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204 Broad Street
Martinsville, Virginia 24115
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Fast Track 2014 praised by visitors

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

People like free rides.

The Martinsville-Henry County Chamber of Commerce has found that out in analyzing how well Fast Track 2014 went.

The annual chamber-sponsored trade show was held March 4-5 in a building behind The Clocktower Building at Commonwealth Centre, the former Tultex factory on Commonwealth Boulevard near the uptown business district.

Because of limited parking near the building where the expo was held, many visitors had to park some distance away, such as uptown.

Golf cart-type shuttles were on hand to help people get to the trade show without straining their legs. The service was popular with visitors, according to chamber President Amanda Witt.

“As soon as they got out” of their vehicles, Witt said, many people found “a shuttle was there to pick them up.”

About 5,000 people attended Fast Track during its two days, she said, and the new location also proved popular with them.

The trade show was held in The Clocktower Building in recent years. Because that building now is occupied, the show was moved to the other building.

The space where this year’s show was held is larger. Witt said exhibitors and visitors liked the wider aisles and extra floor space, which gave them more room to move around comfortably.

The show being on the ground floor this year was “a great ease and convenience for exhibitors,” she said.

She added that she has heard no complaints about Fast Track so far.

However, the chamber is in the process of surveying exhibitors to formally find out their feelings about the expo. Witt said she hopes to have surveys back by the chamber’s April 10 board meeting, and what exhibitors say in those surveys will be used to improve the trade show in the future.

About 130 area businesses and organizations, including more than two dozen first-timers, showcased their products and services at Fast Track.

The first night was VIP Night, open only to invited guests. The night is designed to encourage networking among local business people.

Fast Track was open to the public the second night for an admission of $2 or two cans of food. The food items were donated to The Grace Network to help needy area residents.

More than 500 food items were collected, up from between 300 and 400 last year, which was the first time food was accepted, Witt said.


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