Florida Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll will be the featured luncheon speaker today [Tuesday, Sept. 18] at the Federal Defense & Technology Showcase presented by Tampa Bay Innovation Center. She will speak on the defense industry in Florida, its importance and what the state is doing in terms of support.
The Tampa Bay Innovation Center’s (TBIC) annual reverse trade show event runs through Wednesday [Sept. 19] at the Sheraton Sand Key on Clearwater Beach. The 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 featuring Carroll and a 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.”
for more information on the 2012 Florida Defense and Technology Showcase.
Writer: Kimberly Patterson
Source: Danielle Weitlauf, Tampa Bay Innovation Center