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2014-02-23 at 17:44

Outdoors Show provides hope for warmer weather

By Matt Vis,
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It’s safe to say many people across the region are looking forward to winter’s end and are ready to have some summer fun.

To help provide hope of warmer times ahead, the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce hosted their annual Central Canada Outdoor Show at the Lowery’s Sports Dome this weekend.

The three-day event gives businesses an opportunity to network with potential customers as well as give outdoor enthusiasts a one-stop shop to explore a wide range of displays.

Wilderness Supply manager Logan O’Hearn said the exhibition show is one of the most beneficial marketing opportunities of the year.

“We thought maybe the snow would slow things down but the turnout seems to be really good and people are really looking forward to toys for summer,” O’Hearn said on Sunday.

Added show manager Nancy Milani, “I think that’s part of the reason this event is so successful. It gives everybody a head start on spring and certainly after the winter we’ve had everybody is looking forward to it.”

Exhibitors at the show displayed a wide range of products, including boats, trailers, kayaks, barbecues and outdoor sporting goods.

Milani estimates that more than 15,000 people visited the show throughout the course of the weekend.

Every year there is a greater demand from prospective exhibitors, with the range of displays expanding. This year’s event featured expanded cottage and conservation sections.

There isn’t too much more room for the show to grow.

“There’s much more diversity and we are at maximum capacity,” Milani said.

“Businesses go in for a variety of reasons. Some newer businesses want exposure and some existing businesses just want a face-to-face and do an integrated marketing or advertising but it’s important to get out and hear feedback from customers or meet potential customers. 

Organizers have also made it a family oriented event with special contests and activities for children. There were small-scale archery and shooting displays, along with a boat building contest and an inflatable slide.

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