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March 28. 2014 8:11PM

Goffstown expo offers businesses a chance to meet, mingle

GOFFSTOWN — When the Lions Club opens its doors to the fourth annual Business Expo, local merchants and services will have a chance to meet prospective customers and build new relationships.

The Goffstown Lions Club, in partnership with the Goffstown Economic Development Council, will host the Goffstown Area Business Expo from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 5 at Goffstown High School.

"The Goffstown Area Business Exposition will expose area businesses to potential customers, and it's for businesses to network with other business owners in our community," said organizer and Lions Club member Mary Ann McKenna. "There are a lot of mom-and-pop businesses around, and people will be able to see what is available so they don't have to travel to Concord or Manchester to shop."

McKenna said when she sent out announcements about the expo to area businesses, she was surprised at the number of local companies.

"This is the only place where you'll find all these businesses under one roof in the area," she said.

Nancy Connor, of Goffstown and The Pampered Chef, will be among the business owners at this year's expo. She has attended the expo since its inception in 2010.

"The type of business I do is party planning so I can't go in there and sell products off my table, but each year I've gotten a couple of people interested in booking parties," Connor said. "I do the expo to get my face and products out there and meet people. The more you do it the more you get your name recognized."

Connor started her Pampered Chef business about seven years ago through a friend of her husband, Bill.

"I became a groupie and fell in love with the products and the business. I found I was spending more money on it, and I thought I should start making money on it," Connor said.

She said for businesses and customers, the expo offers a win-win advantage.

"You can look up a business in the phone book or on the Internet, but when you come face to face with someone it's better," Connor said. "If you're interested in a landscaper or other businesses, it's a way to meet that person and take it one step further."

The expo will allow vendors to tailor booths to their businesses by using product demonstrations, offering free samples, promotional giveaways, coupons, raffles and other marketing ideas.

Corey Cranshaw of Home Designers Builders and Remodelers, at 28 Main St. in Goffstown, will dress up his booth with before and after photos of finished projects, including bathrooms, kitchens and garages. He will also have a free raffle for a project design phase, valued up to $1,200.

The family company has been in business for 20 years, and this will be Cranshaw's third appearance at the expo.

"My father started the business, and I took it over. It's been going strong ever since," he said.

The expo has brought his company more business and exposure, and his goal is to invite people into his showroom to view more displays.

The expo got its start in 2010 during the planning of Goffstown's 250th anniversary, and the Lions Club was able to donate about $10,000 to the event from its 2010 and 2011 expo proceeds, McKenna said.

The expo was on hiatus in 2013, but will be back in full swing this year. About 40 businesses have already signed up to attend, including the Farmhouse Restaurant, Damsels and Defense for women, Home Designers Builders and Remodelers, landscapers, woodworkers and carpenters, a handy man, insurance and real estate agencies, banks, day care centers, tax preparers and more.

Booth rentals cost $50 for a single 8-foot by 8-foot space; $60 for a corner single 8-foot by 8-foot space; $75 for a single 10-foot by 10-foot space; $85 for a corner single 10-foot by 10-foot space; and $130 for a double 10-foot by 10-foot space. Electricity is available for some booths at a cost of $20; a 6-foot table rental, if needed, is $15; and two chair rentals are $5.

All proceeds raised from this event will support the Goffstown Lions Club's charitable programs, scholarships and visual and hearing impairment assistance within the Goffstown community.

To reserve a booth, contact McKenna at 497-8744.

sclark@newstote.com


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