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Omaha Magazine

Buy the Big O! Show

Aug 26, 2013 09:22AM ● By Linda Persigehl
Looking for a networking and marketing opportunity for your small business? Check out the Greater Omaha Chamber’s 2013 Buy the Big O! Show, happening Wed., Oct. 9 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at CenturyLink Center Omaha.

The region’s largest business-to-business trade show accommodates up to 400 exhibitors and anticipates an audience of 5,000 visitors this year. The event has come a long way from its humble beginnings, with just 10 businesses exhibiting and 100 attendees at its 1990 debut.

The reasons for its success? The Buy the Big O! Show places a strong emphasis on making business connections and doing business locally to support our economy right here in Omaha, says Tracey Fricke, senior director of special events for the Greater Omaha Chamber. Adds Fricke: “There is an amazing synergy that happens at the Big O! Show. We do so much business electronically, it seems to have become a rare occasion that we do business face-to-face anymore. The show provides a fun, unique opportunity for exhibitors to cultivate name recognition, network, establish business relationships, and develop leads that will generate more business.”

Gold Sponsors AAA, Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Nebraska, NP Dodge Co., First National Bank of Omaha, and Sheppard’s Business Interiors help make the show a premier event and worthwhile investment of both time and money for exhibitors and visitors alike. While other trade shows have gone extinct, the Buy the Big O! Show just keeps growing.

The show also offers a wealth of educational opportunities through its Entrepreneurial Zone, sponsored by Pay-LESS Office Products. Started last year, the Zone offers an array of experts in accounting, banking, legal, marketing, and other business areas from throughout the metro who offer free, one-on-one consultation with business owners, sharing advice and tips for better business management. Whether you’re a startup looking for beginner marketing tips or an established business looking to overcome a tax issue, you’ll find great value in visiting the Zone.

“We will also have a new area called the Mixer,” adds Fricke. “This area is designated for targeted, industry-specific networking throughout the day and provides business owners valuable opportunities: to meet professionals in your industry from various companies; to look for time-saving techniques or potential partners to benefit you and your company; to share ideas and best practices for the betterment of our community; and to ask questions.”

This year’s event will again feature Small Business Black Wednesday. Just like Black Friday, thousands will be looking for the best deals of the year. Exhibitors are encouraged to offer one-day discounts that’ll draw the masses to their booths to check out their mega deals.

“This was started last year to generate ROI for exhibitors the day of the show and to provide great business deals for attendees as we close down the calendar year,” says Fricke. “So all businesses involved can benefit. We will promote these deals via social media and online at,, and on Twitter: @OmahaChamber #BigOShow.”

If you’re a business interested in reserving a booth for this year’s Buy the Big O! Show, or you’re just looking for more information about the event, visit