For business owners like Scott Malko, trade exhibitions are vital to their enterprises.
The owner and operator of The Shed Guy was one of approximately 300 exhibitors at this weekend’s three-day CLE’s Spring Home and Garden Show, which wrapped up on Sunday.
Malko estimates he had close to 200 inquiries at his exhibit in the Coliseum building on the final day of the show alone and says those interactions are critical to being a successful local business.
“If you don’t get your name out there you just won’t make it,” he said. “This is one of the venues that I use and it really promotes my business.”
The networking available at the shows essentially serve as free advertising, and there were a lot of eyeballs.
With spring weather finally making a long-awaited appearance this weekend, the entire CLE property was jumping.
Parking spots were few and far between by the middle of Sunday afternoon, with many having to park in the little-used spaces behind the Lowery’s Sports Dome.
Event chair Judy Anderson estimates they surpassed their goal of having more than 25,000 visitors over the course of the weekend.
Exhibitors were spread throughout the property, with the field of the Sports Dome being used as well as the CLE’s Coliseum, Heritage, Dove, Claydon and Scarnati buildings.
There were a variety of products available, such as home decor, patio supplies and outdoor equipment. Food vendors were also present throughout.
Organizers try to have something to cater to all demographics and give residents a reason to celebrate the start of spring.
“Originally when we started it out, and even today, we do it for the people of Thunder Bay,” Anderson said.
The business owners appreciate the opportunity to meet with prospective clients before the start of the spring season.
Despite the long winter, Malko anticipates a frenetic start once the snow melts and he can begin working on projects.
“This is going to be a big factor with all the snow we had this winter. We’re going to get hit hard at the beginning and it shows with the response we had at the show.”
Admission and parking were all free of charge.
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