Using the common phrase, “The sky is the limit,” may be a major understatement when it comes to the ambitions of the Parnassah Expo, brainchild of the Parnassah Network and its founder, Reb Duvi Honig. It was launched two years ago as a local event in Lakewood. The turnout astounded organizers, so the event was held at the Meadowlands Exposition Center last year, with both exhibitors and attendees filling the 60,000-square-foot floor to capacity.
The 2014 Parnassah Expo on March 25th and 26th is expected to double its size, filling 150,000 square feet at the New Jersey Convention and Exposition Center in Edison, New Jersey. Last year, Parnassah Network successfully organized the largest Orthodox community event of its kind. Newcomers to the business world, startups, small businesses and established large corporations alike made invaluable contacts and found an array of useful resources. In the weeks and months since the last Expo, Reb Duvi Honig and Parnassah Network’s office fielded a steady stream of feedback from exhibitors and attendees sharing their success stories.
As the positive ripple effect continues, the upcoming Expo promises to put yet more ventures—and the individuals and families they support—in positive territory. The B2B Expo is where businesses and vendors in a cross section of industries will showcase their products and services, and meet-and-greet any attendee of interest, as well as host industry-specific structured networking sessions. The scope of the exhibitors promises to be significantly larger than even last year’s group, which ranged from prestigious banks to mom-and-pop ventures. Organizers expect the number of exhibitors to be double or more of last year’s 250 booths,
In addition, 25,000 square feet of floor space will be dedicated to a job fair, academic and vocational courses, career counseling and business enhancement services. An adjacent 15,000- square-foot Convention Center will host seminars and workshops from key experts in a variety of business related areas, as well as several private networking areas.
With nearly a year of advance planning, every detail of the massive operation has been coordinated. Admission badges will be available in advance in order to minimize wait time at the entrance. Rooms at the nearby five-star Sheraton Hotel have been reserved to accommodate visitors from out of town, with a complimentary shuttle to the Expo hall. Guidance on “How to Network at the Parnassah Expo” is being compiled, to ensure the smoothest, most productive experience possible.
Yet, with all this expansion and innovation, admission costs will remain extremely affordable. “Parnassah Expo does not cater to any particular segment of klal Yisroel at the exclusion of others,” says Reb Duvi Honig. “We can only help some if we are ready to help all.”
By Shimmy Blum