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The Source for Public Transportation News and Analysis April 22, 2011
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Business Networking: Now on the Menu

What does “business networking” mean? More than 750 companies that do business in the public transportation industry are coming to EXPO 2011—which makes New Orleans not only a great place to find new customers, but a premier venue to identify new business partners.

On Tuesday, Oct. 4, from 4:30 to 6 p.m., business-to-business networking will take center stage—with the show floor open only to exhibitors and APTA business members.

Michael Melaniphy, chair of the International Public Transportation Expo Advisory Committee and vice president, public sector, Motor Coach Industries, came up with this idea. “The universe of potential suppliers is always changing,” he said. “This time at the show will give the private sector an opportunity to meet new partners that we could do business with and to learn more about their products and services. It will help us find new ways that we can better meet the needs of our customers.”

During this first-ever networking event, Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE) and small business members will gather at the EXPO tram stop nearest to their booth to meet potential partners. Huelon Harrison, chair of APTA’s Business Member Small Business Committee, said: “The buzzwords for the over 60 DBEs exhibiting at the show will be ‘Meet me at my tram stop and let’s talk about doing business.’”

An added bonus: APTA’s business members will sponsor a reception for exhibitors during the networking event.

“Business networking is an important reason that companies belong to APTA,” said Chuck Wochele, chair of the Business Member Board of Governors and vice president for industry and government relations at ALSTOM Transportation. “This year we are sponsoring business networking breakfasts at both the bus and rail conferences, setting the stage for the networking event in New Orleans,” he continued. “With so many companies in one place at one time, it’s an outstanding opportunity for APTA business members to make new business contacts and gather new ideas that will help improve the products and services we offer to the public transportation industry. In times like this, business networking is more important than ever, and we’re pleased to support this event.”


APTA business members network at a special breakfast session during the 2010 Rail Conference in Vancouver, BC. For the first time, a similar networking event is part of the schedule for the Annual Meeting and EXPO.




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