Black-tie event begins biz and lifestyle expo

One of southeast Michigan’s longest-running community expositions will continue its 27-year tradition when it begins at 6 p.m. Thursday at Yack Arena in Wyandotte with a Black-Tie Preview Party.

The party, expected to attract more than 1,000 people starts the three-day Southern Wayne County Business & Lifestyles Exposition.

“The expo has evolved into far more than just the typical business trade show in recent years,” said SWCRC President Sandy Mull. “It’s a community event that has wide appeal to both the business community and for area families.”

Nearly 100 exhibitors are expected to be on hand throughout the three days, showcasing products and services and offering a wide range of special deals.

Thursday’s black-tie, which costs $65 a person for chamber members and $75 for nonmembers, is a tastefest-style event that features many of the region’s best restaurants, prize drawings and entertainment from 6 to 9 p.m.

There will be a fashion show by Traffic Jam Boutique and Jim’s Tuxedos on the stage throughout the evening, and music provided by T.J. Monte Productions.

There also is a special Black-Tie Raffle, which has become somewhat of a major attraction itself the past few years.

“We currently have more than 30 prizes valued at $100 or more each,” Mull said. Purchase of a $20 raffle ticket nets its buyer entry into all of the prize drawings. Three tickets can be purchased for $50.

Friday at the Expo has a “business-to-business” emphasis, beginning with an 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. seminar called “Facebook for Business — Really?” presented by Detroit area social media marketing expert Al Crawford.

Tickets are $5 for chamber members and $10 for nonmembers. Free admission to the expo is included with each ticket. Continental breakfast will be served.

The expo will be open to the public from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday. Besides the exhibitors, there will be presentations on the stage and prizes given away all day.

Friday will conclude with a special reunion concert by the band Caruso.

The concert will run from 7:30 to 9 p.m. The $15 admission includes two drink tickets for beer, wine or pop; $5 from each ticket will be donated to charity. One attendee will be drawn to name the charity that will receive the donation.

Saturday at the Business & Lifestyles Expo takes on a decidedly family-friendly theme. Hours for Family Fun Day are 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and several fun activities will be going on all day.

Mike and Ron Morelli, a father-and-son team from “The Biggest Loser” season seven, will be there to talk about their experience on the show and how their lives have changed since. They will be available to answer questions and sign autographs.

Admission on Friday and Saturday is $2 for adults. Children 12 and under will be admitted free.

For additional information or to purchase Black-Tie tickets, call the chamber office at (734) 284-6000, or email