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Fast Track attendance count off
Friday, March 15, 2013
By MICKEY POWELL - Bulletin Staff Writer
Attendance at the Martinsville-Henry County Chamber of Commerce’s trade show this year was not down as much as officials thought.
Chamber President Amanda Witt had estimated that Fast Track 2013, held last week at The Clock Tower Building at Commonwealth Centre, drew about 5,000 people during its two days. That was about 1,000 fewer than in past years, she had said.
At the chamber board’s monthly meeting on Thursday, Witt said she since has found out that about 500 people who came for the invitation-only VIP Night were not counted. She said she thinks most of those people came in through a back door with a sponsor based in the building.
That puts attendance at about 500 less than normal, Witt said. She largely blamed cold, damp weather conditions for the drop.
The chamber has not yet finished analyzing revenues and expenses of the expo, Witt said.
Exhibitors have been sent evaluation surveys. Witt said the chamber will form a task force to find ways to re-energize the annual event.
However, Joe Keiper, the chamber board’s vice chairman of organizational improvement, said he understands that most exhibitors were “very pleased.”
Also Thursday, the chamber board approved five new members and dropped five from the membership rolls.
New members approved were Favero Family Practice, Pioneer Community Hospital of Patrick County, Second to Nature, Shred Instead and Tri-State Coating Solutions.
Members dropped were Annie’s Home Health Transportation, Preston Ridge Winery, Pool House, Ray Hollingsworth Dance Academy and Walton Design.
Officials did not discuss why those businesses dropped out of the chamber.
The chamber currently has 638 members.
The board welcomed its newest member, Hunter Moore of Boxley Materials Co.
It also learned that the chamber will hold a post-legislative meeting after local lawmakers return from a special legislative session in May.
Witt said the chamber also is planning its annual State of the City and County meeting.