Vail Valley trade show a chance to show off |

Vail Valley trade show a chance to show off

EAGLE COUNTY Dave Smiley is like a lot of Vail Valley small business owners: Hes usually busy running his own company Alpine Party Rentals and doesnt get many chances to catch up with people hes known for years.Having a few hours to catch up is one of the reasons Smiley and his company have a booth set up at the annual BizTech show in Beaver Creek. Beyond socializing, though, Smiley sees the show as a way to get in touch with locals.Our business is kind of overlooked by locals, Smiley said. Wedding planners know were here, but the people throwing little parties might not. This is another method to gain some exposure.Smiley said BizTech is also a chance to let potential employees know that his busy season is the spring, summer and fall.For Anita Denboske, owner of Active Communications, BizTech is a chance to give locals some hands-on time with new products just in time for Christmas.This year, Active has a couple of fun new gadgets. One is a Sony-Erkisson phone a couple of interesting new tricks. The phone has tilt control technology, which means someone playing a driving game can use the phone like a steering wheel. The phone is also a music player, and can identifiy the mood of the songs in it. That way, a user can ask for happy tunes and the player will deliver.If the shipment comes through, Active will also show off the brand-new Blackberry device. That one is so new that the first shipment may not arrive until just before the show.Denboske has had a booth at BizTech for several years, and said its one of the best trade shows we do. Theres always a good turnout from businesses and the public.That turnout is the reason Jan Strauch has brought his business, Overland & Express Travel, to the show for several years. Well, that, and the free food.I have friends who go just to load up on sticky notes, Strauch said, tongue firmly in cheek.We go to make ourselves known to people coming into town, Strauch said. Hopefully theyll work hard over the winder, and have a little money left over for a trip to Mexico in the spring.Someone, though, wont have to work all winter to buy their tickets. Overland & Express is giving away two tickets to Cancun at the show.Over at the Alpine Party Rentals booth, there will be a drawing for a days use of a margarita machine, which makes any party for people over 21 a bit more festive.Other giveaways are a little more serious.People who stop by the Ascent Physical Therapy booth can get a free injury evaluation.Ascent owner Keith McCarroll said he got a booth this year to let other business owners know about changes in health insurance, and, of course, that his company is ready to help with on-the-job injury treatment and other problems.For Sarah Jardis, BizTech is a chance to get out and about with a different crowd. Business is pretty slow these days at Jardis company, Central Rockies Mortgage.At most of the trade shows we go to know, its just Realtors and mortgage brokers complaining to each other how slow we are, Jardis said. But right nows an important time in this industry to get out the word about what we can do for people. This seemed like a perfect environment to reach out to the broader community.This is will be Jardis first-ever BizTech. A friend recommended that she participate, Jardis said. She told me shes made several strong client relationships there, Jardis said. This is good time for us to make some contacts.Business Editor Scott N. Miller can be reached at 748-2930, or

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