Evelyn Clark

Evelyn Clark

Trade show May 6 in Qualicum Beach — helping businesses understand tourism

Inside Scoop Trade Show designed to highlight tourism activities, services

Organizers of a new trade show are hoping to make ambassadors out of local vendors.

The Parksville Qualicum Beach Tourism Association and the Qualicum Beach Chamber of Commerce have teamed up to host the Inside Scoop Tourism Trade Show on May 6.

Evelyn Clark, the Qualicum Beach Chamber of Commerce president and CEO, said visitors come into the city every summer asking staff at restaurants and businesses about the area.

According to Clark, Parksville Qualicum Beach sees 30,000 to 35,000 tourists in the area during the summer months.

Last year, the chamber did a business walk and a lot of business people asked for more tourism-related information for front-line staff, according to Blain Sepos, the executive director for the Parksville Qualicum Beach Tourism Association.

He said this trade show is an opportunity to help with that.

Inside Scoop Trade Show is designed to highlight tourism activities and services which includes all sectors in the region such as recreation, food and beverage, transportation and accommodation.

Clark described the event as a priority and a training opportunity.

The trade show will have exhibits from tourist-related businesses providing attendees with information and updates on who they are, what they will be doing and how people can get involved this summer.

Sepos said the show is modelled heavily on a similar event in Whistler.

“If it’s a smashing success, we will likely do it on an annual basis.”

But he added that they’re looking at the demand for the event, which could result in it being a bi-annual trade show.

Exhibitors are encouraged to get creative with their booths, such as offering menu samples, activity demonstrations and product giveaways.

The aim of the trade show is for staff members, such as retail associates, front desk agents, concierges, activity guides, reservation agents, information agents, volunteers, business owners and managers to gain knowledge about the community which they can then pass on to tourists.

Clark said she’s received positive feedback about the upcoming trade show.

She said an owner of one of the local resorts even signed up all of their staff, because they said all of their employees “must go.”

Sepos said it’s business and they want people to learn about what’s going on in the tourism industry, but it’s also meant to be a fun afternoon.

The show, which is open to the public, will run from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Qualicum Beach Civic Centre. The deadline for businesses to register is Friday, April 22. For any questions about registration, call Anne at 250-752-0960 or e-mail: members@qualicum.bc.ca.