Chamber of Commerce conducts Business Expo at Kirtland Community College
Thu, 04/27/2023 - 11:56am caleb
Annual event held on Thursday, April 20, serves as ‘showcase’ for local businesses and organizations
Caleb Casey | Managing Editor
The Grayling Regional Chamber of Commerce conducted its annual Business Expo – an event that gives local businesses and organizations an opportunity to “showcase themselves” to other businesses and to people in the community – on Thursday, April 20, at the Kirtland Community College Event Center.
Hayley Strohpaul, Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, said there were many positives with regard to this year’s Business Expo but the chamber is still trying to build the event into what it was before the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I would say we had pretty good attendance for the first hour and a half of the event,” Strohpaul said. “The attendance could have been better, but it was good for the business to attendee ratio, which helps make for good conversation and connections.”
According to Strohpaul, this year’s Business Expo featured “40 businesses and organizations with booths.” Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the Business Expo would feature close to 100 booths, Strohpaul said. The Chamber of Commerce cancelled the Business Expo in 2019, 2020, and 2021 because of the pandemic.
“Overall, the event went great but when compared to the event pre-COVID, it is still only half of what it used to be. These days it’s hard to compare anything to pre-COVID life because so much has changed within our economy, community, especially the needs of our businesses and organizations. I believe this event can be successful again, it’s just a matter of adapting and molding it to what the needs our members have now,” Strohpaul said.
“We have had a lot of mixed feedback on why the attendance has been low lately and ways to possibly improve it, so we have a few ideas to switch things up for next year and help generate more interest in the event overall,” Strohpaul said.
Strohpaul said the booths that were present for the 2023 Business Expo “did a great job representing themselves, and it was great to have participation from new businesses and organizations looking to be involved in the event.”
“The Business Expo is a great way for businesses and organizations to showcase themselves to our community, as well as a great way for the community to get to know those businesses and organizations and what they have to offer,” Strohpaul said. “A Business Expo is a great event to build relationships, promote and make connections amongst the community. No matter where a business is in its journey it’s always important to market themselves and this is a great way to remain visible to the public and other businesses.”