This past weekend I had the pleasure of attend the Chicago Expo for Today’s Black Woman. What a great time and what a well put together Expo. The Expo has been held here in Chicago for many years (I am not quite sure of the exact number). No matter how many years the Expo has been around they are still on the cutting edge of what is going on in our society and they make the weekend enjoyable and tiring (in a good way).
I spent my entire Saturday afternoon at the Expo and let’s say I could have left broke and tired. The vendors were awesome. You could purchase everything at the Expo from popcorn to purses and everything in between. There were hundreds, may thousands of people in attendance and there was something to do for everyone.
Some of the highlights for me were the celebrities intermingled with the crowd. There was Leon at a booth signing autographs, Sheryl Lee Ralph, the original DreamGirl! working her booth, taking photos and selling t-shirts. I was able to catch a panel discussion with the hilarious and talented Kym Whitley who and shared the panel with a local Chicago lifestyle blogger Swa-Rai. There were even performances by Kelly Price and Tony Terry.
Despite all of these things, what would an Expo be without the participation of companies that make you feel and live better. My employer, University of Illinois Hospital and Health Sciences System hosted a booth as well as the University of Chicago, several other clinics. There were mobile on-site wellness clinics and rapid HIV testing available. There was also an education pavilion with a host of schools providing information on everything such as seminary and advanced degrees.
This was my first time attending the EXPO in a few years, however it will bot be my last. I am so pleased at the caliber of booths and presenters as well as how well the space was laid out. I could have had a little more space within the aisles because it did get crowded and there were several bottlenecks of people. I would have also loved to see local small restaurants or chefs able to provide food service for the event instead of the well known and overpriced chains that were there.
Overall, I enjoyed myself and will make plans to attend again next year. I appreciate the effort that went into making this year’s Expo a success and look forward to what the organizers will do in the future to outdo what they did this year. If the Expo comes to a city near you make it your business to be in attendance.