Revived 4WD and Outdoor Adventure Expo proves a hit with customers

GREAT DAY OUT: Kylie Lyon and her son Beau, 5, of Wodonga with grandmother Jen Partl of Yackandandah, showed their support for the 4WD Expo on Saturday.

GREAT DAY OUT: Kylie Lyon and her son Beau, 5, of Wodonga with grandmother Jen Partl of Yackandandah, showed their support for the 4WD Expo on Saturday.

THE universe just seemed to have all the answers.

That was what Kim Woods, organiser of salvaged Henty 4WD show, had to say after more than 8000 people threw their support behind the pop-up alternative hosted by the Wodonga Turf Club on Saturday.

It was revealed last Monday that the company behind the event, Explore Australia Exhibitions, had gone into liquidation owing $297,000.

Disgruntled business owners who had paid tens of thousands of dollars ordering stock and booking stalls were rescued the next day thanks to a deal to hold the event in Wodonga.

“This was all about mates helping mates,” Mrs Woods said.

“When faced with a bit of adversity, the community really comes together and supports each other.

“I think that was the vibe that was out there – everybody was sharing information around and decided they were going to support these local businesses and try and help recoup some of their losses resulting from the cancellation of the expo.”

Though the replacement event only ran for one day, the customers made it count.

Opposite Lock took $30,000 worth of orders and sold the same in stock, while Blacklocks sold a number of cars.

“Everyone was shattered earlier in the week,” Mrs Woods said.

“I met with 2AY on Tuesday and we decided we would try and salvage something from the situation.

“We got a call from Tom O’Connor soon after offering the Turf Club.

“I spent a few hours ringing around to find out if businesses would support the event if it went ahead – we only had two say no.

“Within 12 hours we virtually had it all sorted.

“Because we only had so much space, we left it to the bush telegraph a little bit.

“We had just over 40 exhibitors.”

As well as the donation of the venue, a number of other businesses donated services to ensure the running of the expo.

“We've had $100,000 worth of goods and services donated,” Mrs Woods said.

“That includes the venue, an administrative assistant, security, waste management, traffic control, traffic signage, entertainment and photography.

“Whenever we had a problem we'd ask the universe, and every time it seemed to answer.”

The ongoing future of the expo remains in doubt.

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