WADESBORO — The Second Annual Anson County Kids Expo, originally slated for August 8, has been delayed until Sept. 18. It will also be a virtual event, due to the current COVID-19 restrictions and guidelines.
“The Anson County Chamber of Commerce felt like it was in the best interest, of not only our kid vendors but of the community-at-large to change this to a virtual event this year,” explained Shelby Emrich Chamber CEO/President.
The Kids Expo is designed to give young entrepreneurs a platform to display their businesses and products. Any Anson County child, from kindergartners to high school seniors, is eligible to participate.
For this year’s expo, all vendor applications, as well as a photo of the child, must be submitted to the Chamber no later than Friday, August 21. All sponsors, vendors, and one parent of the vendor will also receive a t-shirt. All sponsors of the event will be listed on the back of the t-shirt.
Once all the applications and photos have been received, Emrich will post them to the Chamber’s Facebook page in order to give the vendors more exposure.
Emrich will also take a video of the vendors with their table and products. In this video, Emrich will ask the vendors questions about their products and businesses. This will be done either at Rev Uptown or at the home of the vendors, it’s up to their choosing.
These videos will then be uploaded to a flash drive and sent to the sponsors, who are the judges for the event. Vendors will be judged and can win in three categories: Most Original Business Idea, Highest Business Potential, and Best Presentation/Creativity. Those categories will be further broken up into age groups. The age groups will be determined when all applications have been received.
“On August 18, I will be creating a video that contains all the interviews, a couple of words from our top sponsors, acknowledgment of all our sponsors, and the winners of the categories,” said Emrich. “That will be placed on our social media on Friday, September 18 and I will also link back to the Chamber’s site as well.”
Last year was the first year for the Kid’s Expo. “The thought behind it was that we know we have some fantastic, young-minded entrepreneurs in this county,” said Emrich, “and what better way for the Chamber to help give them exposure than to have a one-day expo? As the Chamber, our main focus is supporting business in Anson County. If we have those that are young and have that drive, we want to make sure we’re supporting and encouraging it.”
“We had such a variety of vendors last year,” said Emrich. “From chapstick to homemade hair-bows. We had someone that raised their own fishing worms and someone else that raised their own pigs to sell pork products. Our youngest vendor was six and our oldest was 15.”
“With this year, the probably largest difference from last year is how the community will purchase from the vendors,” said Emrich. “Last year, it was set up on East Wade Street. It was a three-hour event that morning. I was overly happy with the support that they got last year. In fact, most of our vendors sold out within the first hour. They all took orders and had to fill them.”
“That’s kind of how this year will be, in that the vendors have been told they need to let me know how they’re going to sell their orders,” said Emrich. “Is it going to be through Facebook, email, or phone calls. I’m also encouraging them to create websites. Through Square, for example, you can create a free website where people can place orders and make payment there.”
Once a product has been purchased, the vendor can deliver the goods, ship them, or bring them to the Chamber for pick-up by the purchaser.
“We’re living in a time of technology, said Emrich. This year, the vendors are going to learn all about e-commerce. This is a way for them to take advantage of the internet in marketing their business and learn about how that process works in selling goods.”
“I’m sad that we can’t have it in person,” said Emrich. “However, I am excited that the vendors are learning something new in that, just like all the rest of the businesses in Anson County, have had to step back and figure out what to do during this pandemic, these kids are going to get to experience the same thing.”
“I’m so thankful for our members of the Chamber, and how supportive they are,” said Emrich. “In a small, rural community like ours, our members get hit from all kinds of organizations to support their events. This year, we had even more sponsors than we did last year. That lets me know that the chamber is doing things right when you see that kind of support even during a pandemic. It gives me confidence in the direction we’re going.”
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