Businesses from near and far gathered at the Preble County Expo Center Friday, April 4 and Saturday, April 5, to gather information about other businesses, market their services, and connect with other business owners.
Matt Owen, Director of the Preble County Chamber of Commerce, has been on board with the chamber for 14 months, and helped with last year’s event.
“The bottom line is to expose our local businesses to the community. To give them an opportunity to market their products, expose their business to the folks here in Preble County, and hopefully give them an opportunity to network and meet with new customers, or find their next vendor,” said Owen.
Since gaining his position as director, Owen has extended the event from one to one and a half days. This was to better accommodate business owners who traveled longer distances for the event. “A lot of the vendors were spending a tremendous amount of time and investment in being here, so we thought extending it to an additional day would get a better return on their investment,” said Owen. The extension would better make the time spent on the event for many vendors worthwhile.
In 2013, the Expo hosted roughly 90 vendors, while in 2014, Owen saw 88 vendors present. “We did have a lot of new vendors this year that had heard about it or had been wanting to participate and a lot of them had different reasons for getting involved; some of them liked the idea of being here for two days,” said Owen.
Owen said a lot of the vendors have been returning to the event for many years, while there were many who were new to the scene this year.
Members of the Preble County Chamber of Commerce mainly consist of businesses from Preble County, but also consist of members from Montgomery, Darke, and Wayne Counties.
“There’s a lot to do here, there’s a lot of opportunity, a lot of good opportunity here in Preble County for businesses to come in and make it their home,” said Owen.
The Preble County Chamber of Commerce is located at 122 W. Decatur St. in Eaton.