(Seguin) -- The New Year will bring with it a new opportunity for businesses to engage the community in 2018. The Seguin Area Chamber of Commerce thinks it has the perfect way to pair businesses up with potential customers. The chamber is still signing companies up for its annual Showcase Seguin business trade show. The show is slated for Thursday, February 22 in the Seguin-Guadalupe County Coliseum.
Showcase Seguin Chair KayLynn Hawkins says businesses should secure their booths now, before all the spaces are gone. She says they are already ahead of last year's pace when it comes to the number of booths sold at this time.
"People are finding it beneficial. They're finding it exciting and worth doing. So to me, that creates a sense of urgency for everyone else. Get your booth right now, if you haven't already done that," said Hawkins.
Hawkins says they have given the event a makeover in recent years. She says it has made it more enjoyable for vendors and for people who turn out for the free Showday activites during the daytime hours, or for those who pay to attend the popular nighttime party.
"So people will be able to participate, of course, in daytime activities where they can win prizes, (and) they can win door prizes as well. Again we'll have silent auction. Then, of course, the evening begins at five. We go from 5 to 8:30 p.m. So the main event party will be happening again (that night). It is again a $25 ticket (to get into the party). So you'll be able to enjoy fabulous liquid fun, (and) lots of great food. We do have GRMC as our event sponsor again this year, so thank you very much. Of course, we will have again lots of money to give away, prizes and always lots of fun," said Hawkins.
Hawkins says they are bringing back the Showcase Seguin Job Fair this year. The job fair was dropped a couple of years ago after vendors complained that they didn't see much value to it. She says this year, that's all going to change. She says vendors are encourage to come ready to meet qualified candidates for a variety of jobs. Hawkins says they'll be working with job seekers to make sure that they are ready to take advantage of the job opportunities that will be available that day.
"We're encouraging participants to come dressed ready for an interview. We're going to be rewarding those participants for doing such a thing. So they'll have an opportunity as the interact with the different vendors participating in the job fair (and) to be entered into drawings (for) gift cards -- rewarding best appropiate dressed, best interaction and I believe interview, that sort of thing. So we want to make sure that everybody comes ready for those things, because they will be getting to do those things during the job fair. Also, we're going to offer everyone a job essientials kit when they come too. We're going to give them information on how to write a resume, a cover letter and those sorts of things too. We really want them to be successful in their job hunt. We'll be offering a dress for success seminar as well. Kind of a little mock interview of what to do and what not to do, which is very important," said Hawkins.
The chamber is also hosting a clothing collection drive. Hawkins says the idea is to collect gently used business attire that can be given to the job seekers so that they can be ready for the interviews during the job fair. She says these washed and ready-to-wear items can be dropped off now at the chamber office on North Camp Street.
"Not only that we have some wonderful people out in our community that have been and are still donating items. So that if someone is unable to afford appropiate dress attire for an interview, they may be able to find something there that they can take with them. So that when the do have that job interview or they need to go pick up that application, they need to look nice and professional, and that they'll have something appropiate to wear," said Hawkins.
All Showcase Seguin vendors can participate in the job fair, but Hawkins says they are also opening it up to a few job fair-only vendors this year.
"Our vendors thave have booths at the showcase, They do have the opportunity to be part of the job fair. It doesn't cost anything extra. Now there are some of our folks out there, businesses that they are not able to do a full booth, because maybe they don't have the staffing to run their business and do that at the same time, or whatever the reason may be. If they would like to get just a table for only the job fair, they can do that as well. Those tables are $125. We only have six available for that purpose only. Then again if you are getting a booth you can be a part of it anyway. So we just want to know what business is going to participate, what job opening specifically you have and what you're looking for. So we can let the attendees know what they're looking at. We will have them clearly marked that they are participating in the job far. So participants know where to go. That's very important too," said Hawkins.
The job fair is just one of the highlights during the daytime. She says this year's Showcase Seguin Show Day will also give attendees a chance to checkout this year's theme, which is "Seguin's Got Talent!" She says they'll be playing a game during the day, and it will allow folks to have a chance to win some great prizes.
"So there will be different ways in which we portray all of our paticipating vendors' (talents). One of those ways is in their jingle. So it would really behoove the public to listen to your radio station. So they can hear those advertisements for our local vendors, that actually have a commercial jingle on the radio. So see they gotta listen (to KWED)," said Hawkins.
All of the day time activities are free, and again tickets to the evening party are $25 each. Tickets can be purchased online at www.seguinchamber.com, or by stopping by the chamber office located at 116 N. Camp St. in downtown Seguin.