Last Wednesday we attended the Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce Business Expo at Cashman Center in Downtown Las Vegas or #BizExpo #SmallBizSummer. Although the “pop up” community was laden with plenty of services that could potentially help a small business grow, we would be remiss if we did not say that we were somewhat disappointed in the overall representation of “local small businesses.” We have wonder has the Las Vegas Metro Chamber priced out the average “small” business owner? There were not as many new faces there as we would have hoped to see and the exhibit floor clearly did not have the 150 booths they boasted completely filled. We arrived just as the doors opened and the overall traffic on the exhibit floor was MUCH lighter than what we have experienced at this event in prior years. Highlights for us were, Damsel in Defense, (women’s self defense products), Fran Net (franchise matching firm), TelePacific Communications, PinkBox Doughnuts, Chef Lucky Thai, Pot Liquor, Bridal Spectacular events and Beasley Broadcasting. All of these booths had reps that were knowledgeable about their own business, knew how their business would benefit mine and had decision makers in attendance.
Food for thought…
With an annual membership fee somewhere around $500 from what we could find on their website and additional fees to participate in events such as the Annual Business Expo and other ticketed events one has to really be in a position to invest in this membership. While there is plenty of value to be found in other benefits available through your membership it takes a real investment of time and energy to harvest all of these benefits and get your dollars worth. All that being said, is it a better investment to seek memberships in niche industry specific associations or perhaps a smaller local chamber?
This organization is the voice of the business community to the Nevada Legislature. Are they truly representing small business in Nevada? Overall yes. Last November the Chamber lead the rally to defeat Question 3 “The Education Initiative” aka “Margin Tax Initiative” which had it passed could have proved detrimental to many businesses in Southern Nevada. It’s surely not the last of initiatives we’ll see to fund education in our valley, that however, is an entirely different topic which we’ll visit another day.