Chamber trade show to draw vendors from across the valley

WELLSVILLE – Businesses and organizations from across the River Valley area will display their wares and services at the fourth-annual Wellsville Trade Show, presented by the Wellsville Area Chamber of Commerce, March 20, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Wellsville High School gymnasium. Free and open to the public.

The show, which attracted 68 participating vendors in 2013, is expected to draw 80 this year, according to event coordinators Erin Roberts-Orr and Brandon Russell. As of this week, more than 50 have already signed up.

Russell says they hope to attract local businesses who haven’t participated before and help them promote their own businesses, as well as the area in general.

Toward that end, the chamber is offering an incentive: The first 15 businesses that mention this article when they sign up will receive a $5 discount on their registration fee. Roberts-Orr admits that the difference between the $20 fee and $15 might not sound like much, but if it could help persuade the owner of a small business just starting out to attend, it’s worth it.

“We just want to see as many businesses have the opportunity to promote themselves as possible,” Russell agreed.

That promotional opportunity includes the two hours of the trade show itself, as well as an hour-long vendor reception from 4:30-5:30 p.m., where representative from participating organizations and businesses can mix and network amongst one another.

As much of an opportunity as it is for business-to-business networking, however, Roberts-Orr stresses that the event is free and open to the public, providing excellent exposure for vendors. “We want to stress the importance of local business,” she said.

The idea they wish to get across is that there’s no need to travel outside the area when most peoples’ needs can be served by local businesses instead. “We only do this to see local businesses benefit and the Wellsville/East Liverpool/Calcutta area benefit,” Russell added.

Indeed, vendors need not be located within the village to secure a display at the show. The Office Max location in Cranberry, Pa., WKBN-TV from Youngstown and Eastern Gateway Community College in Steubenville are examples of businesses who see the value in participating at the show, according to Russell. “We don’t want this to be a Wellsville event. We want it to be an event for the area, for whoever wants to participate,” he said.

The chamber has amassed a generous number of sponsors for this year’s trade show, including Roberts Funeral Home, Wellsville Local Schools, CF Bank, Mills Insurance Group/Mega Insurance Agency, Kiducation Learning Center, United Water, WKBN-TV, Gibby’s Mini Mart, Pier 48, Ohio Valley College of Tech, Center Pharmacy, ADAPT Coalition, Scentsy representative Kim Allen, Simply Sweet Cakes by Ashley, Dazzlin’ Dezignz Salon & Spa, Kent State University and Birch Realty.

Roberts-Orr plainly states that idea behind getting so many sponsors was to secure a more aggressive advertising campaign and gain greater exposure for the event. “That was one of our goals: To get more vendors, more people from the general public in to see these local businesses, and really give them their twenty dollars’ worth,” she said.

Members of the general public who do turn out will have the opportunity to take free samples and promotional items from many vendors, including food and refreshments. There will also be a Chinese auction, with tickets available through the chamber, and a Kindle Fire HD door prize. Participants who aren’t chamber members can also receive a 25-percent discount for a year’s membership, with payment due at the show.

Registrations must be received by 5 p.m. March 14. More information for vendors and visitors alike is available by visiting, the Wellsville Trade Show page on Facebook, or by calling Brandon Russell at 330-853-0199 or Erin Roberts-Orr at 330-692-2037.