’s also especially easy to meet new industry experts at trade shows through networking. You never know where your next great partner or inspiration will come from!

Want to Exhibit at Chamber Expo, click here! Only five (5) booths remain.

Why Exhibit?

Exhibiting is a great opportunity to showcase your business to hundreds of business owners and decision makers from Manatee and Sarasota counties at this combined Expo and Business After Hours.

  • Exhibitor Space includes an 8-foot skirted table, two chairs, curtain backdrop and sides, identification sign, and four complimentary admissions to the event. 

*Vendors that register for a booth before September 11th have the option to choose their booth space!*

Save the Date for Chamber Fun this Fall!

The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce is bringing the fun this Fall Season for Annual Events! We’ve got an event lineup that is sure to bring fun times for our members!

First up!

Greater Sarasota Chamber Bowling TournamentBowling Logo 1 Vert.

Wednesday, August 17 | 5:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Sarasota Lanes
2250 Fruitville Road
Sarasota, FL 34237

The Greater Sarasota Chamber is excited to roll in a new bowling event for all ages and skill levels on Wednesday, August 17, at Sarasota Lanes. Registration begins at 5 p.m. and bowling will begin rolling at 5:30 p.m.

This event includes networking, 2 games of bowling, contests and prizes, team bonding and much more. We hope you join us for a fun bowling night in your “spare-time!”

To register, click here!

Sarasota Chamber Golf Classic2016 Golf Classic New

Friday, September 16 | 11:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
TPC Prestancia
4409 Tournament Players Club Drive
Sarasota, FL 34238

The 2016 Sarasota Chamber Golf Classic welcomes golfers of all skill levels on Friday, September 16, at TPC Prestancia. Registration and lunch will begin at 11:00 a.m. followed by a shotgun start at 12:00 p.m.

This exciting day includes networking, 18-hole game and cart, complimentary beverages and snacks, a cook out lunch, contests and prizes, award reception and much more! The tournament is a scramble format, allowing golfers of all skill levels to participate.

To register, click here!

96th Annual Membership Meeting and Luncheon2016-AnnualMeeting-SaluteToBusiness-LogoNew.png

Friday, October 7 | 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
1000 Blvd. of the Arts
Sarasota, FL 34236
Hyatt Regency Sarasota

The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce will recognize the achievement of its members at its 96th Annual Meeting Friday, October 7.

Outstanding top member businesses, which have hired our neighbors, invested in the future and reached a milestone anniversary of local service to our area, will be celebrated on stage and honored for their achievement.

To register, click here!

Chamber Expo 2016 with Manatee Chamber of Commerce2016 Chamber Expo Logo

Wednesday, November 09, 2016 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Bradenton Area Convention Center One Haben Blvd
Palmetto, FL
Bradenton Area Convention Center

With over 175 exhibitors and over 1000 attendees, Chamber Expo is a three-hour, power-packed event where you can boost your brand awareness and meet your next customers. Hosted by the Sarasota and Manatee Chambers of Commerce, Chamber Expo is the area’s largest “Business After Hours” trade show of the year.

Why Exhibit? Great opportunity to showcase your business to hundreds of business owners and decision makers from Manatee and Sarasota counties at this combined Expo and Business After Hours.

Exhibitor Space includes 8-foot skirted table, two chairs, curtain backdrop and sides, identification sign, and four complimentary admissions to event. Corner booths and sponsorships available.

To register, click here!

Contact Brittany Lamont for Sponsorship Opportunities at or (941) 556-4040.

Visit to register.

Save the Date! Annual Events Coming Soon

A new year brings new events. With anywhere from 100 to 500 people at each, our annual events provide some of the best networking opportunities, as well as some of the most fun! Here’s a look at what you can expect this year.

Annual Kick-Off Breakfast


Friday, February 19, 2016 I 7:30 – 9 a.m. I Polo Grill
A breakfast event featuring an innovative key speaker and announcements about new Chamber member benefits and enhanced Chamber opportunities and goals for the upcoming year. This year we welcome Tony Carvajal, Executive Vice President of the Florida Chamber Foundation. This interactive presentation will stimulate strategic thinking about Florida’s future and engage business and community leaders in identifying key trends and the factors that drive our local economy. The Annual Kick-Off Breakfast is presented by Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick.

Continue reading “Save the Date! Annual Events Coming Soon”

How to Choose the Right Event to Attend

The Chamber is proud to offer you over 100 networking opportunities each year. From committees and councils to monthly and annual events, there’s no shortage of opportunities to get involved.

With so many Chamber events each year, how do you decide which one is right for you? Let’s take a moment to briefly review each of them:

Monday MixerMonday Mixer WEB
Start your week at Monday Mixer, an after-hours networking reception with light appetizers, drinks and door prizes. Connect with 50 to 60 like-minded business people at a local Chamber business or organization each month. Stop by anytime between 5 and 6:30 p.m. and build relationships at this cocktail reception.

Continue reading “How to Choose the Right Event to Attend”

Chamber Expo 2015: A Record-Breaking Night of Networking

On November 5, 2015, more than 150 members of The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce and the Manatee Chamber of Commerce exhibited their products and services at Chamber Expo, the largest business after hours event in the area.Mavella-20151105-192647More than 1,000 attendees from all over the Sarasota-Bradenton area filled the Bradenton Area Convention Center for the power packed event. Attendees enjoyed great networking, delicious food samples and tested their luck for a grand raffle prize trip to Panama City, Panama from Panama Travel Consultants. The lucky winner for this amazing 4 night / 5 day vacation was a representative from Hair Cuttery. Enjoy your vacation, we can’t to hear about it! Continue reading “Chamber Expo 2015: A Record-Breaking Night of Networking”

Make the Most of Your Tradeshow: Part Two

allison imre
Allison Imre, iHeart Media Sarasota

During our August 2015 Shumaker Chamber University, Allison Imre presented tips and tricks for connecting at “Make the Most of Your Tradeshow.” Imre is the Senior Account Manager of iHeartMedia Sarasota. With 245 million monthly listeners in the U.S., iHeartMedia has the largest reach of any radio or television outlet in America. The company owns and operates 858 broadcast radio stations, serving more than 150 markets throughout the U.S.

Imre is no stranger to tradeshows. Her experience with marketing business at tradeshows started at her previous position with the Kansas City Royals and has expanded since she joined iHeartMedia Sarasota.

While most of our attendees had exhibited at a tradeshow in the past, for some, the tradeshow wasn’t worth their time or investment. Others found success in meeting new people, closing deals and setting appointments. By opening the tradeshow conversation, Imre offered some of the best tools, tips and tricks to use when attending or exhibiting at a tradeshow.

We already took a look at what to do as a tradeshow attendee. Today, we’re following up with her tips on exhibiting at a tradeshow. Continue reading “Make the Most of Your Tradeshow: Part Two”

Summer at Prime Time

The room was filled with the sound of reggae music and businesses connecting. Cocktail umbrellas adorned our drinks and leis were draped around our necks. Free to the public, the Sarasota Prime Time event packed in over 200 guests to enjoy their last bit of summer at The Chamber’s “End of the Summer Bash” on August 19 at the Sahib Shrine.Print

The Sarasota Prime Time is an after-hours tradeshow exhibit, offering business exposure for participating members as well as networking opportunities for all attendees. Presented by PayServ Systems, the event brought in nearly 40 member booths, many of them getting festive with the summer theme and offering raffle prizes and giveaways for lucky attendees.

Continue reading “Summer at Prime Time”