Black Women’s Expo Chicago Attracts Record Crowds, Readies for Atlanta and Dallas Event
5/16/2018, noon | Updated on 5/16/2018, noon
Black Women’s Expo Chicago Attracts Record Crowds, Readies for Atlanta and Dallas Events
More than 20 corporate sponsors and 300 small business exhibitors participated in the annual Black Women’s Expo (BWe), which kicked off its three-city tour in Chicago, last month. This year’s Expo, themed #SheMatters, marked 24 years of the event produced by and for Black women and saw record attendance with over 30,000 flowing through the exhibits and seminars at McCormick Place Convention Center over the three days.
Along with Walgreens, which has been a Presenting Sponsor for nearly 10 years, the Black Women’s Expo added Toyota USA as the new Title Sponsor. Other major national sponsors included United Airlines, Xfinity, AT&T, Country Financial, T-Mobile, Luster Products and BMO Harris Bank. Local sponsors included Illinois Lottery, ComEd, PNC Bank, University of Chicago Medicine, Harmony Health and many more.
The weekend began with a pre-Expo event on Thursday evening saluting four phenomenal women of Chicago. The Phenomenal Woman Awards Gala was held at the Hyatt Regency Chicago and honored Dr. Janice Jackson (CEO, Chicago Public Schools), Kelly Fair (Founder, Polished Pebbles Girls Mentoring Program) and Dr. Suzet McKinney (CEO/Executive Director, Illinois Medical District) before an audience of more than 800. Illinois State Representative Juliana Stratton, Democratic candidate for Illinois Lieutenant Governor, was the Keynote Speaker for the evening.
BWe did not disappoint with seminars led by notable celebrities including actress Kimberly Elise, reality TV star Tami Roman of VH1’s Basketball Wives LA, and the Breakfast Club radio show host Angela Yee with her national podcast Lip Service Live joined by members of the hit reality series Black Ink Crew Chicago.
The entertainment was captivating as well. Popular R&B singer Johnny Gill’s smooth sounds ended a busy day on Saturday and left the attendees and exhibitors wanting more. And on Sunday, they got what they were looking for when Hip Hop musical artist Remy Ma brought down the house, followed by Gospel Recording Artist Latice Crawford.
The exhibitor’s marketplace featured a wide range of products from handcrafted shea butters, handmade jewelry and shoes, to unique fashions, art creations, designer furniture, gourmet food and a variety of natural hair care product lines. And the trend continues as more millennials are becoming small business exhibitors and attendance is on the rise.
With Chicago wrapped, next up is Atlanta on August 10 -12 at the Georgia International Convention Center and Dallas during the Labor Day weekend, September 1 and 2, at the Dallas Market Center. The Black Women’s Expo is the nation’s longest running event of its kind for African American consumers. Download the #BlackWomensExpo mobile app and visit http://theblackwomensexpo.com/ for Atlanta and Dallas event details and sponsorship opportunities.