Conference brings recognition to small business

Posted by: Melissa McKinney - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Manly Morgan works for VT Miltope Corporation--a company that modifies computers used on military front lines.

"We take what most folks would consider rugged equipment already and put it in an environmentally safe shell, run all sorts of environmental testing," says Morgan.

The company has roughly 250 employees and is based in Hope Hull--just minutes outside Montgomery.

At the conference, VT Miltope reps feel fortunate to share the floor with the likes of big names like Microsoft, Verizon, and Apple.

"It's good for us, it's good for us to get the exposure, and it's always good to see what everyone else has to offer. It helps us stay up with the market," adds Morgan.

The conference showcases IT hardware and software services and how they're being used in the Air Force today and in the future.

200 vendors from across the nation fill the Montgomery Renaissance Hotel's Convention Center.

"Including the cost of the booth, it's on the order of $5-$10,000 dollars," says Raymond Reinhard.

Reinhard is an employee of a small software company in Ohio and a first-time vendor at the conference.

"The floor traffic is fantastic compared to any of the other conferences we attend."

Reinhard says his Montgomery experience has been so good, the company is coming back next year.

"It's a lot of fun, and it's a reasonable price. The people of Montgomery make us feel welcome."

That news is reassuring folks like Morgan that the Capital City is a good place for business.

"I think we've found an area that's pretty comfortable for us, and an area we'd like to stay in for a while."

The Montgomery Chamber of Commerce says the event packs hotels and restaurants around the city.

The conference pumps about $6 to $10-million dollars into the local economy.

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