Folks who go to East Wake Academy Thursday looking for the Zebulon Chamber of Commerce’s annual business expo will instead find a high school volleyball match and a sign telling them to head a couple streets over to Zebulon Middle School.
The event is relocating after six years at the local charter school because of a scheduling conflict originally brought on by construction.
“I think the construction was delayed, but by the time I found out we had already committed to Zebulon Middle School,” said Kim Valentine, the chamber’s executive director.
The expo is set for Sept. 25 from 3-7 p.m. in the gymnasium at Zebulon Middle, located at 1000 Shepard School Road, Zebulon.
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Valentine anticipates the new location having little effect on the expo, which was also held in a gym while headquartered at East Wake Academy.
“(Zebulon Middle School Principal) Dalphine Perry, who is also a chamber board member, has just been great to work with,” Valentine said. “I don’t see any problems with the layout. It’s a standard gym, and I think everything is going to go fine.
“We’re also going to post a sign at East Wake Academy in case people don’t notice the change in location.”
The expo, the chamber’s largest annual event, is billed as an opportunity for businesses and groups to network with others from local area and creatively connect to an interested audience.
This year’s event, presented by Weaver’s Pond subdivision, was shortened by one hour compared to past years in an effort to eliminate periods of low activity.
Fifty-six businesses were signed up to participate as of Wednesday and Valentine expects closer to 60 booths will fill the middle school gym.
Notable additions to this year’s list of exhibitors include Zebulon’s Plaza Del Mariachi Mexican restaurant and Arby’s, each providing food samples. N.C. Cash is registered to operate a booth where attendees can check to see if they have any unclaimed funds registered to their name, and Melanie Diehl (aka Your Social Media Gal) will have a booth on businesses utilizing social media. She will also offer a workshop for fellow vendors at 2 p.m.
On that topic, the chamber is, for the first time, employing a popular social media tactic for the expo. Whether they are attending or participating, Twitter users can follow the #zcocexpo14 hashtag for information about the expo prior to and during the event.
Other expo newcomers include Shepherd’s Care Medical Clinic, Cure AHC (a nonprofit for a cure for the neurological disorder Alternating Hemiplegia of Childhood), and N.C. Coastal Pines Girls Scouts.
Expo leaders will recognize outstanding exhibitors with awards for most creative, most effective and best in show.
There will also be a raffle for a collegiate rug, a chance to win a $280 printer donated by Systel Business Equipment for attendees who visit every booth and enter the drawing and door prizes.
Parking for the expo will be located in the lot on the north side of the school, and signage will be in place to direct attendees from the parking lot to the gymnasium entrance.