The Showcase Business Expo is back for another weekend full of something for everyone.
This is the first year the event will be hosted in Spectra Place. While the facility is an excellent one, the change of venue is not without its share of problems.
Dennis Moore, who heads the advertising for the expo, said it's been a tough sell this year for some businesses who have trouble finding the people to man the booths, but that's been a small drawback.
"People are as excited this year as the first time they were here," he said.
Fellow organizer Art Beselt said that moving into a new facility can be difficult because they aren't quite sure what problems they may encounter.
"Hopefully we can meet those (challenges)," he said. "We'll try to get feedback from the exhibitors about Spectra Place."
Once construction was complete on the new building a couple of months ago, the organizers were finally able to get inside and really see what they would be dealing with. The total exhibitors is in the 80s, including a number of non-profits, but the difficulties in setting up booths will be the sunken ice level.
Beselt noted there is only one elevator and back entrance that everyone will need to use to bring in their goods. In previous years, the event was held at the Lignite Miners Centre on a ground-level floor. There was space for three or four people to unload before, and that space has been reduced.
Moore said the organizers just have to be very organized come set-up time.
"Most (of the exhibitors) go to several of these shows a year. They know what's going," he added.
While the majority of the exhibitors will be stationed inside Spectra Place, there are plans for a few vendors to be set up outside.
Despite some new difficulties, the new venue does have some potential going forward. Beselt said the event could handle anywhere from 120 to 150 total exhibitors if they set up not only over the ice surface but also on the walking track around the facility's perimeter.
Local businesses will feature at the expo, but more than half of the booths will be showcasing businesses from outside the area and roughly 20 per cent will be for businesses who haven't been to Showcase before.
Beselt said Showcase is going to be competing this year with the Roughriders' game but noted the organizers will set up a screen to show the game and the screens on the centre ice scoreboard are supposed to be showing the game as well on Saturday.
"That's one advantage," he said of the new facility.
Moore added, "It's a good facility, like nothing else in this part of the country."
Showcase begins today and runs through the weekend.