LEWISTON — The Maine B2B Trade Show on Thursday will bring together 130 businesses and draw more than 1,000 attendees for what’s annually billed as the largest business networking event in the state.

Participating businesses include financial planners, tech companies, law offices, accountants, sign shops, pest-control companies and even a drone-flying cinematographer. 

“It’s that one time of year when all the businesses are in one location with all the things you need,” said Travis Dow, who organized the show for the Lewiston-Auburn Economic Growth Council. “You always have to be finding out what’s the newest gizmo, what’s the newest way to reach people, what’s the newest way to make your system operate more efficiently. This is a place where there’s a lot of professionals.

“There’s no catch — just show up and talk to them,” he said. “You’ve got the ear of someone who can maybe give you a couple pointers or steer you in the right direction, maybe even become somebody you join forces with to help your business out.”

As always, entry is free with a business card.

The event runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee.

The businesses will take up 150 booths, Dow said. About 75 percent are local to the Twin Cities or have a location here.

In the front entryway of the Colisee, L/A Arts will display an exhibit that’s hung in the University of Southern Maine’s Lewiston Auburn College for the past several weeks. The exhibit features local elementary and middle school students’ art directly influenced by 96-year-old artist Ashley Bryan’s work.

“It’s a pretty cool display where they have posters of art that he did and the children’s art is displayed right in front of it so you can see what it inspired them to do,” Dow said. “There’s some information about business and economic development and art and how it all ties together.”

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