Businesses strut their stuff at Innisfail trade show

Tuesday, Apr 23, 2013 06:00 am | BY DREW A. PENNER
Drew A. Penner/MVP Staff
Drew A. Penner/MVP Staff
Madeline Black tries to balance while inside a Bubbleswild water ball at the Innisfail Trade and Leisure Show April 20.
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Popcorn popped, water balls spun, and country music twanged at the 2013 Innisfail Trade and Leisure Show at the arena April 19-20.

Organizers said the event was a success with a 50 per cent increase in attendance, as people of all ages browsed the 133 booths and four farmers’ market tables.

Having everything in one place is good for both businesses and customers, said Wendy Morrison, Innisfail Chamber of Commerce executive director.

“It’s cross-marketing,” she said. “For the audience I think it’s a great way to spend an afternoon.”

Though the off-and-on snow over the weekend may have kept some from showing up, having a kids’ play zone in the east side of the building gave families something fun to do once people made it in out of the cold, she said.

“It was really fun on a cold and miserable day,” she said. “We’ll be keeping the same format next year.”

The play zone included inflatable structures, including a pool of water filled with giant colourful globes kids could play inside, with help from Bubbleswild Zorbing Water Balls staff.

Madeline Black, 10, said “zorbing” inside a giant sphere on water was a ton of fun.

“It’s quite easy to flip,” said the Innisfail resident. “And you echoed when you’re inside of them.”

A survey conducted by the Innisfail Chamber of Commerce during the course of the event found 98 per cent of exhibitors want to return next year.

Trade shows help businesses increase brand awareness, make new contacts and give immediate access to customers, Morrison said.

Mark Hobbs, manager and master apiarist at Bee-Right Honey, said the trade show is an opportunity to explain the care that goes into crafting the perfect jar of honey.

“A lot of people like our honey,” he said. “We used to be at the Innisfail Farmers’ Market. We have customers out here.”

Jim Swinston, owner of Eagle Entertainment, helped fill the arena with energy, picking tracks that suited the passing crowd.

He followed My Heart Has a History by Paul Brandt with On a Good Night by Wade Hays.

Kirk Courtoreille, owner of Thunderbird Roofing, from Olds said the event helps them get the word out about their services and stay in touch with clients.

“You see a lot of old customers come by and say hi,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of people interested. We’ve given out a few pamphlets.”

Wendell Allen, Nature Stone Flooring dealer, said he was happy with the turnout.

“I think the traffic’s been really good,” he said, adding trade shows are one of the best ways to explain how stone epoxy blends actually work.


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