Folsom Connections Biz Expo offers face-to-face contact

By: Margaret Snider, Telegraph Correspondent
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What: Connections Biz Expo
Where: Folsom Sports Complex, 66 Clarksville Road
When: 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Thursday, March 14
Admission: Free

The Folsom Biz Expo offers an opportunity to network and get to know the community, whether someone is just visiting or proudly bear the “local” moniker.

The Folsom Chamber of Commerce Connections Biz Expo has been taking place in some form for 15 years. This year it will run from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Thursday, March 14, at the Folsom Sports Complex at 66 Clarksville Road, Folsom. The event is free to the public.

More than 150 businesses and non-profits will have booths to present their faces to the public. Many will have giveaways, and there will be a number of overall large item giveaways that include a passport weekend in El Dorado Hills.

“We hear over and over again that the best way to connect with your customer is to meet them face to face,” said Nancy Pryor, communications manager for the Folsom Chamber of Commerce. “We like to facilitate that opportunity and make those connections.”

There will be around a dozen restaurants presenting their wares in free samples throughout the event.

“This year we already have Burgerocity and Smashburger,” Pryor said. “Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill is unveiling their new menu and they’re going to be showcasing some of that. … They’ve been reworking their menu to include more California fare.”

The presenting sponsor this year is Folsom Lake Ford and they will have a couple of cars to display at the event, as will the other stores in the Folsom Auto Mall.

Western Health Advantage is a platinum sponsor, and Mike Schultz of WHA said that this will be their third year at Connections and they have an important new product.

“I found that most of the participants were people who are either individuals or self-employed,” Schultz said. “Now we have a new product that’s being offered to individuals.”

Before, he could only offer product to employers who had two or more employees.

“I think what needs to be noted is that Western Health Advantage is a local health plan that is owned by the University of California Davis and Mercy Hospital Medical Group,” Schultz said. “All of our people are local, our health centers are all local, so it makes a big, big difference.”

Among the other sponsors for the event are Wells Fargo Bank, Kaiser and Folsom Lake Bank.

Many of the businesses participating in the event have been coming back year after year.

Pryor said that on surveys of members who have attended, 95 percent indicate that they would come back the next year.

One of those coming back year after year is The Healing Station, owned by Marc and Connie Chan. This year they have expanded their presentation to two booths and will be offering a ten-minute chair massage that focuses on neck, shoulders, and back, the usual problem areas for people who are sitting at a desk for long periods of time.

“This year we will be offering a special way for you to see what your skin looks like,” Connie said.

This will be by means of a Woods Lamp, which shows the condition beneath the surface to both practitioner and client that are invisible to the naked eye.

“It’s nice to have the exposure,” said Schultz. “It’s kind of like branding our product, which is done different ways through television, radio and newspapers. Another way is through events like this.”

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