Thomas Media Group, LLC, publishers of the Black Pages USA directories, has successfully promoted minority business expositions for the past thirteen years. Known as “Black Expo,” the one-day event has been held in Columbia, S.C. (thirteen years),Charleston, S.C. (eleven years), Jacksonville, FL (nine years) attracting over 800 exhibitors and 85,000 visitors. The year 2011 marked the inaugural year for the Upstate Black Expo targeting Anderson, Greenville and Spartanburg, S.C. This concept was taken from Black Expo USA which was a national event that traveled the country and no longer exists. Black Expo is the largest event of its kind directly targeting the African-American community.
The purpose of the Black Expo is to promote economic development through increased exposure for minority-owned businesses. African-American owned businesses have the opportunity to showcase their products and services to the public and procurement officers from major corporations and government entities. It is also an opportunity for major corporations and government entities to develop viable working relationships with minority-owned businesses while marketing their products and services to a growing consumer market. The Expo is also a forum to educate, enlighten and inspire the entire community and the African-American community in particular. Aside from economic development, exposure to cultural resources is a part of the focus for this event.