Coast Chamber Moves Expo To Mall - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

02/11/04

Coast Chamber Moves Expo To Mall

A tape from Mississippi's new governor welcomed people to the Coast Chamber's new expo hall.

Vendors like Gina Riser set up display tables at Edgewater Mall, rather than the usual coliseum venue.

"I wasn't sure what kind of reception we would get from people just coming out to shop," Riser said.

Her initial skepticism disappeared once mall shoppers stopped by her booth and asked questions about her stained glass.

"It's been very exciting," she said. "It's given me an opportunity to interact with customers and explain to them what our product is."

Mike Pruitt organized the chamber's two day expo.

"You don't lose the business to business emphasis that the expo has had in the past," he said, describing why the chamber made the location switch.

"What we've done is we've gained business to consumer opportunity."

Jan Davis always works a booth at the expo. The new location gave her business a chance to call on new customers.

"I think it's been great," she said. "We've seen a lot of people that we might not have seen had we been at the coliseum."

The Edgewater Mall version of the Chamber's business and industry expo attracted almost a dozen more vendors that it did a year ago.

On Thursday morning, Governor Barbour will speak at a chamber leadership awards breakfast. It's also being held at Edgewater Mall, right before the expo reopens.

by Brad Kessie

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