The biggest edition of the Estevan Showcase Business Expo in years drew over 3,000 people to Spectra Place and the Icon Centre from September 28 to 30.
A total of 3,134 people attended this year's event. There were 932 on the opening night, 1,342 on the second day and 680 on the final day.
The exhibitors were especially pleased with their results on the 28th, said Rebecca Howie, who is the marketing and events manager for the Estevan Chamber of Commerce.
“Lots of people stopped, talked and took the time (to listen to their presentations),” said Howie. “They had some good success on the Friday evening (the 28th). They just really think Estevan is a good, vibrant community where they can make some connections, and do some business.”
Most of the 92 exhibitors were located inside of Spectra Place. A few booths, along with several large exhibits, such as motorhomes, boats and outdoor leisure vehicles, were at the Icon Centre. There were also large exhibits in the front court and the parking lot of the Souris Valley Aquatic and Leisure Centre.
Howie said the two-venue system worked well.
“When people were paying admission, they were told that there was two venues to go to, and so a lot of people did go to both venues, and we're going to try to make it a success like that again for next year,” said Howie.
The Icon Centre was also the site of a visit from antiques appraiser Vern Reese, who spent the day on September 29 studying the items that people brought.
“Some people were successful in having a good response from him saying how much their antique would be worth,” said Howie.
Showcase was sold out this year, Howie said, and they had a waiting list. A few booths were inserted into the lobby at Spectra Place. There would be room to add more booths in those two venues for the future, and there could be changes in the layout next year.
The exhibitors really enjoyed the lounge that was set up inside of Spectra Place, Howie said, as it was a great place to take a break, have a coffee and enjoy a snack. Not many events like Showcase have an exhibitor's lounge.
About a dozen of the exhibitors who were involved this year have already registered for next year, Howie said. The 2013 edition of Showcase will be taking place on September 27 to 29, and there have already been discussions on how organizers could improve the event.
Showcase was a project of the Chamber, the Rotary Club of Estevan and the Lions Club of Estevan.