People packed the hallways of Lake Michigan College’s Bertrand Crossing Campus during Wednesday’s EXPOsing Greatness business expo. Daily Star photo/CRAIG HAUPERT

EXPOsing Greatness expanding?

Published 6:53pm Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Interest in the EXPOsing Greatness business expo is exploding.

So much so that organizers are considering expanding the annual Niles-area event to a larger venue.

Shelley Klug, executive director of Southwestern Michigan Economic Growth Alliance, said several businesses were turned away from Wednesday’s expo at Lake Michigan College’s Bertrand Campus due to a lack of booth space.

“It is a great problem to have, but we also feel bad because there are some wonderful companies out there and our space is limited,” Klug said. “We feel like we’ve really peaked out here.

“I think we could double this expo if we could find the space.”

Approximately 60 businesses from Niles, Buchanan and the surrounding areas had booths in hallways and classrooms at the campus, 1905 Foundation Drive in Niles.

Barbara Craig, dean of LMC Bertrand Crossing, was happy with the turnout for the third annual expo.

“We are not for babies anymore. This isn’t kindergarten,” she said. “The first year, we had 40-something booths. The fact that we had 60 this year and are turning people away makes me think this is gaining momentum.”

The expo provided prizes, free appetizers from local restaurants and free seminars on such topics as QuickBooks, Facebook strategies and identity security.

“We have high-quality seminars, but we still need to work on getting an audience for that and getting the word out,” Klug said.

Organizers also devoted more attention this year to letting the community know they were welcome, not just area businesses.

“It is a wonderful thing that people are realizing they can do business locally,” Craig said. “We continue to encourage the community to shop locally and look around for local products. That’s what it is all about.”

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