The all-local, all-the-time booster effort Tacoma Shift Happens kicks into high gear Jan. 28 with Shift Happens at Tacoma Convention and Trade Center. This annual event will gather local business and 253 backers for an all-out blitz on local synergy.
The free event will have more than 120 vendors and displays that will run from business and non-profits to artists and neighborhood groups showing the voodoo they do with information and samples. Of course, there will be a cash bar. It is Tacoma after all. The vendor roster is a third larger than it was last year.
“We have a very strong business-to-business portion,” organizer Patricia Lecy-Davis said. “We will be making some matches based on surveys people have taken.”
Along with the rows of vendors in the ballroom, presenters will hold forums and talks about networking, promotional efforts and business best practices. Also this year will be the announcement of the Indie Awards and the Mayoral State of the City Address, which will also be broadcast on TV Tacoma.
The Indie Awards will honor locals in three categories. The Advocacy Championship will be presented to a person or organization that brought change and leads by example in matters of fostering a localized economy, by supporting local independent business and non profits through partnerships and activities.
The Community Stewardship award will go to a person or organization that fosters a “local first” mentality by supporting community events, spreading the Go Local message and being an ambassador by being committed to supporting local independent business.
An Entrepreneurial Empowerment honor will go to a person or organization that participates in creating opportunities for local independent businesses to access education, tools, financial resources and methods to strengthen their business through mentorship.
Shift Happens has not just linked local business and community boosters in the 253, but has gained the eyes of civic boosters around Puget Sound.
The mayor and economic development director of the City of Snohomish are planning to swing by in hopes of gaining ideas of how do duplicate the local effort in their community. “That’s pretty cool,” Lecy-Davis said.
The schedule for Shift Happens:
1:30-2:30 p.m. Business to Business Session (vendors only)
2:30-4 p.m. Boost Your Business Smart Lab, discussing design, branding and technology. Tickets are $10 to general public.
4-6:15 p.m. Local Vendor Showcase
6:15-7 p.m. Shift Happens 2013 Program, including the announcement of the Indie Awards and the Mayoral State of the City Address.
Go to http://www.Tacomashifthappens.com, for more information.