Reverse Trade Show Moves To Larger Venue, Clearwater Beach

The Tampa Bay Innovation Center’s (TBIC) annual reverse trade show event is moving to a larger venue in response to its growing popularity. The 2012 Florida Defense and Technology Showcase will take place Sept. 17-19 at the Sheraton Sand Key on Clearwater Beach. The annual event is in its sixth year, and is presented by TBIC along with the Florida Federal Contractors Association.

“This event has been very successful in the past,” says Danielle Weitlauf, manager of TBIC. “We have moved to a new location this year, which enables us to accommodate a larger audience.”

The annual three-day event includes a reverse trade show, a luncheon and golf tournament. The trade show is the most unique aspect of the event in that the exhibitors are defense subcontractors presenting their products and services to industry contractors looking for suppliers.  

Weitlauf says U.S. Congressman C.W. Bill Young is very involved in the event, and plays a vital role in showing contractors the capabilities of defense companies in Florida. She explains that the event is great for local suppliers in the defense sector to get exposure to various contractors and federal officials, regardless of their current size.

“About 80 percent of the exhibitors are local,” Weitlauf says. “Exhibitors range from early stage companies to large contractors within the defense sector.”

 In addition to the reverse trade show, there is a matchmaking event that matches contractors with specific suppliers.
“Attendees fill out a matchmaking form in advance of the event and then we are able to set up appointments based on the information provided,” Weitlauf says. “Local companies have increased their sales as a result of the trade show and matchmaking event.”

Click here for more information on the 2012 Florida Defense and Technology Showcase.

Writer: Kimberly Patterson
Source: Danielle Weitlauf, Tampa Bay Innovation Center

Read more articles by Kimberly Patterson.

Kimberly Patterson is a news editor for 83 Degrees Media in the Tampa Bay region of Florida.
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