A change of venue is allowing the Carthage Chamber of Commerce to expand its annual Business Expo by more than one-third.
The Carthage Business Expo 2013 will be held Thursday and Friday, May 9 and 10, at the Congregation of the Mother Co-Redemtrix Auditorium, 1900 Grand Ave., in Carthage.
Neely Myers, Membership Director for the Carthage Chamber of Commerce, said the move from Memorial Hall allowed the chamber to increase the number of booth spaces available from 42 to 66, an increase of 24 booths over past events.
Myers said instead of a waiting list for booths, she's out recruiting businesses to purchase booth spaces.
“As much as we love Memorial Hall, we had just maxed out that facility,” Myers said “The Fathers at the CMC met with us and offered their Auditorium and it opened up a huge opportunity for us.”
Myers said as of Monday she had 11 booth spaces available at a cost of $200 for Chamber members and $360 for non-members.
She said three of the booth spaces could be combined into one large triple booth, while two other spaces could be purchased together for a double-booth. All single booth spaces are eight feet by 10 feet.
Myers said people needed to contact her this week because she hoped to have all the spaces sold by the middle of the week.
Chamber members who attended this year's Carthage Chamber Banquet are familiar with the Auditorium, which is located at the north end of the CMC complex off Highland Street. The Auditorium is about half again as large as the biggest room at Memorial Hall.
Myers said the new location offered advantages other than just more room for more booths.
“There's more space to spread out and see what there is to buy,” Myers said. “Last year we had a couple of retail booths, but they didn't have a lot of space to spread out and sell very many items. We'll also have more room for more food, and everyone loves food.”
She also said there is space for a Exhibitors' lounge at CMC Auditorium. Exhibitors who need to step away from their booths for a few minutes can call on a “care team volunteer,” to watch their booth for them.
Myers said there is plenty of parking space around the complex, but some of it may be in grassy areas.
Myers said drawings will be held for prizes throughout both days with two grand prizes, an iPad tablet computer from Neotech Solutions and a makeover from Dr. Fly's, will be given away on Friday, May 10.
Anyone interested in purchasing a booth can call the Chamber at 358-2373 and ask for Myers.