Town to sponsor a small business marketing summit

By Lisa Capobianco

Staff Writer

From Facebook to YouTube to press releases, local business owners in Southington will learn how to enhance a variety of their marketing tools during a symposium next month.

Coordinated by Image Marketing Consultants and presented by the town, the Small Business Marketing Summit will take place May 1, and is open to all business owners. The event will not only provide a complimentary breakfast, but will also feature three different speakers who will educate business owners about various marketing strategies, including social media, public relations and video marketing.

Keith Atchinson, the owner of Fusion Interactive Group, will conduct a presentation on small business social media, educating business owners how to turn “likes” into customers. Michelle Bonner, a former anchor of ESPN’s Sportscenter, will speak about gaining exposure in local media outlets while Michael Miceli, the owner of Miceli Productions, will speak about using videos to market a business.

For Kate Sirignano, the owner of Image Marketing Consultants, the summit means an opportunity to take her current knowledge about marketing her business to the next level as well as to network with other business owners.

“I hope to expand on what we already know—I hope to use it as an educational event,” said Sirignano.

A business owner for seven years now, Sirignano said she hopes other owners take advantage of this opportunity not only to enhance their marketing skills but also to network with other businesses. Sponsored by the Southington Chamber of Commerce and Liberty Bank, the summit is free admission for the first two representatives from each company.

“Marketing is becoming almost a buzz word,” said Sirignano, adding that local business owners can learn how to actively engage their customers or clients on social media websites through the summit. “I hope this dispels confusion and offers real-life tips on how to market their business.”

Economic Development Coordinator Lou Perillo said the goal of the event is not only for the town to show its appreciation to local businesses, but also to provide them with the educational tools they need to help grow their clientele or even to expand. He said the summit will provide businesses new techniques they can take advantage of, such as how to establish a “personal engagement” with customers or clientele on social media sites.

“We are looking to do some of these events to help [businesses] get stronger or expand,” said Perillo, adding that the summit also serves as a way for the town to give back to local businesses. “Hopefully they will walk away with some ideas they can implement.”

Town Council Chairman Mike Riccio said the summit serves as just one in a series of symposiums for local businesses. Riccio added that the event is not only an informative way for businesses to grow, but is also a good opportunity to meet and network with town staff.

“We are increasing our dedication to economic development,” said Riccio, who serves the Economic Development Strike Committee. “Their success is our success, and we want to foster that climate.”

“We’re proud to be a part of this,” said Art Secondo the president and CEO of the Southington Chamber of Commerce, adding that these events will teach business owners, developers and managers how to improve their traffic and how to “better utilize the tools they have.”

The summit will take place on Thursday, May 1 from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at Hawk’s Landing Country Club. To RSVP, call (860) 863-5861 or go to imagemarketingconsultants.com. Admission is $15 for additional guests. The deadline to register was April 24, but walk-ins are accepted.

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