1,200 turn out for annual trade show | RecordCourier.com

1,200 turn out for annual trade show

by Sharlene Irete

Nearly 1,200 people showed up to the 2006 Business Showcase at the Douglas County Fairgrounds Thursday to get product and food samples and to rub elbows with members of the business community.

“It went fabulously,” said Cathy Colbert from the Carson Valley Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Authority. “It was a 35 percent growth over last year. Vendors said great things and are already signing up for next year.”

The 6th annual event had grown so much from the previous year that some of the 88 booths manned by more than 100 representatives and food booths from a dozen restaurants spilled out of the fairgrounds pavilion and into tents outside the building.

Charitable and service organizations participating in the business showcase included Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, Partnership for Community Resources and Barton Hospice.

Jim Joseph, a volunteer for Douglas Animal Welfare Group, sold T-shirts, dog bowls, collars and D.A.W.G. memberships.

“Every year we come here to do our thing,” said Joseph. “Someone donated a chamber membership to D.A.W.G. It’s so helpful to have chamber access to advertise and for our newsletter. It’s amazing how many people haven’t heard of D.A.W.G.”

The animal welfare group brought Biggs, an 8-year-old mixed breed dog, as a D.A.W.G. adoption candidate. Dogs are more likely to be adopted if they’re seen by the public.

One aspect of having a business showcase is that people become aware of organizations they didn’t know were available in the Valley.

Gardnerville resident Rhonda Wilson said she found out about D.A.W.G. for the first time at the fairgrounds.

“I usually give to humane society because I didn’t know about D.A.W.G.,” Wilson said. “I became a member and bought a T-shirt. And they didn’t have to talk me into it.”

People walked around with cloth or plastic bags filled with the loot collected from the booths.

Kelli Harris showed the contents of her Greater Nevada Credit Union bag.

“I have a lot of pens, financial stuff, a water bottle from the sheriff, an ice cream scoop from Nevada State Bank,” Harris said. “Also a T-shirt from the sheriff and water. Post-Its from the chamber, pencils, dog food covers, flying disks from G.R.E.A.T. and worm poop.”

“The politically correct term is ‘worm castings,'” said Full Circle Compost Manager Liz Baumgartner who was giving out samples of the fertile mulch.

She said the showcase was a good opportunity to sell “Can-O-Worm” worm composters and to let residents know about “chemical fertilizer” alternatives.

SaveUTime owner Joseph Mongkol-ua-aree found participating in the trade show gained exposure for his dry cleaning pick-up and delivery service.

“Business is very good,” said Mongkol-ua-aree. “I’ve already signed up a new client. This is an opportunity to network and to get greater exposure in the community.”

Food and beverage samples were provided by Bella Vita, Carson Valley Residential Care, David Walley’s Resort, Genoa Lakes Resort, let’s do tea, Panchita’s Killer Salsa, Russell’s Mercantile, Starbuck’s Coffee Co., Sweetie Pies by Wendy and Wasabi’s Sushi & Asian Bistro.

Gardnerville Ranchos resident Bob Eddy was one of the many people who were enjoying the food.

“I’m out here having my supper,” said Eddy. “I really liked the meatballs and rice from the Carson Valley Country Club.

“I come every year. It’s a great show – even bigger this year,” said Eddy.

Sponsors of the event include Greater Nevada Credit Union, The Record-Courier, Charter Media, Scolari’s Food and Drug Store, Valley Floor Fashions, 99.1 FM Talk/KCMY My Country Radio and Bill McClains’s Mobile Music and DJ Service.