Zebulon Business Expo provides a chance to be visible

amoody@newsobserver.comSeptember 16, 2013 

Whitakers resident Brenda Moore, right, leads a line of food samplers through a display set up by U.S. Foods at the 2012 business expo in Zebulon.

AARON MOODY — amoody@newsobserver.com Buy Photo

— Expect to find returning venders and new vendors, including some who are not new to the area, at the 2013 installment of the Zebulon Business Expo.

As of Thursday, 40 exhibitors had booked a booth for the Zebulon Chamber of Commerce’s main event, slated for 2 to 7 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 25, in the East Wake Academy gymnasium. For about 10 of those registered, it will be an expo debut.

Kim Valentine, the chamber’s executive director, expects regular exhibitors will fill up the remaining spots and that a full house of 62 booths will be on display.

Which exhibitors are returning for this year’s event? U.S. Foods with its tasty handouts and the American Wildlife Refuge with its information station and live birds will be there, to name a couple favorites. Piggly Wiggly will also be cooking hot dogs, according to Valentine.

Who’s new? PHP of N.C., a mental health service based in Zebulon, and Thales Academy, a future Knightdale-based charter school.

Several other exhibitors are not new to the chamber, but will host a booth for the first time at the Zebulon expo – including two-year member Klipchick Hair Salon of Wendell.

Chamber board member Blake Lewis has had a member business for at least six years, but is hoping to get some exposure for his year-old lending company, Automatic Financing.

“A lot of time this business here is on word of mouth,” Lewis said. “We’re hoping to make some good, solid contacts. If I can get two or three customers out of it, it’d be good.”

On the other side of the spectrum, there’s Debby Massey Driver, owner of the 54-year-old Massey School of Dance. While she said she’s been a member of the chamber “forever,” this will be the first time the dance school sets up a booth.

“I’ve just been told by a bunch of different merchants that had booths that so many people came through and you just meet a lot of new people that way,” Driver said.

Driver, too, said word of mouth is big for her business, and while by now “surely it’s time for people to know” about her school, newcomers in town might not.

“In the past year, I’ve had so many people say they didn’t even know there was a (dance) school in Zebulon,” Driver said. “We just thought this would be another way to let people know we have a school here in Zebulon, and to support the chamber.”

Driver has plenty of props to work with to construct an attractive booth. Whether attendees will see a performance or not depends on how many students she can pull together during the hours of the expo.

Raleigh-based Systel Business Equipment is again providing a raffle item for the expo, but it won’t be business related like in the past. Those who get their mark-off cards filled out can enter to win four tickets and a parking pass to N.C. State’s Oct. 12 football game against Syracuse.

That’s just an added plus for anyone thinking of stopping by, according to Valentine.

“We want the businesses to be there to have the public participate, but we’re doing this for our businesses,” Valentine said. “The most important thing is to have the people come in.”

East Wake Academy is located at 400 NMC Drive in Zebulon.

Moody: 919-829-4806

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