After all was wrapped up, the 2018 Outdoor Expo turned out to be an almost identical replay of 2017, right down to the cold snap and inclement weather on the final day.

After all was wrapped up, the 2018 Outdoor Expo turned out to be an almost identical replay of 2017, right down to the cold snap and inclement weather on the final day.
As the year before, a combined two-day estimate of over 1,300 people flowed into Hempstead Hall last weekend for the second annual event, which also included over 900 for the 38 Special concert.  
Hempstead Hall Director Dolly Henley said, “Even with the weather again this year, all vendors were generally pleased with the turn out and believe the Expo can continue growing. Several vendors said they plan to be back next year.”
The cold snap during the Expo, especially with rain on Saturday — was again in contrast to the warmer temperatures that Hope experienced just days before — and then the Sunday afterwards.
Henley conceded, “We can’t control the unpredictable weather, and that has been the craziest thing for us the past two years.”
Still, Henley said the second year of the event was mostly successful with eight new vendor participating and a greater diversity of attendees.
“We still expected most people to come from Hempstead, Nevada, and Miller counties, but we had folks from Camden, DeQueen, Nashville and Gurdon here, too, so I feel like we are expanding its reach and becoming a true regional event,” she said.
Henley added that the Hempstead Hall Outdoor Expo still sits in a good place between larger similar events happening in Hot Springs and Shreveport, Louisiana.
“Some of our participants have commitments to those shows, but they are glad to have another one, like ours, in between,” she said, “For some of these folks, it is about making contacts and increasing their customer base, even if they don’t sell a boat or ATV on the spot,” she said.
Henley said that with two years of the Expo now in the rearview mirror that ideas to either expand it, or bring other similar events to Hempstead Hall are in the works.
“I think there is some momentum for doing something later in the Spring like a ‘Home & Garden Expo,’ or maybe additional days or dates for the Outdoor Expo.” she said.