Thursday was an exciting day in the Amarillo business world. It was time for the 20th Annual Business Connection at the Amarillo Civic Center hosted by the Amarillo Chamber of Commerce.
As the largest business-to-business trade show and silent action the area, 370 businesses set up shop at ten o'clock Thursday morning ready for a day a business talk. The show lasted until four o'clock and organizers estimated that thousands of people circled through the booths throughout the day.
"We've got Pop-A-Lock Safety Company, restaurants, all restaurants around town of course. We've got an ag area where people can go and really see the importance of ag in the area," said Jason Harrison with the Amarillo Chamber of Commerce. "I'd say 6,000 or so people will come through and that's not counting the businesses that are here."
While many of the businesses have attended the annual Business Connection year after year, some companies like Pure Element were there for the first time.
"This is actually our first time to come to the Business Connection," said owner of Pure Element, Stacey Grall. "We should have been here way before now, it's amazing here. I can't believe the amount of people that are here. My jaws are sore," she laughed.
Pure Element, which has operated near Dumas since 2004, bottles custom label water as well as sells it's retail product, Pure Element. Grall said her company is already seeing the positive effects of attending Business Connection 2012.
"When I walked in this morning, it was fairly early and I hadn't even put my things down yet and I had a lady come and say oh we've been looking for some custom label water, I need your business card," explained Grall. "I thought you know, this has already paid for itself. Just the exposure."
At the end of the day, organizers said it's all about local businesses connecting with other local businesses and from the scene of thousands walking around the Civic Center on Thursday, one might say it was a complete success.
"So often we have a lot of networking events, like a golf tournament and we have a barbeque but this is the one time that they get to show off their business and what they do," said Harrison. "So, it's a great time that we have a full day where they can just visit with each other, trade cars and really deal with commerce in Amarillo."