PORT CHESTER, N.Y. - Hundreds of business people packed the Westchester Hilton in Rye Brook on Wednesday to network and share information at the 11th Mega Mixer Business Expo.
"We have record attendance this year. More than 1,800 people are expected," said Marsha Gordon, president and CEO of the Business Council of Westchester, which hosted the event. More than 200 organizations in 70 industries were represented. Gordon was impressed by how many have begun focusing on digital media and communication.
"We've seen the business community of Westchester become very sophisticated in terms of their outreach and connecting with one another," she said. "But the biggest advantage is physically meeting people and really getting a feel for the products and business. That really leaves an impression."
The expo helped to spread the word about master's programs the school offers, said Cindy Pagnotta of Long Island University Hudson, which has a campus in Harrison.
"It helps us reach our clientele. Business people who want to expand their business knowledge or get a master's degree so that they can move up the salary ladder or move up in position. It's great exposure," she said. "The networking is priceless. It helps us create a database, so next time we're sending out a newsletter or hosting an event, people will have that familiarity and remember us."
Milton Davis of One-Stop Employment in White Plains said his organization has been going to the expo for three years. One-Stop works with the Department of Labor and helps to train people looking for work and to connect them with employers.
"It's useful in getting the word out about what we do," he said. "If an employer is looking for people, we can help hook them up with people looking for work."
The expo was also useful for nonprofits such as Hope's Door, a domestic violence agency based in Pleasantville.
"Some people here may know people in their personal lives who are affected by domestic violence, so we get potential clients," said Liz Wilcocki, a counselor and advocate for Hope's Door. "And a lot of people are coming up and offering their services, offering safety, counseling, ads. A Lot of agencies are interested in helping and getting the word out."