Join hundreds of other local business professionals at the upcoming Chocolate Blues and Business Networking Festival set for Wednesday, March 28, from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. at The Palmetto Club in Lithia.

The Chocolate Blues and Business Network Festival (Chocolate Blues) is a unique networking opportunity that is coming to the FishHawk area on Wednesday, March 28. The event will be held at The Palmetto Club, located at 17004 Dorman Rd. in Lithia, from 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

Chocolate Blues is an invitation only event. According to Michelle Patrick, the local director for the event, “Every business owner, manager and independent contractor in our community is invited to attend.”

Chocolate Blues has been in 40 U.S. cities for the past eight years.  Patrick was instrumental in bringing this event to the area. Patrick explained, “As a fifth generation Floridian and business owner, born and raised in the Brandon area, our local business community is very important to me. About a year ago, some friends of mine told me about this national business event. I looked into, and the more I learned, the more excited I became, so I signed on to be the local director for this spectacular event.”

The goal of Chocolate Blues is to help local businesses grow their networks and help them connect with like-minded professionals in one day. Chocolate Blues features a business expo, open networking, door prizes, on the spot appointments, ice breakers, networking games, workshops, a giant business card exchange, business coaching, book signings, live blues music and chocolate treats.

The number of attendees at these events vary from city to city. According to Patrick, “Hundreds, sometimes thousands of people attend our events. No matter what the size, Chocolate Blues is never lacking in high quality business connections.”

Patrick explained that local businesses can participate in the event in several ways. First, you can attend as a networker. Cost to attend is $10 at the door. “We encourage networkers to bring 300-400 business cards and their appointment book,” said Patrick.

Second, you can be a vendor. This cost $300 and includes 30 admission tickets, a vendor table, chairs, electricity, WiFi and a personalized guest VIP pass. According to Patrick, “Vendors can share a table. You can pass out information, give demonstrations, share samples and present mini workshops.”

Thirdly, you can be an event sponsor.

Reservations are not required to attend. You can get registration information online at or call Patrick at 493-6016 or e-mail her at

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