'Quality over quantity'

Nathan Liewicki
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Gary Johnson, a sales representative with Young's Equipment Inc., sits on a zero-turn mower at the Focus on Trade Show at the Moose Jaw Ford Curling Centre Saturday. Young's Equipment was one of 65 exhibitors on hand for the annual two-day show. 

Focus on Trade Show features array of exhibits

Exhibitor attendance was down at Moose Jaw’s annual Focus on Trade Show.

According to show co-ordinator Krista Olafson that did not turn out to be as bad as it might sound.

“Some of the business owners said with fewer numbers of businesses that they had more time to speak to people,” Olafson told the Times-Herald. “It seems like everyone stopped at all the booths this year, where as in the past they'd walk by some of them.”

Despite fewer exhibitors, Olafson noted the extra one-on-one time exhibitors had a chance to spend with show visitors on Saturday and Sunday was a positive.

“It’s more about quality than quantity,” she said.

Held at the Moose Jaw Ford Curling Centre, the trade show saw an estimated 2,000 people check out each of the 65 exhibitors offering an array of products and services.

Olafson didn’t have an explanation for the drop in exhibitors, but suggested it could be the timing of the event.

“We are earlier this year than we have typically been in the past,” said Olafson. “A common comment from exhibitors was that they couldn’t find the staff to run the booths on the weekends due to keeping stores open, or giving staff days off on weekends.”

One of the exhibitors that was, however, at the show was Young’s Equipment Inc.

Gary Johnson, a salesman with Young’s, was on hand to answer questions from passersby about the lawn and garden equipment that was showcased, including the zero-turn mowers.

“Most people asked me how much they cost and that they’re too big for their backyards,” said Johnson. “We are targeting more people that live on acreages.”

In addition to landscaping, the show featured exhibits featuring real estate, health and beauty, fashion, home improvement and hot tubs.

“I like it because it is a little bit of everything,” said Olafson. “It's not solely focused on renovations and home building. There's a little bit for everyone.”

Adding to the diversity of the show was the Purple Shield Funeral Homes booth.

Michael Penner, a Purples shield representative, said his booth was a great way for people who had questions about funeral planning to get answers to.

“People are at all different stages of funeral preparation,” said Penner. “It’s a great head start for people.”

The only major concern Olafson was aware of during the show was parking. She understands parking is a big issue and hopes there is a way of improving it before next year’s trade show.

“It has been a concern and we are of that concern,” she said. “We’re going to look at improving it.”

Nathan Liewicki can be reached at 306-691-1256 or follow him on Twitter @liewicks

Organizations: Times-Herald, Moose Jaw Ford Curling Centre, Equipment

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