COLUMN: Trade show still has vital role

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One thing you can take to the bank: anytime a trade show hits a community, there is no shortage of folks who sing its praises and no shortage of folks who think it’s a waste of time and money for the same old people and companies doing the same old thing.The biggest difference between the two groups is that those who see value in the trade show are willing to have their thoughts made public, while those who question its value, well, not so much.

The one thing that really can’t be disputed is that an event now the size of the Kivalliq Trade Show – which will celebrate its tenth anniversary in 2019 – brings plenty of revenue into the community’s hospitality industry when it hits town.

The hospitality industry basically comprises food and beverages, travel and tourism, lodging and recreation and the Kivalliq Trade Show benefits all four when it lands in Rankin Inlet every year.

And there can be no denying the show benefits local artisans. It does so in actual sales, networking and promotion and the various – and always different – art workshops held during its three days in town.

Even local entertainers benefit, as there is always an evening event held to showcase local talent and a local group or artist is hired to play the event-ending supper and bash at the community hall.

In addition, the live and silent auctions held with the monetary benefits often, if not always, go to non-profit organizations and culture-orientated programming. This is a big boost to the community in general.

And, yes, while there is no shortage of familiar faces, companies and various presenters at each-and-every show, that doesn’t mean new deals aren’t struck or new opportunities created simply because these folks and organizations know each other so well.

For new business owners like Rankin Inlet gunsmith Joeffrey Kaludjak of KAL-SHOT, who introduced his venture for the first time, the Kivalliq Trade Show offers a virtual plethora of contacts and networking opportunities, all conveniently placed under one roof.

If anything, it would be more-than-a-little interesting to see an accredited list of deals that were struck and confirmed opportunities presented during the Kivalliq Trade Show during the past nine years.

However, with how close to the vest Kivalliq business owners are known to hold their cards, we probably won’t be seeing that list anytime soon.
Another aspect of the show that is often overlooked is the fact there’s a discernible uptick in the mood of the community when the event lands in town and that’s never a bad thing for any of our Kivalliq communities.

Advocates of the Kivalliq Trade Show see no reason why the event cannot continue to grow and flourish along with the region during the next decade and that’s where you’ll find the smart money placed.

The show is still quite vibrant and its society members still full of enthusiasm for what the future may hold, making it unlikely it will stumble anytime soon.

With more opportunities in mineral exploration and, possibly, alternate energy sources looming on the horizon, the Kivalliq Trade Show will continue to have a vital role to play in the region’s overall economic development.

And this corner says that’s one bet you can take to the bank.

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