Berkshire Home Expo Returns To Mall This WeekendBy Andy McKeever
03:49PM / Thursday, March 07, 2013
File photo of the 2011 expo that attracted 40 or so vendors.
LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — The Chamber of Commerce's annual Home Expo is returning to the Berkshire Mall this weekend.
Starting at 10 a.m. on Friday, 50 local home-improvement businesses and related companies will display their goods and services. From windows to solar to landscaping, the expo brings an array of options for people looking for some spring projects.
According to Christine Hoyt, director of programs and events for the chamber, this year's expo will be the biggest one with 10 new exhibitors.
"We're really excited about the quality of exhibitors and the number of exhibitors," Hoyt said on Thursday. "This is the most we've seen in four years. Over the last few years, we've been in the low 40s."
The exhibitors will be at the mall from 10 a.m. until 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. on Sunday.
Forty of 46 exhibitors from last year have returned, some boasting big benefits from "getting their name out," Hoyt said, such as a landscape company that nearly booked its entire summer based on those few days.
"There are quite a few returning. It just continues to grow," Hoyt said. "It's also a good time of the year for a lot of these companies because it is before they get busy."
While it is difficult to tell exactly how many people browse the exhibits because the tables are in the middle of the mall, Hoyt said mall officials believe there is a boost in attendance.
"They estimate a few thousand people come through," she said.
The business generated is also difficult to tell because sometimes a business won't see the benefits until months later. The chamber surveys all of the exhibitors asking about sales leads but those have been varied depending on the company.
"Home-improvement projects are not something people go into lightly, so it could be eight months down the road when they remember they met someone at the home show," she said.
Based on talking to exhibitors, Hoyt said the home-improvement business is picking up since the recent recession.
"They're starting to see more business come their way in the last year. They are seeing a change," she said. "While they are seeing people spend a little bit more money in home improvement now, it still isn't as great as it once was so they still have to get their name out there.
"It is a way to showcase our member organizations who fall into those categories."