Getting on-line will be focus of business expo

September 10, 1995|By Shirley Leung | Shirley Leung,Sun Staff Writer

Get on-line or get left behind.

That may be the message business professionals walk away with after attending the Anne Arundel Trade Council's Business-to-Business Expo tomorrow at the BWI Marriott Hotel.

"What happens to people with Internet is what has happened to people with PCs [personal computers] -- you get more work done and reach more people," said Glenn O. McCalley, president of BusinessNet, an on-line service for small businesses. "It expands your community of contacts, and every contact could be a customer."

Mr. McCalley, whose company is based in Towson, will be a speaker at the trade expo, which will run from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and feature nearly 100 exhibitors. This year's theme is "Linking Business to the Future."

He said companies can be hooked up to the Internet for as little as $6 a month and reach as many as 200 million people worldwide. Firms can buy and sell products or exchange ideas. Though he believes all businesses can benefit from the Internet, he warns that each business needs to figure out how little or how much to use it.

Constance Hammond, a computer instructor at Anne Arundel Community College, will talk about how the access provided by Internet and other technology is redesigning the workplace.

"Tomorrow's office is more decentralized and there will be less of an emphasis on the office as the center of the workplace," Ms. Hammond said.

She will elaborate on the virtual work world -- in which people will travel more, work out of their homes and communicate through linked computers.

The driving force behind creating virtual offices is to save money on paying for office space, Ms. Hammond said.

The widespread use of computers also has changed the FTC traditional marketing business of mailings and fliers.

John Corsaut and Alex Handy of the Annapolis advertising company Corsaut & Handy will tell business leaders that "interactive" is the marketing mode of the future.

"You want to sell something, get your customer involved," Mr. Corsaut said. ""Interactive is a much more effective medium because . . . it allows the customer to pick and choose."

Examples of interactive marketing are catalogs placed on the Internet or CD-ROM, allowing customers to log on or slip in a disk and click onto items they are interested in buying.

The two contend that interactive marketing enables firms to focus their products on a specific market. And the technique doesn't cost more than sending out thick, glossy brochures. A CD-ROM catalog can be made with as little as $10,000 and reproduced at $1 a disk.

Admission to the expo is $5 per person. The hotel is at 1743 W. Nursery Road, Linthicum.

A business mixer is planned from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Westinghouse Historical Electronics Museum. The cost for the mixer is $11 at the door. Admission for nonmembers is $20.

2& Information: 757-6709 or 974-4402.

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