Chamber announces Oil & Gas Show to go annual.
Both the Town and Municipal District (MD) of Bonnyville have agreed to give an additional $7,000 each to support the 2017 Oil & Gas Show. Each Council had previously committed to $3,000 and will each now contribute $10,000. Both Councils, who agreed the show was a highlight of the region, were notified of the intention, by the Bonnyville & District Chamber of Commerce, to run the show annually after this year.
The Bonnyville & District Chamber of Commerce, Executive Director, Tanya Oliver and President, Robyn Ducharme, spoke to Town Council at Tuesday’s regular meeting. The pair explained that registration and sponsorship are down for this year; however the Chamber sees such a benefit and great feedback from the shows, that they intend to not only move forward with the 2017 show, but also move towards making the show an annual event (the show is currently biennial).
Professional Registration System
The money from each Council will be used to pay for a registration/scanning company. The company specializes in data collection, explains Oliver, “they take care of our booth registration, the workers, and the passes that get handed out. They have bar code technology that exhibitors can use to collect information from perspective clients.”
“It’s really stream-lined our show and taken it to the next level,” Oliver explains that the first couple years there were hiccups trying to do it on their own. “This elevates [the show] and makes it professional and on par with the other shows. Even though we’re a small town, we’re right on par with the big guys.”
Show is the Chamber’s Biggest Revenue Generator
“The Oil & Gas Show is our largest, non-dues, revenue generator,” explains Ducharme, “it’s going to be our fourth show. We’ve hosted since 2011, every two years. Throughout our shows, we’ve welcomed thousands of people, to Bonnyville and the C2. We’ve hosted hundreds of exhibitors and we’ve hosted them to make valuable, high quality, connections to grow their business.”
Along with generating revenue for the Chamber, the event has donated back over $33,000 to STARS Air Ambulance, confirms Ducharme. “Which is all the money that we charge at the door of the show,” Ducharme explains that if people pre-register for the show it is free to attend; so the donation is generated from non-registered visitors, who pay $20 entrance.
The show also serves to generate funds to pay the salary of the Chamber employees.
Exhibitor Registration Down
“Exhibitor registration is significantly down,” Ducharme speculates that due to the economy companies may not be able to afford such events this year. She notes that the last two shows have utilized both arenas, whereas this show they anticipate only using the one arena. “Our sponsorship has probably been the most hit, we’re probably down 42 percent in sponsorships.”
Ducharme says it is because of those two factors that they are approaching the Town and MD for additional funding.
The Town & the MD have both agreed to fund the show an additional $7,000 for a total of $10,000 each. Both Council’s noted the intention of the Chamber to ask for matching funds, of $10,000 each, next year as the show moves to an annual event. The 2017 Oil & Gas Show will be held at the Bonnyville Centennial Centre. For information on how to become an exhibitor or to sponsor the event visit, bonnyvilleoilandgasshow.com.