Yk chamber spring trade show draws 8,300 visitors

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Tiffany Thiem-Pennell, left, chats with Al Matesic at Good Times Soap Company booth at the Yellowknife Chamber of Commerce's Spring Trade show on the weekend of May 13. In the back left, business owner Karen Wood also chats with a visitor. Robin Grant/NNSL photo
Tiffany Thiem-Pennell, left, chats with Al Matesic at Good Times Soap Company booth at the Yellowknife Chamber of Commerce’s Spring Trade show on the weekend of May 13. In the back left, business owner Karen Wood also chats with a visitor. Robin Grant/NNSL photo

The Yellowknife Chamber of Commerce’s Spring Trade Show drew around 8,300 visitors on May 13 and 14, according to executive director Deneen Everett.

This is in line with previous year’s numbers but one place the Trade Show has grown, Everett says, is in the wait list for vendors.

“Even though we added extra booths this year, we still had a wait list. So it’s really interesting to me I think to see how much demand there is,” said Everett. “I had exhibitors come and tell me after Saturday that they had sold out.”

The number of booths increased from 160 to 184 last year, and while the chamber usually has a “minor wait list” for vendors, Everett says they had to turn people away this year.

“Unfortunately, there were people that expressed an interest that we just couldn’t make room for,” she said. “Hopefully we can continue to expand the space and squeeze in a few more. I was out there with a measuring tape, so I think we can get in a few more.”

Squeezing in more vendors led to other changes this year, including moving the food court into the Shorty Brown Arena, which freed up space for 30 vendors.

“We also tried leveraging social media to try and entice people to come and to increase awareness which was very effective,” said Everett, adding the weather and the diversity of exhibitors also played a role in getting people out to this year’s event.

The final tallies haven’t been calculated yet but Everett says she believes the show is on track to meet the budgeted target of $60,000 in revenue. The Spring Trade Show is the second biggest revenue generator for the chamber, after membership fees.

Everett said the success of the show has given the chamber something to think about.

“Given that we’re a population of you know around 20,000, to see almost half the population coming out to the show,” she said. “I think that there is a demand for these types of events. It’s something that our board will be exploring as potential expansions.”