The art of mixing business and pleasure

JOHNSTOWN — A lot happens when you mix business people together and sprinkle in a healthy number of curious shoppers.

Everyone seemed to benefit from that combination at the Fulton Montgomery County Regional Chamber of Commerce 2017 Business Expo Thursday at the Moose Club. The business people got to schmooze from 3 to 4 p.m. and then the public was admitted free from 4 to 7 p.m.

Jessica Petraccione, vice president of First National Bank of Scotia, an exhibitor, bought a dog collar from Fred Henry of LaVilla Dog Works of Johnstown.

Henry, in turn, got a marketing design idea from Kristina Gillmore of Ricmar Design and Print Shop of Amsterdam.

“We learn a lot from other businesses,” he said. “There are a lot of people who are smart and know what’s going on.”

James Dempsey of Studio Herbage Florist at 13 W. Main St. said he got “lots of leads” for selling to other businesses.

And besides that, “we had a lot of people [shoppers] come who didn’t know we existed,” he said.

Bryan Flood, owner of Advanced Cleaning and Restoration Services of Gloversville, which deals with the impact of water and mold damage, said he was buying a new box truck and discovered design and human resource services at the Expo.

“We’ve had a lot of foot traffic,” he added.

Helen Mykel of Gloversville was part of that foot traffic that the Expo drew.

“I want to see what the businesses have to offer,” she said. “Some of these business I’ve never heard of.”

Being not only heard of, but being better known was a key to the Expo’s success.

People often think of back-injury pain or headache relief when they think of chiropractors, but Dr. Jennifer Hulbert made clear at her station that Pine Tree Family Chiropractic in Fonda could work with bed-wetting kids or colicky babies, ear infections and asthma—and other ailments not usually associated with chiropractic care.

Also exhibiting was Home Health Care Partners in Amsterdam is a nonprofit home care agency sponsored by St. Mary’s Healthcare and Nathan Littauer Hospital and Nursing Home.

Karen Clark, its executive director, said her agency drew interest because many people at the Expo “usually know someone in their family or neighborhood who need some help at home.”

For some of the businesses, it was their first chamber show.

Blinds by Elmendorf in Gloversville was one of those. “We want to get our name out to the public,” said Bob Johnson, co-owner of Blinds with his wife, Lorna. He said the Expo provided a good blend of business-to-business and people-to-people contact.

Thursday’s Expo was the chamber’s first in three years. “We haven’t had the Expo in a while, we sold out in three weeks,” said Terry Swierzowski, chamber vice president.

The Expo had 48 exhibitors. Chamber president and CEO Mark Kilmer said the chamber had to open up an extra room to try to accommodate “a burst of enthusiasm later than the closing date” but still had to turn some away.

By Jason Subik

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