After the doors closed and all the visitors and vendors had left the Robert Hartley Sports Complex, Annie Lizotte had just one word to say about the debut of Hawkesbury’s new commercial exposition.
“Wow!” Lizotte, who spent the past several weeks organizing the Hawkesbury Expo, said it proved more successful than expected.
“It was the best experience, as far as the organization part went,” she said. “We had a very short time frame, two-and-a-half months, to work in. It was like a race.”
The two-day event over the November 11 weekend featured more than 100 kiosques, divided between the main floor display room and the second-floor mezzanine area. The majority of kiosques on the ground floor were commercial and industrial businesses, local and regional, with a few non-profit groups, like the Hawkesbury Legion and the OPP. The second-floor showroom was dedicated to non-profit groups.
There was a constant stream of people coming in during the two days to see what Hawkesbury had to offer for customer service and satisfaction from local businesses and service agencies. Total visitor numbers were still being calculated when the Tribune Express/Carillon was going to press on Tuesday morning. But Lizotte noted that the Saturday morning Mayor’s Breakfast special event had 120 people sitting down to eat and listen to Mayor Robert Lefebvre describe Hawkesbury’s strengths as a place for investment and also its potential for future growth.
“That’s more than we had expected,” Lizotte said, adding she and her organization team had to arrange for more catering service for the breakfast.
Overall feedback about the Hawkesbury Expo, from both business participants and visitors, was positive. Lizotte noted that several of the businesowners who had display kiosques in this past weekend’s Expo want to reserve twice as much display for the next edition.
Lizotte confirmed that planning will begin soon for a second Hawkesbury Expo.
“Tomorrow (Tuesday) I’m going to be sending out email requests for reservations for next year, “ she said. “It was a huge success, above and beyond what we were expecting.”