Chamber event

McKenzie Padgett, left, and Danielle Lewis prepare baskets with items in the grand gift basket that will be given to one of the attendees to visit all 38 booths at the Chamber Experience on June 19 at Gascoigne Bluff Park on St. Simons Island.

The two biggest Golden Isles Chamber of Commerce fundraisers of the year, Chamber Experience and Business & Bites, have been combined into one event for the first time. And it won’t be the last.

The merger of the two events is permanent, said McKenzie Padgett, communications coordinator with the chamber. Chamber members will rename the event but not until after the upcoming one is held June 19 at Gascoigne Bluff Park on St. Simons Island.

Padgett said the merger of the two events is expected to draw larger crowds than if they were held separately.

“We’re excited to see the success of the event,” she said.

Business & Bites, formerly called the Business Expo, featured a wide variety of businesses seeking exposure with potential customers, introduce new products to the marketplace, generate publicity, make on-the-spot sales and network with hundreds of people in a casual business setting.

The Chamber Experience was designed for the business community to feature their products and services, and as a way for the business community to network. A silent and live auction helped lure large crowds to the annual event.

The live and silent auctions at the upcoming event are certain to draw lots of interest. Some of the live auction items include a Jekyll Island weekend getaway, a 32-person sail of the tall ship Lynx, a North Georgia mountain getaway, a Sea Island Inn vacation package, a two-night stay at the Lodge of Little Saint Simons and tickets for the Oaks Terrace venue at the 2021 RSM Classic on the Thursday of the tournament.

Among the 43 silent auction items are packages for fishing charters, golf, a quail hunt, a trip to Atlanta and stays at hotels in the region.

People will be given a strong incentive to visit all 38 booths at the event. They will be given a “passport” that if stamped by all 38 vendors, will be dropped into a basket for a drawing to win the grand gift basket valued at more than $1,500. The basket contains products featured in the Golden Isles as well as gift cards from local businesses.

Local restaurants will feature samples of their fare at the event. Tickets for the tastings costing $1 each will be sold at the event. Vendors will charge anywhere from one to five tickets to sample their food such as crab cakes, turkey legs, clam chowder, sliders and many more selections.

The event will be held from 5 to 9 p.m. and will feature live music by the band Squirt Gun. Entry tickets are $20, but organizers are also offering an entry package with 10 food tasting tickets for $25. Food tasting tickets can be purchased separated at $1 each.

For tickets or more information go to brunswickgoldenisleschamber.com/events.

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The two biggest Golden Isles Chamber of Commerce fundraisers of the year, Chamber Experience and Business & Bites, have been combined into one event for the first time. And it won’t be the last.