Black Women’s Expo 2016 was a great time. The vendors traveled from around the U.S. to participate in this 20 year-old event. They brought with them many wonderful products with an entrepreneurial spirit because many of items were created from an online business with the majority of their advertisement was via social media. They have generated their sales primarily via social media which says a lot about growth and opportunity via various platforms. There were lots of product samples being given away along with lots of bags with logos from various companies.
The samples ranged from hair care products for many Black women who no longer perm their hair or as I call us “Naturalistas” to food samples from new foodpreneurs. Product lines from both large and small business owners participated. It gave large businesses a chance to introduce new products and smaller businesses the opportunity to introduce their product to a new market-share. The best part was the bag give-a-ways the vendors were passing out so if you could not purchase any products, you still walked away with a token of appreciation.
The panel discussions being held in various rooms with topics ranging from finance, relationships, self-esteem, and many other topics in between with great panelists, along with wonderful hostesses for each of the discussions. There were lots of interesting commentary from both the panelists and the audience members which opened up the dialog for a great conversation with varying opinions. There were several celebrities who hosted some of the panels which made them fun and exciting as well. They were all friendly and took pictures with many who attended.
There were several clothing and jewelry vendors for a variety of style and elegance. If you did not find your size, you walked away with a business card so you could place your order online. There was an art pavilion where artists showcased their artistic work with many pieces for sale, an educational pavilion with many charter schools, tutorial services, and authors presenting new books, opportunities and possibilities.
One of the best parts of the event was listening to live music with Sunday being the highlight with gospel music being celebrated. This was a 3 day event filled with lots of love, entrepreneurial spirit, and music! The musical guest brought back some old school music from the 80s & 90s to music many are listening to today and bringing us a spirit filled day on the last day of the event! The DJs showed up and showed out keeping everyone singing and dancing through out the event.
The event was very family friendly with areas for the kids to have their face painted, play games for prizes, and many fun things to do so they can be a part of the love in the entire room. This year there were less vendors but it made walking around easier then it had been years before. It also gave more time to walk around to enjoy the vendors as opposed to being so big you realize you may have missed a vendor. The vendors were diverse in their background and product line but all had the same “lets network” mindset and spirit.
In conclusion, if you are in Chicago in April 2017 be on the look out for the Black Women’s Expo and be sure to attend!!! For more info check out their website www.theblackwomensexpo.com