Musings from the ever-changing, ever-amazing and occasionally ever-baffling Fort McMurray, Alberta.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

McMurray Musing - Events of Note

This past weekend Macdonald Island Park was the scene of the annual Fort McMurray Tourism Spring Trade Show, and I think it's fair to say that this was the best trade show this city has ever seen. It was quite certainly the best I've ever attended in the near-decade I've lived here.

I arrived just before 10 AM on Saturday and was quite pleased to find a parking spot that was reasonably close. I was astonished, though, that residents had already begun lining up outside the main doors of Mac Island to pay their admission fees. It was immediately clear that the trade show was going to be popular this year, and I am delighted to report that this was with good reason.

This year Fort McMurray Tourism, the organizers of the trade show, decided to have the exhibitors set up their booths in themed halls. This means there was a shopping hall, an outdoor enthusiasts/recreation hall, a health and well-being hall, and a home and garden hall. I think this was an absolutely brilliant decision as it made it very easy to determine which halls would be of the most interest to you, and to peruse those halls first. If you were looking for a specific vendor a quick glance at the extremely comprehensive show guide allowed you to quickly find them.

There have been many years when I went to the trade show, did a quick walk-through, grabbed a bag of mini-donuts, and walked out the door - all within about 20-30 minutes. This year, though, I revisited two of the halls a few times to see specific exhibitors, and even pulled out my wallet a couple of times. I was very impressed with the exhibitors in terms of both quality and range of interests. I spent the most time I have ever spent at a trade show in Fort McMurray, and, quite honestly, the most money I've ever spent, too.

The final stop of the trade show was the mini-donut booth, of course, as the trade show experience wouldn't be right without some of those little gems. Bravo to Fort McMurray Tourism for organizing a terrific 2011 Spring Trade Show, and thanks to Macdonald Island for once again proving to be the perfect venue for such an event. I am looking forward to future Trade Shows with great enthusiasm!

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