The Bella Vista Business Association Business Fair is changing with the times. The fair was cancelled last year because of covid. This year, instead of holding their annual spring Business Fair inside at Riordan Hall, the association is moving outside with lots of space for some new features. The event takes place on May 22, beginning at 9 a.m.
Event chair Eric Gibby of Hutchinson Realty explained the new location was selected because of the covid virus.
"When we started planning the event, indoor events were very limited in the number of people that could attend, but outdoor events were allowed as long as we followed the state guidelines," he said. Even though the restrictions have been loosened, the Business Fair will be outside, he said, adding, "Social distancing will still be recommended and there will be sanitation stations as well."
The large parking lot between Riordan Hall and the Kingsdale Pro Shop will have enough space for food trucks, BVBA president Dawn Cross pointed out. She's lining them up to participate. She's also inviting special guests who will bring their own exhibits.
Business owners will be allowed to sell their product this year for the first time, Gibby said.
As always, there will be door prizes given out throughout the morning.
A vendor can supply tents, as well as tables and chairs for local businesses for a small fee, she said. Many of the businesses own their own canopies and tables, so their fee will be only for entry. So far, businesses seem to like the new plan, Cross said.
Amber Dicken of Byrd and Massey, CPAs, said the annual Business Fair helps to brand a company.
The promotional items businesses bring to hand out, anything from pens to can kozies, gets the business's name out to potential customers, she pointed out. When Bella Vista residents tour the booths and collect promotional items, they're helping with branding.
It's also a great social event for small business owners who get to know each other during the fair, she said.
Although she won't be able to make it to the fair this year, Julie Hull, of Neighbors Realty, explained why she has participated so many times in the past.
"We plant seeds," she said, explaining that while she can't point to any specific transaction that happened because of the Business Fair, she usually talks to many people. Some of those people may call her when they need a real estate agent.
The public is welcome to stop by and see the various businesses that call Bella Vista home. They can even collect some free candy and pens.
The Bella Vista Business Association Business Fair
Celebrating Business in Bella Vista!
Saturday, May 22, 2021 (in case of rain — June 5, 2021)
9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
In the Riordan Hall parking lot