Whidbey's Biz Expo changes name, expands focus

An annual event showcasing the businesses operating on Whidbey Island is changing its name and expanding its focus.

The Biz Expo, which takes place in the fall and organized by the Island County Economic Development Council, will now be known as the “Explore Whidbey: Business and Home Show.”

Sami Postma, executive assistant at the Island County Economic Development Council, said the name change is necessary because of a perception in the community that the former Biz Expo was a business-to-business event even though the public was invited to the event.

She said organizers want to expand the event to include nonprofit and community groups. The 2013 incarnation of the event will feature a large demonstration area for the participating nonprofits an businesses to utilize.

The Explore Whidbey: Business and Home Show has gone through several name changes over the years. The two-day event was known at the Uniquely Whidbey Biz Expo eventually became the Biz Expo before organizers changed the name this year.

The goal of the expo always remained the same. It provided a venue for Whidbey Island residents to discover all of the businesses and services that are available close to home. It also provides vendors with a chance to connect with potential customers they normally wouldn’t outside the event, Postma said.

Last year around 60 businesses participated in the event that took place at Oak Harbor High School.

The expo for years had been one of the featured events in Coupeville during the fall and took place in the Coupeville Middle and High School gymnasium.

Postma said that changed last year when it moved to Oak Harbor High School. She cited several reasons for the move. The Oak Harbor area offers a larger population and it provided a better connection with the transient Navy population. Oak Harbor High School offers more room for growth and easier access off island.

The Explore Whidbey: Business and Home Show takes place Oct. 5 and 6 at Oak Harbor High School located at 1 Wildcat Way.

For more information about the show and to reserve a booth, contact the Island County Economic Development Council at 360-678-6889.


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