April 22nd, 2024

Annual home and leisure show draws large opening day crowd

By BRENDAN MILLER on March 2, 2024.

Chris Friesen, Marvelous Plumbing & Heating sales associate, speaks with attendees during the annual Southeast Alberta Home & Leisure trade show underway at the Cypress Centre throughout the weekend.--NEWS PHOTO BRENDAN MILLER

bmiller@medicinehatnews.com

The Southeast Alberta Home & Leisure Trade show is in full swing as more than 160 booths and vendors are on display throughout the weekend spanning all three buildings of the Cypress Centre.

Every year the trade show attracts small- to large-scale businesses from southeast Alberta and Saskatchewan looking to connect with customers and network with other local businesses.

Hosted by the Medicine Hat & District Chamber of Commerce, the trade show usually draws attendance numbers of up to 12,000 visitors over three days.

“It’s a huge opportunity for our local businesses to show what we’re capable of,” said chamber president Steve Heid. “It’s an opportunity just to get out of the house, tour around and see all these amazing local businesses.”

Heid says the annual trade show is a good indication that spring is just around the corner and points to several seasonal vendors ready to get their season underway.

“So they’re here to let you know that they’re available this spring through the fall,” says Heid. “Concrete companies, landscaping companies, that type of thing, they all need your support.”

Local businesses like Marvelous Plumbing & Heating, which has attended the trade show for the past nine years, say the expo provides networking opportunities as well as a vehicle to connect with members of the community. It’s the reason why they keep coming back.

“Being part of the community, getting to know the other businesses as well as the people,” said Chris Friesen with Marvelous Plumbing & Heating. “Getting to talk to people and build relationships with people because we are looking for a 20-year relationship with our customers.”

The trade show also showcases new business that have opened in Medicine Hat recently, including Black Alder Construction, a new interior renovation company that began operations last year.

Co-founder Chris Knodel told the News their business is able to connect with people face to face during the trade show instead of online or over the phone.

“It’s nice to be able to actually chat with people and answer some of the questions they have that maybe are not on the internet,” said Knodel. “It’s nice to be able to give them just a few little solutions every once in a while to gain their trust face to face.”

The trade show runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Tickets – $6 for adults, $4 for seniors and students – can be purchased at the door.

“There’s so many amazing local businesses that don’t have a lot of eyes on them all the time. They need you to come out and recognize them,” says Heid.

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