A Publication of WTVP

Trade shows are an ideal environment for bringing together top businesses and the people they serve. The juxtaposition of a variety of types of businesses brings together an energy and experience that can result in future business for everyone. Participation in a trade show-either as an exhibitor or an attendee-will benefit both you and your company.

The Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce understands the benefits of bringing businesses together. For years, the chamber has served our members and the business community at large with the Area Business Connection. With time, it's grown to be the largest business-to-business tradeshow for downstate Illinois. This one-day event draws more than 5,000 business professionals to the Peoria Civic Center. On March 23, be prepared to network, socialize, and make solid business connections with 200-plus exhibiting companies.

To really get connected, you need to attend the show with a strategy in mind. Go to and visit the online tradeshow before the real deal. Decide which exhibitors are your top priorities. Of course, you can always pick up a list of exhibitors and map at the door. Schedule enough time at the Area Business Connection to visit all the exhibitors you've targeted, and don't forget to allow some extra time as you'll likely find others you want to know more about once you arrive. Knowing what you goals are can help you plan the day around visiting the booths you wish to visit, forming the strategic alliances to further your business, and getting your company's name out to an invaluable group of business leaders.

Check out the show and return to the office with innovative information and new contacts to help you stay competitive in the business world. No matter what field you're involved in, the Area Business Connection has opportunities for you. Exhibitors span a wide array of industries and professions. Anything and everything-from medical technologies to locally owned food service to financial institutions-are all there with the intention of meeting you.

Last year's change to a one-day format was a huge success, providing steady and strong traffic flow all day. The 2005 Area Business Connection March 23 is already on a fast track to be even more successful this year. Plus, your cost of admission is just your business card, so it's a win-win situation. Join the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce at the Area Business Connection, and don't miss the fun. IBI