By Joel van der Veen
The steady rain may have put a damper on some plans last weekend, but it proved beneficial for organizers and vendors at Focus on Trade 2012.
Krista Olafson, one of the co-ordinators for the local trade fair — which marked its 30th anniversary this year — said the cloudy skies brought many people into the Moose Jaw Ford Curling Centre at Mosaic Place on Saturday and Sunday to tour the displays and booths.
“The weather kind of co-operated with us in that respect,” she said.
Her comments were echoed by Norwex sales consultant Ann Deshaies, who shared a booth with her colleague Deana Watson. Deshaies said she was very pleased with the turnout and the steady flow of traffic.
“It’s been super,” she said. “We’re in certainly a good spot, and it’s been constant.”
This was the show’s first year in its new venue at Mosaic Place. Olafson said the increased space allowed for the addition of 20 more booths.
The show was originally held in the Moose Jaw Hillcrest Sports Centre and then, several years later, moved to the Moose Jaw Exhibition Grounds, a site chosen for its increased accessibility.
“I think, being in downtown, it’s more exposure,” Olafson said.
This year’s show — presented by the Moose Jaw & District Chamber of Commerce, Moose Jaw Exhibition Company and the Kinsmen Club — featured 97 exhibitors, including 30 new vendors, and a total of 124 booths. In addition to local vendors, others came from Regina and smaller communities in the area.
Olafson reported that there were 1,263 paying guests on Saturday, not including the many children who attended with their parents or other supervisors.
“We’ve had nothing but good comments,” said co-ordinator Tiffany Gallo, adding that many vendors had complimented the facility for its location, easy access, open space and relaxed atmosphere.
Gallo also said there was representation from a good mixture of businesses, from small, home-based operations to larger companies, and lots in between.
For more information, see Monday's edition of the Times-Herald.