WESTFIELD - A 17-year veteran in the production of large-scale consumer shows has announced the launch of her own company along with dates and location for her first four shows.
Suburban Indy Shows (SIS) is the creation of Donell Heberer Walton, former executive director of HSI Shows Inc, which produced the Indiana Flower & Patio Show and Christmas Gift & Hobby Show, among others, for many years. She has selected Westfield's Grand Park Events Center to host her initial quartet of shows:
Suburban Indy Home & Outdoor Living Fall Show, September 21-24, 2017
Suburban Indy Holiday Show, November 16-19, 2017
Suburban Indy Home & Outdoor Living Spring Show, February 8-11, 2018, and
Suburban Indy Women's Show, March 22-25, 2018.
A multi-year agreement has been signed with the venue.
Why the focus on the metro's far northside? According to Walton, it is an answer to demand.
"For years, I heard from businesses I've worked with that 'if you ever start a show on the far northside, I'm in,'" she said. "According to their feedback, it's where they obtain the bulk of their business, and they truly wanted to make things more convenient for their customers. So from that, I knew interest existed as well as where they wanted to be.
"Another consideration was length of show," Walton said. "They really want to be in and out within a reasonable length of time - businesses are sensitive to committing to long stretches of exhibit time. That's why I've made the decision that the Suburban Indy Shows will run a very manageable four days, max."
Venue selection came about through coincidence. "I was at home, and happened to come across coverage of last year's Trump campaign rally at the Events Center on TV," she recalled. "My first thought was, 'how do I not know about this place?' I was on the phone to Grand Park's director first thing the next morning, asking when we could meet."
When they did get together, Walton was delighted to discover that the center's management had been discussing hosting the types of shows SIS wanted to produce there. "It could not have been more perfect on either side," Walton said. "I already had a five-year business plan in place, knew the shows I wanted to do and where I wanted to do them, and here was this outstanding venue just waiting to talk with a producer. The fact we are locally-owned, locally-managed and have nearly two decades of experience was a huge plus with Grand Park management."
"With the opening of the Events Center, it has been our goal to host consumer shows in addition to sporting events," said Westfield Mayor Andy Cook. "The Suburban Indy Shows will bring many new visitors to Grand Park, from Westfield and the entire region, to enjoy all it has to offer."
Walton has plans both big and small to differentiate her shows from others in the Indianapolis market. "I want our guests to know from the moment they pull into the parking lots at Grand Park that these shows are different!," she exclaimed. "We plan to institute ideas that never have been implemented here locally, ideas that will set us apart and make the showgoing experience great for our guests."
Walton says she is looking forward to building on partnerships that have been created through the years with small area businesses, and developing new partnerships. When asked about her greatest professional accomplishment, she cited watching small businesses grow and the role her shows have played.
"I love establishing professional partnerships with small businesses, and then watching them grow and expand into the businesses of their dreams," she said. "I want to see more of that occur under the Suburban Indy Shows banner."
For additional information about Suburban Indy Shows, visit www.suburbanindyshows.com or contact Walton at 317.908.3815 or Donell@SuburbanIndyShows.com.