Though it's not quite Thanksgiving, a table of plenty was set Thursday for DuPage area businesses looking to spice up their corporate events at the annual Daily Herald Business Ledger Hospitality Expo -- DuPage.
More than 80 vendors representing area hotels, caterers, meeting sites and entertainment options made themselves available to the more than 800 registered attendees at Abbington Distinctive Banquets in Glen Ellyn.
Exhibitors were able to show off their wares, answer questions and -- potentially -- draw new customers.
Attendees sampled foods like lobster bisque from the Clubhouse in Oak Brook and Schaumburg, checked out classic video games like Pacman and Donkey Kong from Enchanted Castle in Lombard and discussed holiday event plans with venues like the Hotel Baker in St. Charles.
The annual event has become a popular one-stop marketplace for businesses and professional event planners to see what's available locally, keep in touch with new trends and book what's needed for events or meetings.
"It's really one of the top hospitality events to get your name out there and to be out and try to capture new business," said Lisa Hughes, director or tournament sales at Ruffled Feathers Golf Club in Lemont.
"This is a focused group that you want to be in front of," she added.
Mitch Hart, managing director of Boisset Collection in Homer Glen, was exhibiting his custom wine labeling and tasting business for the first time and was impressed by the number of people circling the booth.
"This has been a very good crowd. There's a good variety of potential clients here," he said, who hoped to land 5 to 10 new clients at the event.
Kathy Summers, with the Midwestern chapter of the Association for the Promotion of Tourism in Africa in Naperville, was looking for restaurants that can accommodate a number of events planned for the organization.
"They have a great variety of opportunities to explore," Summers said, noting she connected with Buca di Beppo at the 2016 event.
The DuPage expo is the second of three hosted by the Daily Herald Business Ledger this year. The final event, focusing on the Chicago Northwest region, will be held Nov. 9 at the Stonegate Conference & Banquet Centre in Hoffman Estates.