The Los Altos Chamber of Commerce threw a curveball when it comes to hosting its annual Business EXPO in 2014 – by not hosting a local one at all.
According to chamber President Julie Rose, the Los Altos organization is joining forces with other area chambers – including Mountain View, Palo Alto, Cupertino and Sunnyvale – to host the first regional Silicon Valley Chamber Business XPO.
The joint effort, which features more than 100 exhibitors, including 12 Los Altos businesses and chamber members, is slated 5-8 p.m. April 10 at the Santa Clara Convention Center, 5001 Great America Parkway.
Los Altos Chamber of Commerce businesses sponsoring the event include Cedar Crest Nursing & Rehabilitation Center and the Peninsula Center of Cosmetic Surgery.
Rose cited the advantage of the larger audience as impetus for participating in the inaugural event. The combined effort is expected to draw at least 1,000 visitors.
“It’s an opportunity to try something different,” said Rose, who added that the XPO will include a handful of business seminars 2-5 p.m. prior to the kick off at 5 p.m. “We’ve been kind of doing the same thing without an opportunity to expand. This exposes our members to a much wider audience.”
Rose conceded that the event is quite a change from her organization’s usual effort. For the past 25 years, the Los Altos Chamber of Commerce traditionally coordinated and organized its own event locally at the Los Altos Youth Center and included member and nonmember businesses and nonprofit organizations. The Los Altos Chamber opted for the change after the Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce & Convention-Visitors Bureau suggested a regional event.
“They’re the ones who took the initiative on it this year,” Rose said. “They have the facility and resources to stage (an event) – and right under their own roof, too.”
Rose said she hopes that the first-time event will grow to allow additional local businesses and organizations, including nonchamber members, to join and reap the benefits of the additional exposure to a regional audience.