Lack of interest forces Trade Show cancellation

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 13, 1999

By LEONARD GRAY / L’Observateur / March 13, 1999

LAPLACE – The ninth annual St. John Parish Trade Show has been canceleddue to a lack of interest.

In 1998 there were 88 Trade Show participants. At last word, only 31businesses had signed up for the 1999 show, planned at East St. John HighSchool on March 20-21.

The lack of interest prompted the cancellation.

Co-chairperson Madeline Edwards said, “We don’t know what the problem is, but we will address that and see what we can do to reorganize.”She continued that to attempt to carry on the show with less than half the businesses “would be a disservice.”With only a fraction of the previous year’s participation, Edwards and co- chairman Erick St. Amant are polling past participants to see where theproblem lies.

One of the biggest problems brought to light, Edwards revealed, was people leaving children at the show to “hang out,” who might disrupt displays and scoop up giveaway items.

“Maybe we should have done something about the amount of children running through, grabbing things,” she said.

Besides that problem, some businesses were already stretched between trade shows in New Orleans and Kenner. “There’s an awful lot going on thisevent season,” Edwards said.

Another problem was that some businesses felt “they weren’t reaching the market they wanted” with the trade show. Edwards said somerestructuring may be necessary to improve the event, not only for the participants, but also for the public.

One suggestion made is to establish a nominal admission fee, which would help offset costs of the event as well as scale back on people there only to be disruptive.

Another suggestion made was to have the event held every other year, so as to allow more participation from smaller businesses. “After all, it is ashow for the businesses,” Edwards observed.

To the good, Edwards continued, participants were happy with the trade show’s site, facilities, location and booth fees.

“Most couldn’t believe how inexpensive the booths were,” Edwards added.

“That was no problem.”

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