Expo organisers eye up introduction of overseas marketing group

Organisers behind this month’s eagerly awaited ‘Longford Expo’ are hopeful of forming a select marketing group to travel overseas in a bid to showcase Longford as a leading business destination.

Organisers behind this month’s eagerly awaited ‘Longford Expo’ are hopeful of forming a select marketing group to travel overseas in a bid to showcase Longford as a leading business destination.

Chamber of Commerce president Seamus Butler said the two day event (May 25-26) represented a unique opportunity for entrepreneurs to re-invigorate the local economy.

So far, 89 commercial stands have been confirmed for the event which takes place inside the still vacant Town Centre.

“We have just been overwhelmed by the response,” said Mr Butler. “Over 50 (businesses) have paid in full for their stands and we are even talking about making extra room for more if necessary.”

Those figures are, however, the Leader understands, conservative. According to latest indications, the potential final tally of assembled businesses taking part could reach as high as 108.

In addition, representatives from the town’s Courtyard Cafe wil be on hand to provide businesses and members of the public with refreshments throughout the course of the event.

For Mr Butler however, the occasion provides a unique oportunity to put Longford in the entrepreneurial ‘shop window’ while also opening up future possibilities regarding the event’s venue in the long term.

“That’s one of our main focuses-to set up a group to market Longford abroad. We are also appealing for people to come up with ideas about how we can use the centre going forward. In fact, one person has already approached me with an interesting proposal that I will keep my powder dry on for the time being,” he said.

Meanwhile, a select line up of industry experts have been confirmed for the event’s Friday morning seminar to assembled businesses. They include, Terry Clune of ConnectIreland.com, Kingley Aikins from Networking Matters, XSP chief executive Brendan Farrell and CPL founder, Ann Heraty.

A novel ‘speed dating’ alternative for businesses to network and generate key commercial contacts has also been lined up.

In a further boost, members of the public can avail of free parking at both the town’s former Connolly Barracks site and VEC campus.

*Opening hours to the public: May 25 1pm-7:30pm; May 26: 12pm-6pm. For more details, log onto www.longfordexpo.com.