By Lauren Ratcliffe
Published May 23, 2012
About 400 small-business leaders attended the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce’s Small Business Expo on Tuesday.
The day-long event featured 90 exhibitors and gave those companies and attendees an audience before larger corporations.
A designated purchasers room featured businesses, including Roper St. Francis, Boeing, SPAWAR, Santee Cooper and BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina. Charleston County, the City of Charleston and the City of North Charleston also met with businesses.
The room was designed so representatives from the large companies could explain to small businesses what they look for when selecting vendors and give information on how businesses can apply to work with them.
Three technology demonstrations also were conducted by a Charleston company, netGalaxy Studios, stressing the importance of utilizing technology to enhance business.
Demonstrations featured the common-knowledge topic of social media and practical applications of technology in the avenues of search engine optimization and developing mobile applications.
Some businesses knew they needed to bolster their online and mobile presence but weren’t sure how different solutions would fit their business.
“We weren’t formerly (looking to build apps), but now we are considering it,” Carol Voigt of Laura Alberts Tasteful Options said after the demonstration. “He says that’s the way to go.”
NetGalaxy Studios develops mobile apps for businesses and conducted the demonstrations to both inform and sell its product.
Evan Guthrie, a lawyer with his own private firm, said he is intrigued about figuring out how to use mobile apps to promote his firm, but unsure how an app would work within the legal profession.
The key is to create an app giving customers what they would expect from your business, and a way to interact with the business itself, netGalaxy CEO and president Larry Collett said during the demonstration.
“We build apps utilizing the technology that is already out there,” Collett said. “The sky is the limit with what you can do with a mobile app. You just have to do it.”
Nick Johnson contributed to this report.