Rain clouds could hold silver lining for Trade Fair
Despite best-laid plans, organizers of this year’s Trade Show in Alexandria know there is one important factor that is beyond their control -- the weather.
Visitor turnout for the event can often be affected by the thermometer, points out Anik Samson, one of the organizers of the May 1-3 exhibition that is sponsored by the Alexandria and District Chamber of Commerce.
“The temperature can make a big difference in attendance,” notes Ms. Samson, a member of a three-person committee that is staging the fair at the Glengarry Sports Palace. “If the weather is really nice, people will want to take advantage of the warm temperatures and work outside around their houses,” she observes.
On the flip side, rainy weather may contain a silver lining. “Two years ago, we had a lot of rain, and we were very busy,” Ms. Samson recalls. However, attendance dipped slightly in 2014, when conditions were warm on trade show weekend.
For many people in the area, the arrival of the trade show is further confirmation that Winter is finally over.
About 2,000 to 3,000 people usually take in the commercial show.
Admission is free to the fair, which this year will feature 62 booths arranged in a slightly different layout. One obvious change is that there will be no camper displays inside the arena.
Visitors will also notice that the value of prizes has also increased this time around.
About $5,000 in prizes are up for grabs. The list includes $1,500 in Chamber of Commerce dollars, a water treatment system worth $1,800 and a VIA Rail gift certificate worth $1,554.88.
The railway company was particularly generous this year; in the past, VIA has given a prize worth $500.
THE CHAINSAW LADY
A special attraction this year is The Chainsaw Lady, Gerdine van Woudenberg, who will be demonstrating her wood-sculpting talents Saturday, May 2.
The trade fair is an effective means for businesses to promote their goods and services. Proof of that is that many exhibitors return every year.
The show is on from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday.
Traditionally, the Alexandria exhibition has been held every second year, alternating with the Champlain trade show in Vankleek Hill. The chamber opted to make the show an annual event this year but will likely revert to the biannual arrangement next year. That means that the next Alexandria trade fair will take place in 2017.
The fair is one of the biggest activities staged by the chamber of commerce, which, in addition to promoting businesses, supports community groups and events.
BEST IN SHOW: Local landscaper Andy Scherer relates that his company’s display was quite a hit at the recent Home and Garden Show in Ottawa. The Dalkeith-based Scherer Gardening Landscape and Design kiosque was voted the “Best Garden” in the exhibition.