New York.- Since 1992, Hermes Expo International has made it possible for Ethnic businesses from Greece, South Eastern Europe, and the Eastern Mediterranean to reach ethnic markets in the United States. Over the years, fully American businesses, along with those from other nations, have come aboard to share the benefits of the Hermes Expo’s successful record in the international market.
But now, Hermes Expo’s demonstrated success has grown even more. With express agreements between both the cities and ports of Thessaloniki — “The Gateway to the Baltics and Europe” — and the key U.S. ports if Philadelphia and Baltimore, Hermes Expo International has far exceeded its early growth projections to become a powerful vehicle for domestic and worldwide businesses.
With the next Expo marking the 20th Celebration of the achievements of the Greek American community in the US, the 20th Hermes Expo was announced to be held on March 31, 2011 with the Food and Wine tasting in New York, in cooperation with the Queens Chamber of Commerce, and on Saturday and Sunday April 2-3, 2011 at the Tropicana Hotel and Resort Grand Exhibition Center in the exciting Atlantic City, Odyssey Magazine sought and was granted an exclusive interview with the Expo’s Founder and President, Paul Kotrotsios.
Q: What’s the Expo all about?
Kotrotsios: Well, it’s not only about fine food, wine-tasting, and exhibiting products and services to link up for mutual benefit, it’s also about the dynamic interchange that businesses domestically and worldwide share to insure their ongoing success. In the past, we were just looking at niche markets, large one’s, sure, but now we’ve grown so much everyone wants to come aboard, especially those who share our vision. We’ve become a force in international trade and sales. It’s a networking event where Greek Americans, Americans, and SouthEastern Europeans get together using the unique forum of the Hermes Expo.
There are really a number of activities that will benefit you if you get involved such as visit our web www.hermesexpo.com for more information and reserve your: 1. Booth(s),
2. Advertising space in the Brochure and Directory, 3. Participate at the Seminar(s) and Presentations, 4. Participate in the networking Luncheon, 5. Get involved in the Fashion Show sponsored by AHEPA District #5 (portion of the proceeds will benefit the Cancer Foundation), 6. But do make sure you reserve your table (10 tickets) for the Gala Dinner and Hermes Awards Ceremony which, after a sumptuous meal will be followed by continuous electrifying entertainment by Stavros Theodorou and Orchestra, 7. Participate at the Brunch Networking on Sunday Morning and present as an Exhibitor or sponsor your company and what it represents, 8. Make your B2B appointments and time for your meeting reservations for your choice of Exhibitors and sponsors, 9. Increase your horizons and create window of opportunities for you and your business by meeting old and make new customers, 10. Participate at the tasting of Greek Food and wines from Greece and other parts of the South Eastern European Countries, Greece, Romania and others, 11. Grab the opportunity and participate at the HELEXPO in Thessaloniki, the 9th Trade Mission to Greece and the Balkans organized yearly by the Hermes Expo and expand your business in the Balkans,
If you are ready for new challenges as well as thrilling opportunities, please call us for an appointment with our Sponsors and Exhibitors. Always remember, by your active participation, you are: – Supporting your heritage; – You pay homage to the Greek American achievements; – You help amplify your business scope and networking capabilities; – You stay in touch with a vast business group making it your forum as well and more.
As you may have noticed, we have molded Hermes Expo International into what it has become with the guidance of many participants and experts. We hereby ask you for your involvement and help in making it even better and bigger by making it profitable and workable for you as well.
Q: Why do clients really come?
Kotrotsios: They come because they promote their businesses, products and services,, make connections, sample, taste, increase their profits and their business horizons, and have a good time doing it in Atlantic City. Really, we have so many success stories at the Expo, they can’t resist. In fact, we have over a 65 percent return rate to go along with new clients getting aboard from the US business trying to do business with the Greek American Community of over 2 Million in the US and Southeastern Europe.
Q: What’s your role?
Kotrotsios: Specifically, I facilitate meetings between exhibitors and sponsors looking to expand and diversify their market base, exhibit their products, and, generally, to put the right people and businesses at the same table. They meet. They talk. They have fun. Later on many of them become business partners. We are matchmakers. We connect people and businesses anf hopefully they realize and understand the scope of our efforts and they support them in turn. This Forum we have created with the help of many people is really for everyone. All someone has to do is to think what does he/she is bringing inn that is what they are going to get out. Invest time, effort and money and the reward(s) will be there! At the 20th Hermes Expo!
Q: What’s the best advice you can give to a potential new client?
Kotrotsios: The best advice I can give a potential client is to sign up now, or at least before the deadline in December. Doing so ensures effective planning time, of course. But it also ensures that the client will receive a 10 percent discount for a booth or an advertisement in Hermes Expo brochure. To top it off, he or she will be mentioned in the every Hermes Expo publication from then on, press conferences, take part in every pre-function event or road show to promote the 20th Hermes Expo.
Q: Any other advice?
Kotrotsios: Getting involved is the key to success. Everything depends on how well organized the client’s business is. A well thought out presentation works wonders. If the client has these elements, he or she can write their own ticket to success from there. They can get advantage into one of the 5 networking events to show case their products and services and gain.
Q: What does the Expo mean by expanding a businesses’ market base?
Kotrotsios: Aside from linking up with other businesses to open talks that engage or encourage collaborative benefits and agreements, it means distribution. If an American business wants to sell their products in Greece, we give them Greece. We give them access. We give them a window of opportunity. We give them a no hassle means to sell their products. If an American business wants to sell their products in the Balkans, we give them the Balkans too. With the Hermes Expo’s streamlined service, it works both ways. American, Greek, Greek-American, Romanian, Canadian, South American and other nations with businesses in their respective countries can market their products as expeditiously as possible in Greece or any of the other nations that have come aboard the Hermes Expo. We’re especially pleased, and actually, very grateful, to play a pivotal role in the Greek-American business community because of the Hellenic News of America the Delaware County based bilingual newspaper, which has served the Greek American business community since 1987. www.HellenicNews.Com
Q: What is the Expo’s next step?
Kotrotsios: Travel, especially with regards to Greece, one if not the best travel destinations in the world. We’re looking at this for the next Expo in April 2011 and this way to contribute if we can and lend our support to the Greek Economy. New airline concerns, cruise ships, restaurants, distributing, real estate, jewelry, arts and crafts, national pavilions, financial institutions, marble and granite, food service, banking, and all the collateral business industries that linkages between these concerns can generate. It’s really exciting when you think of the potential here. Fortunes can be made overnight. On the other hand we are here to create a seminar on INVEST IN GREECE and analyze with experts how this can happen without having any surprises and help both ends, the potential investor and the real business bridge between two traditional friends.
Another new objective is to develop and expand on the potential of our young professionals and and specific professional markets like medicine. This year’s Hermes Expo was able to open its doors and provide a forum for the Hellenic Student Associations and SAE USA, the Youth Mentor Fair and job placement fair, where over 200 young professionals and students from across the United States were able to use the resources of the Hermes Expo to connect and build relationships in an effort to offer guidance to students in the development of their careers. Through her position at the Hermes Expo and her involvement with the youth of the Greek American community, Stavroula Kotrotsios, my daughter and recent graduate of Villanova University (the apple doesn’t fall very far from the tree), was able to serve as the liaison between the professionals representing various fields and the students. Stavroula’s approach has brought the youth’s needs to my attention now, more than ever, because of the economic crisis taking place. She, her team, and I were able to devise a plan that allowed for a truly remarkable event. We hosted Q & A and mentorship presentations from Congressman Zak Space, Senator Lou Raptakis, Mr Aris Melissaratos – Board of Johns Hopkins University, Mr Larigakis- AHI, and Dr Panos Yannakogeorgos of Rutgers University, Chris Christakis, Chairman of the US Greece Business Advisory Council, Kathy Scullin, Vice President Marketing Crozer Keystone Health System, Dr. Ilias Eliadis of Cooper Hospital and many others who came out to network with our students. This was only one of many more efforts to come in the objective of creating a stronger Greek American youth who will one day lead our community.
This year’s Hermes Expo also hosted the Hellenic Medical Symposium that offered a 3 credit CME to doctors representing states from all over the US. This target group was able to succeed in uniting under the goal of learning about medicine and connecting with their fellow professionals in the Greek American community. Helping to build individual professional networks like medicine is key for the development and free flow of ideas within the medical world; and the Hermes Expo was able to play an active and unifying role in this endeavor with the help of Kathy Scullin, Vice President of Marketing at Crozer Keystone Health Systems, Dr. Ilias Iliadis, President of the Hellenic Medical Society of Philadelphia, Dr. George Tsioulias, Ptresident of the Hellenic Medical Society of New York, Dr. Spiros Mezitis, President of the Federation of the Hellenic Medical Society and others.
Q: Could you elaborate further?
Kotrotsios: With the Expo’s in-depth knowledge and cooperation with the local authorities, we can advise and inform clients of breaking technology, cutting edge state of the art advances in software of all types, for example, and link up businesses with companies that need them. The marketing possibilities for any company involved with us are staggering. Think of all the collateral businesses and profits that will be generated here! It’s just great, and I’m proud that our clients from America and all the new nations who join and us to meet in Atlantic City will benefit from these associations.
Q: Of course, you’re also referring to companies that want to expand through your “Gateway to the Balkans.”
Kotrotsios: By all means. The Expo stands ready to assist in doing all the legwork and facilitating all the new partnerships, linkages, and new high tech products any new and current business wants. On the other side of the pond, we’re really grateful to the city of Thessaloniki and the HELEXPO taking place there. They do great work both with and for us, great business. Do not forget that we played an important role in the business agreement that both Mayors signed, Thessaloniki and Philadelphia. Since then many businesses are taking advantage at the HELEXPO trying to export American products and technology that create new opportunities and jobs and also business are coming here to do the same. We are also planning agreements between the Athletic Institutions of Philadelphia and Crete to promote the cultural aspect. Please do not forget that our theme has been: Trade, Communications and Culture and that is all that all of us at the Hermes Expo trying to accomplish year after year.
Q: Is there any last advice you want to give to your clients and sponsors, old and new?
Kotrotsios: Sure. You don’t get to the door just by standing on your feet. www.hermesexpo.com