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Carol Perkins: Glasgow/Barren County Expo was success

Monday morning quarterbacking (it ought to be done after every event - CM) leaves our heroine in highly laudatory mood. Event in Glasgow raised spirits - with good representation for the Free State of Metcalfe, and memorable meetings with friends from Ole Met at the Glasgow/Barren County Expo - a huge success, she says
The next earlier Carol Perkins article: Carol Perkins: I'd like to wring her neck!

By Carol Perkins

The Glasgow/Barren County Expo was a huge success in my estimation. As a vendor (Main Street Screenprinting in Edmonton) I decided to set up a booth and see what happened.

First of all, those in charge were very organized and friendly. Having set up booths at festivals and not enjoying the process as much as I thought I would, I have experienced that those in charge are not always organized and friendly. Most usually, they are in a panic over last minute details and the vendors are left shrugging their shoulders and trying to figure out exactly what they need to do. I give the Chamber and the sponsors two thumbs up. They were always present and making sure we vendors were happy.

Over seventy vendors participated and I was pleasantly surprised to see familiar faces, especially those of former students, one of whom I had not seen since she was in my seventh grade class at Austin Tracy back in the late sixties. We talked about some of the other students in that class and what they are doing now. That was my second year to teach but I had not forgotten many of them. Those were the days when the high school was upstairs, the middle school on one end of the building and the elementary on the other end. We called it grade school back then. Mr. Helm was the principal.

The first person I saw was Shane Walton (he will not mind my using his name) who is always a ray of sunshine, especially when he issues words like, "She was my teacher. Why do I look older than she does!" Of course, that is what any woman wants to hear, no matter how untrue it is! Shane was also a former student.

I especially enjoyed talking to the guys from Long John Silver's and partaking of their free root beer floats. They dipped ice cream and poured root beer and put smiles on lots of faces. Other vendors gave out more tangible (but not as tasty) items from coffee mugs to pens. There were door prizes and good concessions. The day went by quickly and the traffic through the maze of vendors was steady despite the rain.

The purpose of this event was to network and to show the area the services they can find right in their own back door. That worked for me. I discovered graphic designers and made contact with many who may, hopefully, need my services in the future and I may need theirs. Most of all, I met so many new people, all very open to helping new businesses.

Small business owners struggle to compete. My father owned a small business, but that was long before conglomerates. If a person wanted to buy a TV, he usually thought of my dad, Henry Sullivan. If customers needed their TV repaired, they called him (usually at night around time for the evening news) or brought it to his shop. This was before digital. If my mom needed a new washer, she went to the local appliance store and by the afternoon the washer had been delivered, usually by the owner and his employee, and set up in the basement. They hauled away the broken machine at no extra charge. When my parents bought a car, they went to the local dealer and picked out what they wanted, knowing he would give them the best deal he could. As for groceries, they went to the local market. Almost daily, someone in the family would go to the "store."

As with all small businesses today, competing with the big guys is tough. It is sometimes "easier" for a buyer to go online and take advantage of free shipping and not have to make a trip to a store, but when this happens, the small business person is often left in the dark unless he becomes part of the growing world of online services, which requires more money and is not as personal.

My business may or may not grow immensely from participating in the EXPO, but I gained some good information, met some interesting people and reunited with so many former students. Plus, I ate my favorite salad at Applebee's on the way home and enjoyed the company of my good friend Becky who knew almost everyone who came by the booth! This was a good day. - Carol Perkins

This story was posted on 2013-03-03 10:13:25
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