Fast Track is a two-night, trade show that will be held March 7 and 8 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Commonwealth Center on Franklin St., commonly known as the Clock Tower. The event will take place on the 3rd floor of the venue. The first night is considered a VIP night, and a ticket is required for admission. The second night of the event is open to the public; admission is $2 or two non-perishable food items.
This will be the first show since 2020 due to previous Covid restrictions. The theme is “Open For Business.”
Sharon Shepherd, deputy director of the Martinsville-Henry County Chamber of Commerce, said this year’s show will feature about 120 exhibitors from the local community and surrounding areas.
“We have some local, some from Danville, some from Greensboro, and just over the border in North Carolina,” Shepherd said of exhibitors. “It’s more of a regional thing.”
Many are repeat exhibitors from previous shows, along with some new participants.
Kimberly Keller-Bonacci, the chamber’s Uptown Entrepreneurial Development Manager, said a wide variety of exhibitors will be set up from various industries, such as healthcare and manufacturing.
“It’s a good way for businesses to get exposure as well as a good way for them to network with other businesses there,” Keller-Bonacci said.
The event is an opportunity for many local businesses, manufacturers, and non-profit organizations to showcase their products and services.
“It’s a great opportunity for Martinsville and Henry County and our extended boundaries to show off what all is here,” Shepherd said.
This year’s event marks the 27th annual year for Fast Track in Martinsville. In the past, Fast Track has had between 3,500 and 5,000 visitors across the two days.
“This year we really don’t know what to expect,” Shepherd said. “We’ve had a couple of regular exhibitors not participate because they were concerned about Covid, the flu, and RSV.” Some previous exhibitors were unable to participate due to staffing issues.
Attendance this year also is challenging to predict.
“It’s hard to tell if we are going to have the same amount of attendees or more,” said Keller-Bonacci.
Fast Track visitors will not be required to wear a mask, but they are encouraged to do what makes them feel safe. Keller-Bonacci said hand sanitizing stations will be situated in various locations during the event.
In addition to support from exhibitors, the community, and the region, Fast Track wouldn’t be possible without sponsors. This year’s corporate sponsors are Ameristaff and Sarver Cleaning Services. The VIP sponsor is SleepSafe Beds. The Lester Group is the location sponsor. The wireless sponsor is MyNet, which is offered by the City of Martinsville.