April 9, 2007

It’s time for the fifth annual Winsted Women’s Expo

By Jenni Sebora

The fifth annual Women’s Expo will be Sat., April 14 at the Blue Note Ballroom in Winsted.

The event, which is sponsored by the Winsted Chamber of Commerce, has grown in both vendor participants and expo-goers. But it was a hit from the start, Expo committee member Laurie Campbell noted.

In its first year, the expo brought approximately 450 – 500 visitors and about 50 vendors. This past year, 2006, 500 – 600 people made their way throughout more than 70 booths.

And they, the Chamber and Expo committee, are hoping for that same response this year, committee member Sarah Bisping said.

Originally, the expo got its start five years ago from the brainstorming efforts of then Blue Note co-owner Laurie Campbell, who remains on the Expo committee.

Campbell said the idea of an expo was sparked by her interest in drawing people, especially those who once resided in Winsted to come back for dinner and other services and see what Winsted and the surrounding area has to offer.

Visiting and touring other expos, Campbell welcomed any vendor who would be appropriate for women.

In the first year, there was a Pampered Chef booth, booths pertaining to organizational skills, lawyer services, counseling services, and even a popularly attended automotive booth among many other vendors.

Campbell said although it was a lot of work getting the expo organized and off and running, many people supported the idea and helped it come to fruition.

“It wasn’t a big risk for the vendors,” Campbell said, noting that a booth fee that first year was only about $25. These fees went back into expo costs, such as advertising and food, Campbell added.

Although booth fees are up some from the first year, it remains affordable for vendors to participate and show what their business has to offer. A $50 fee is required for non-chamber members, and chamber members pay just $30. And there is no admission fee for expo-goers.

The Expo continues to draw vendors from all walks of life to meet the needs and interests of expo goers. Vendor participation is well-rounded including booths on health and medical to candles to everything in between, Bisping said.

In the organizational stage of the expo, registrations are sent out to chamber members and past vendor participants. From there, the expo committee takes a look at what is missing, Bisping noted.

Along with all the booths, there are various presentations that occur in the Blue Note’s Pine Room.

This year, expo goers can listen to America’s Fitness owners, Erin and Kyle Kutz on fitness, Chip Guggemos from Ameriprise Financial Services Inc., LuAnn Laxen on Pampered Chef, and Gentle Dental Care with Dr. Neff and Associates rounds out the demonstrations.

Musical entertainment as well as a danceline will provide other forms of activities to enjoy also.

Winsted Women’s Expo

Saturday, April 14

9 – 1 p.m.

Blue Note Ballroom


Expo Committee:

Laurie Campbell

Sarah Bisping

Deb Boelter

Julie Guggemos

Lyn Zeppelin

Pam Fleischacker

Cara Jones

Presentation Schedule:

(Pine Room)

9 - 10 a.m. – America’s Fitness –

Erin and Kyle Kutz

10 – 11 a.m. – Ameriprise Financial Services Inc. – Chip Guggemos

11 – 12 p.m. – Pampered Chef – LuAnn Laxen

12 – 1 p.m. – Gentle Dental Care –

Dr. Neff and Associates.

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