“It was a really tough decision for us to postpone the Southern Illinois Made Expo for two years, but it was a decision that needed to be made for the health and wellbeing of our vendors and attendees,” said Sen. Fowler. “With everything our business community has faced these past two years, we are more excited than ever to bring this event back to the region and raise awareness of the amazing products, services and destinations found in Southern Illinois.”
The Southern Illinois Made Expo is an initiative developed between Sen. Fowler and the Southern Illinois Chamber of Commerce in 2018. The Expo was created as way to highlight the businesses and tourism destinations operating throughout the region. After two years of postponement, this year’s event is set to take place at the Marion Pavilion on October 15 and 16 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Exhibitor registration for interested businesses will open June 16. This means interested businesses that meet exhibitor criteria can sign up to have a booth featured at the event.
“Area Chambers of Commerce have for several years promoted a strong Shop Southern Illinois campaign, with their goal of encouraging consumers to shop locally and regionally, and choose products made by local and regional businesses. The Southern Illinois Made Expo was a logical next step forward in showcasing all that our Southern Illinois region has to offer,” said Karen Mullins, Executive Director of the Marion Chamber of Commerce. “Even a slight change in the way local residents shop can keep millions of dollars in our local economies. Local businesses create jobs, contribute to civic projects, and generate tax revenues for communities and the public services they provide. The owners are our neighbors and our friends, and they deserve our support.”
To become an exhibitor at the Southern Illinois Made Expo, the following criteria must be met:
∙ Feature products produced in Southern Illinois or destinations available in Southern Illinois
∙ Willingness and capacity to sell/showcase products/destinations to retailers and the public at your booth during both days of the event
∙ Agree not to exhibit or promote any products/destinations not made in Southern Illinois
∙ Agree to all Exhibitor Rules & Regulations listed in the Participation Agreement Form section
∙ Provide Certificate of Insurance by email on or before the proper date
“The Southern Illinois Made Expo is a celebration of the hardworking men and women who make up the business community of Southern Illinois,” said Sen. Fowler. “We are looking forward to once again reuniting our business community, bringing business and residents back together for what is sure to be a great event.”
Businesses based in Southern Illinois are encouraged to visit simade.org to learn more about becoming an exhibitor or to reserve a booth. The deadline to register is September 14 and space is limited.
The Expo is also now accepting new sponsors for this year’s event and has announced the charities to benefit from this year’s Expo, Operation Honor Guard and Veterans Honor Flight of Southern Illinois. All proceeds from the Expo, including sponsorship funding, exhibitor registration and donations will go toward these charities. Visit simade.org for more information.