It started as a small party with a few friends, but since then things haven’t stopped growing for Jennifer Collinson and Kirby Leisle of Trade Show Sisters.
© Southwest Booster photo by Jason Kerr.
Kirby Leisle, one half of Trade Show Sisters, chats with an attendee at the 2014 Ladybug Tradeshow on Saturday.
The duo recently oversaw their biggest spring trade show yet, as the Ladybug Tradeshow wrapped up on Saturday.
“We’re very pleased,” Collinson said of the turnout. “We had lots of compliments from the vendors on the traffic flow. Everybody wants to come back it sounds like. A lot of our shoppers commented on how unique our vendors were. We’re very pleased with our turnout.”
Collinson and her sister originally got into the Trade Show market five years ago. They orchestrated the initial Christmas Spirit Trade Show that year, and eventually branched out to doing a spring show. Since then, they’ve never looked back.
“Year one and two was at the Great Plains College Gymnasium,” Collinson explained. “We had, up to about 40 vendors there. Obviously we outgrew that.”
This year’s edition of the Ladybug Tradeshow featured 89 vendors, all set up in the Stockade Building at Kinetic Park.
Collinson says it’s always a great event, largely because of the local community. She says Swift Current’s location and the significant number of home businesses in the area is the key to growth.
“People want an avenue for their businesses, so this is great,” she said. “It’s a good community to do it in. We’ve got the whole southwest of Saskatchewan to draw from.”
That’s not to say everything is easy. Sometimes it seems like planning and executing an event of this scale is a never-ending task, but according to Collinson it’s nothing they can’t handle.
“Obviously you have a few complaints along the way, or a few vendors that were expecting maybe something different, or they’re not happy that they’re in their booth space” she said. “They would prefer a corner, or not a corner, or whatever, but it’s nothing too drastic.”
Really, their biggest obstacle is time. Collinson says there are plenty of small issues to keep track of, and those small issues can add up.
“We put in a lot of time, late nights, a lot of emailing back and forth and answering questions,” she said. “Seeking out vendors too.”
Looking ahead, Collinson says they’d like to expand the show to include more vendors as long as there’s a demand. They have the space, Collinson says, and if vendors want to come next year, they’ll be happy to have them.