Showcasing Harrison County
Whether it’s called ‘networking,’ ‘the social aspect’ or ‘to see and be seen,’ Showcase Harrison County introduces Chamber of Commerce of Harrison County members each year to not just the public but each other.
‘Every year I’ve met somebody different, renewed some friendships, and seen some old friends,’ said Ken Rush from his Corydon Stone and Asphalt booth.
Immersed in a pool of about 948 browsers and 63 exhibitors Thursday in the Colosseum at Caesars Bridgeport complex, Rush and other participants had plenty of opportunities to mingle despite a decrease in attendance from last year’s record of about 1,030.
Crowds were again largest during the Chamber’s ‘Business After Hours’ event from 5 to 7 p.m.
While Bill Taylor, chair of the Showcase Committee for the fourth consecutive year, said a lot of Showcase guests are just getting off work in time to attend After Hours, the heavy hors d’oeuvres couldn’t hurt attendance either.
Caesars again volunteered its catering services with shrimp cocktail, Chinese egg rolls, Swedish meatballs, quiche lorraine, stuffed mushrooms, miniature pizzas, sliced fruit and other classy edibles. A cash bar served cocktails to wash it all down.
A rare opportunity for visibility led Kathy Collins to rent a booth at the annual event for the second year. She works from her Leavenworth home as a Cruise Planners franchisee.
Barbara Shaw and Lori Short with Century 21 said they enjoy the chance to network with other businesses and to support the Chamber which, Short said, ‘refers a lot of people to us.’
Sarah Turpin, the event coordinator and vice president of membership and public relations for the Chamber of Commerce of Harrison County, said it’s encouraging that some participants come to show support for the Chamber.
‘What that tells us is that our members believe in what we are doing,’ she said.
Taylor certainly does. He said Turpin ‘does probably 90 percent’ of Showcase. ‘She just makes the rest of us look good,’ he said.
The sixth event was a first for about 10 exhibitors. Among them was George Ethridge, who was there to promote his new Golf Shores Fun Center in Corydon. Ethridge recently completed a flashy indoor ‘black light’ course.
Madelyn’s Bakery Caf’ is just a few feet away from Golf Shores on Landmark Way in Corydon, and the cafe’s booth was just a few steps from Ethridge’s.
Madelyn’s, the new addition to Corydon cuisine, opened this year and was promoting its Friday night Italian dinners until 9.
The Colosseum is chosen each year to be the site for Showcase Harrison County because it is the county’s largest venue and provides a ready-made body of tourists to wander into the event.
The Harrison County Convention and Visitors Bureau posted some gripping figures on that subject on the backdrop of its booth.
‘Because of tourism, you paid $620 less in taxes last year. For every dollar spent to bring in visitors, $6.05 in new state and local taxes were generated. Visitors spent $318,000 in Harrison County last year,’ the sign read.
This year’s best booth, and winner for four years running, is Tyson Foods.
Mary Gronotte of Corydon won the $1,000 gift certificate for Cruise Planners Unlimited. Visitors were entered in the drawing for the certificate after they completed an exit survey.