frequently asked questions

I missed the 2016 Biz Fair – when will the next fair be held?
The 2017 Washington Small Business Fair (Biz Fair) is scheduled to take place on Saturday, September 30, 2017 at Renton Technical College.   You may find out more about the fair by browsing this section (FAQs), the 2016 exhibitor list and the 2016 seminar schedule.

We will post more information on the 2017 fair in the early summer of 2017, as it becomes available, so please keep checking back.

Do I need to pre-register for the fair or the individual seminars?
No pre-registration is required or accepted for the fair or the seminars.
Pick up your fair packet at the Resource Center (Building I ), which includes seminar schedule and descriptions along with other important materials. Attendance at all seminars is on a first-come, first-served basis.

What is the Biz Fair?
The Washington Small Business Fair (Biz Fair) is a free, one-stop shopping event for new and existing business owners. The purpose of the fair is to provide a wide spectrum of information that small business owners need, in a non-sales environment. The fair has been held once a year since 1997 on the Renton Technical College campus. About 35 exhibitors participate each year, providing information to small business owners and answering their questions. About 40 seminars are offered throughout the day, with topics such as marketing, financing, import/export, record keeping, legal issues, taxes and licensing, building a web site and more.

Who are the exhibitors?
The exhibitors are government agencies or non-profit organizations, such as trade or business associations and chambers of commerce. No private businesses or vendors are allowed to exhibit, sell or pass out information.

Is there a fee to exhibit?
No. The planning committee provides one table and a tablecloth for each exhibitor. Exhibitors may make arrangements for electricity and for larger booth displays (as space permits).

I am a representative from a government agency or non-profit business organization – how can I find out more about becoming an exhibitor?
Contact us by email at

or call 206-946-3703.

Who teaches the seminars?
The seminars are taught by a variety of local business experts from both the public and private sector.

Are the speakers paid?
No. Speakers volunteer their time, and also incur the cost of producing handouts or other materials for their seminars. Speakers are allowed to tell attendees which business they work for (or own), and are allowed to put business cards and a brochure about their business at the back of the seminar room as well as at the Speaker’s Table in the Resource Center (exhibit area, Building I). However, speakers are strictly prohibited from making their seminars a sales pitch for their (or any) company’s products or services.

How can I find out more about becoming a speaker at the fair?
Contact us by email at

or call 206-946-3703.

How many people attend the fair?
400-900 people attend this free fair each year. Most attendees are from the Puget Sound metropolitan area, but each year a number of people come from other parts of the state.

Who plans and sponsors the fair?
There is no single sponsor. A fair planning committee puts on the fair, and Renton Technical College donates the use of their space. The planning committee is composed of 10-20 representatives from federal, state and local government agencies, business and trade organizations, and small business owners.

How is it different from other trade shows or business fairs?
• It's free, and no advance registration is required.
• The focus is on getting small business owners ALL the types of information they need to start or expand their business.
• No private vendors or selling is allowed.

How is the fair publicized?
The primary marketing tools are our website,, and 20,000 printed brochures. The brochures are distributed by agencies and organizations on the planning committee to their constituents or to targeted groups. Exhibitors are also provided with brochures and asked to distribute them to their clients. In addition, agencies on the planning committee and many of the exhibitors place a link to on their web sites.

The publicity committee sends out news releases, places articles and editorials in newspapers, and works with local radio and TV stations in an attempt to air public service announcements. Committee member agencies and exhibitor organizations are provided with "ready-to-go" articles for their newsletters.

Is food available at the fair?
Food and beverages will be available for purchase at the college.

Who pays the costs associated with putting on the fair?
Since the fair planning committee is not a separate "entity", there is no official "fair budget". All costs (such as printing and mailing of brochures and posters) are borne by one agency or another, and the fair is truly produced on a shoestring budget. Speakers, moderators, and panelists all donate their time (or may be compensated by their agency/company, but not by the fair committee) and cover the cost of producing their own handouts/materials.

What were participants' responses to the fair?
How is the success of the fair measured?

Evaluations on the overall quality of the fair are distributed to all participants. Evaluations are also collected from seminar attendees for each seminar and speaker. Most participants have been in business less than 2 years, and the majority are between the ages of 30 to 50. See our Testimonials section for reactions to the fair from some of the participants.

Marcelo Garces of Luxtom Homes and Jennifer Malocha
of Wuhoo Fitness talk about their real life experiences
as successful small business owners during the
Small Business Ownership panel discussion.









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Thanks to Renton Technical College for donating space to make this fair possible.
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