April 6: Pre-registration advised to shop at CougsFirst!

SEATTLE – At CougsFirst!, the free annual showcase of Washington State University-related businesses, alumni and friends will shop and network 4-8 p.m. Thursday, April 6, at the Washington State Convention Center in downtown Seattle.

During the after party, 8-10:30 p.m., attendees and exhibitors will enjoy music and continue networking over no-host beverages and complimentary hors d’oeuvres.

Admission to both events is free, but organizers recommend pre-registering at http://CougsFirst.org to avoid lines at check-in. About 2,000 alumni and friends are expected to take part.

More than 120 businesses and organizations from around the state will showcase a wide variety of merchandise, services, prize drawings and special discounts. Shoppers will find everything from artisan cheese, apparel and resort getaways to landscaping, wineries and pet services. All the companies are owned or managed by alumni of WSU.

In addition to a “fun and productive way to conduct business,” the event is a source of business leads throughout the year, said exhibitor Brian Quint.

For example, “This show has helped us expand into new markets and led to $100,000 in new business,” said Tony Poston, owner of College Hill Custom Threads and Genius Ghost, a branded apparel and promotional products company.