The 23rd Annual Trade Show and Luncheon took place on Wednesday and the Long Island City Partnership knew ahead of time it would be as successful as ever.
More than 130 businesses and 3,500 guests were expected to jam themselves into Terrace on the Park for a free morning of business networking.
“This is a big event with a variety of components,” Dana Frankel of the Long Island City Partnership said. “It’s probably our biggest event of the year and we are very excited to bring it back again.”
The event acts as a mixer of sorts where local businesses can familiarize themselves with their neighbors and form connections for the future.
“We have all sorts of businesses, not just the ones you would typically think would attend,” Frankel said. “We have insurance companies, banks, restaurants, clothing, manufacturers. Just all types of businesses that make up Long Island City.”
Networking and bonding aside, former president of the Long Island City Partnership Gale Baron was honored with a community service award for all of the work she has done for the Long Island City business community and the Long Island City Partnership.
Robert Walsh, commissioner of the New York City Department of Small Business Services, was the keynote speaker at the luncheon.
“This is all about highlighting the diversity we have here in Long Island City, which is truly unique,” Frankel said. “Throughout Queens there is a lot of diversity but I think in Long Island City, you get something a bit different. We have a successful integration of the arts and eateries with more industrial businesses and manufacturers. The Trade Show allows us to show that off.”
As the event has occurred for more than 20 years, the trade show has seen the evolution of the neighborhood reflected in the businesses that attend each year.
“I haven’t been around since the beginning but I can say that I’m always surprised with the diversity of the businesses represented,” Frankel said. “They have all been successful. An in-person business network opportunity is very important and we still hear, every year, from businesses that tell us how helpful they found it.”
Frankel added that the Trade Show is a celebration of progress in an area where prostitutes and drug addicts once roamed the streets.
“It allows the businesses to take some pride in their neighborhood and all they have accomplished over the years,” she said.
For information on the Long Island City Partnership, visit licpartnership.org.