The Made in Montana Tradeshow for Food and Gifts will make its Helena debut tomorrow at the Lewis & Clark County Fairgrounds with more exhibitors and more unique and authentic products than ever before.
The annual tradeshow serves two purposes; first, it provides a marketplace for store owners across the state looking for authentic Montana products for their store. Second, it showcases these same items for the public to see, allowing them to sample and discover new products that will help in their quest to "buy local".
"The Montana brand makes a strong impact on consumers," said Governor Steve Bullock. "Buying Made in Montana means supporting your neighbor and your community. It strengthens our local economies and promotes the unique qualities of life that make Montana such a great place to live, work and visit."
Exhibitors this year include seasoned veterans of the tradeshow showing off their latest and greatest products as well as exhibitors hoping to get their goods on store shelves for the first time. The demand for genuine, authentic and locally-made products has been on the rise, boosted by community efforts such as "shop small," "shop local," and the rising popularity of the "locavore" movement.
"Visitors to the state list shopping as their number two expenditure while in Montana," noted Department of Commerce Director Meg O'Leary. "Since we know they're looking for authentic Montana products, this show focuses on connecting buyers and vendors to help boost the number of local products they carry."
The public is invited to attend the tradeshow during the Product Showcase Day on Saturday, March 22 from 9:00 -- 5:00. Admission is free and purchases can be made at retail prices. Friday, March 21 is where the real business gets done. It is open to qualified store owners and wholesale buyers only, and includes a free seminar for store owners from Bob Phibbs, The Retail Doctor®, national retail consultant and author.
For more information, contact the Made in Montana program staff at (406) 841-2757, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.madeinmontanashow.com.