By GREGORY ZELLER //
Marking its 30th year – and the 40th anniversary of the organization responsible for it – this year’s annual HIA-LI Business Trade Show and Conference may be the biggest yet.
Already self-billed as Long Island’s largest business-to-business trade show (few can argue), the Hauppauge Industrial Association of Long Island’s annual showcase – set for Thursday in Brentwood – is slated to feature a record number of exhibitors (375-plus at last count) and some 4,500 business professionals (78 percent of whom are “decision makers” at their companies), according to the HIA-LI.
It all adds up to “virtually limitless opportunities to develop quality business leads,” the HIA-LI said in a statement, while Terri Alessi-Miceli, the industrial association’s president and CEO, put an even finer point on it.
The annual trade show has evolved into more than a simple stage for hawkers to shout out their wares, according to Alessi-Miceli, who described it instead as “a major economic forum to discuss critical issues facing the Long Island business community.”
“The Trade Show … is a superior opportunity for businesspeople to network and meet their next client, as well as get referrals from other companies,” Alessi-Miceli told Innovate LI.
In addition to a massive trade floor inside the Suffolk County Community College Sports and Exhibition Center, the trade show is scheduled to include “specialized executive programs” focused on business expansion and a number of event-specific promotions from sponsors and exhibitors.
Also on tap are an Executive Breakfast featuring endurance athlete and motivational speaker “Antarctic” Mike Pierce and an Executive Luncheon panel on Long Island socioeconomic development moderated by Mitchell Pally, CEO of the Long Island Builders Institute.
Launched in 1978, HIA-LI advocates for all Long Island businesses but pays special attention to those located inside the Hauppauge Industrial Park, home to 1,300 companies and home-away-from-home for some 55,000 employees.
Sponsors for the annual trade show include the Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency, PSEG-Long Island, Stony Brook University, National Grid and Bellport-based Mark Grossman Public Relations, among others.
Following the Executive Breakfast at 8 a.m., the 30th Annual HIA-LI Business Trade Show & Conference is scheduled to run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 31 at the SCCC Sports & Exhibition Center. Registration (for the breakfast, the lunch, to “walk the floor” or any combination thereof) and more information – including last-minute exhibitor and sponsorship info – is available here.