Businesses gathered at the annual Hobart Chamber of Commerce Business Expo held at County Line Orchard in Hobart. The event was in the barn from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
There were around 65 different businesses in attendance, which is about the same amount as usual. Each business had its own booth set up displaying some of the different aspects of the business. Each booth had at least one representative from the corresponding business.
According to Hobart Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Lisa Winstead, she has high expectations for upcoming years.
“I do expect it to grow. We used two-thirds of the barn, so it would be great to use the whole barn,” Winstead said.
There were all different kinds of businesses taking part in this year’s expo, ranging from banks to stores. Each booth had something different to offer to interested viewers, such as candy or flyers. There was even food distributed by Strack & Van Til.
Even though the event takes place yearly, there were some new changes to the event this year. The Business Expo had taken place in the fall in previous years, this being the first time it was held in the spring. In addition to that, the Expo was moved back to the County Line Orchard after being at Avalon last year.
“I like that were back at the County Line Orchard and I like the fact that it’s in the spring instead of the fall,” business representative Nicky Rodriquez said. “It attracts more visitors.”
Also new this year was the schedule. In previous years, the Expo was held and followed by an after-hours event. This year, the day started a lot earlier, with the Mayor giving the State of the City Address speech after the business set up at noon. Following the speech lunch was served at 1 pm.
After lunch, there was a new speed networking event. During this event, vendors sat around a table marked by a color. They would have two minutes to introduce themselves and hand out cards. After the two minutes were up, the vendors were giving a new colored table to sit at with different vendors to go through the process again. This lasted for about an hour.
In order to have a booth at the Expo, businesses had to go through an application process. Although everyone who applied was accepted, the process was still necessary due to fees. Different businesses had to pay different amounts. Being a member or being a non-profit business had an effect on the cost.
To attend the Expo, event-goers were given the choice of donating to the Hobart Humane Society or the Food Pantry or paying a $2.00 fee.
Rodriquez said that she plans on coming back in upcoming years.
“We’ve been coming here [Hobart Chamber of Commerce Events] for probably over a decade,” Rodriquez said.