Business owners feel ‘misled’ by Women’s Expo; Event plans to return to COS in November

COLORADO SPRINGS — Starting up a new business enterprise is not often uncomplicated.

When a marketing administration firm requested various small organization entrepreneurs to participate in a Women’s Expo in Colorado Springs, they jumped at the possibility.

Even so, many of those people individuals in the party tell News 5 Investigates that they feel cheated and misled.

Small business owners


Small company proprietors chatting with Chief Investigative Reporter Eric Ross

Megan Morris, Jenna Wilson and Pari Sveinsson are a few compact company proprietors in Colorado. All three women are voicing the similar concern with “Donnell Productions”—a marketing and advertising administration business that hosts Women’s Expos in which small business homeowners can publicize and sell their solutions in a farmers market variety environment.

The team states they were being pitched the exact same story from the firm’s proprietor, Barbara Donnell.

Donnell Productions

Greater Business Bureau

Donnell Productions BBB profile

“She reported she has been into my shop and there’s a Women’s Expo coming up that she thinks I would be ideal fit for,” Megan reported. “She (Barbara Donnell) said it can be going to be this huge expo with 3,000-5,000 people guaranteed to arrive by means of.”

Pari suggests she also obtained a get in touch with about paying for a profits booth at the event.

“She just referred to as me at my brand new business and recruited me,” Pari mentioned. “At the time I experienced just begun receiving into farmers marketplaces. I assumed that the cause why I was remaining recruited was since I was so wonderful at farmers markets and that they preferred me at this Women’s Expo. I was honored and excited. She manufactured all these promises to me as nicely.”

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As for Jenna, she suggests she was skeptical at initially, but eventually caved and signed up to take part.

“Identical schpeel,” Jenna mentioned. “I was explained to my goods are likely to be totally perfect for the clearly show.”

Information 5 also obtained an e-mail Donnell Productions reportedly despatched to Jenna.

“I consider your firm would do quite properly in the Expo,” Donnell reported. “We normally have all around 3,000 to 3,500 attendees.”

When it arrived time for the function to kick off at the Norris Penrose Functions Centre, Jenna, Megan and Pari say it was a total disappointment. They all explained really little individuals confirmed up.

Upcoming Women's Expo events

Women’s Expo website website (

Future Women’s Expo event in Colorado Springs scheduled for Nov. 5-6

“You get to the display and there’s no signage,” Megan mentioned. “The early morning of the occasion I’m at the wrong building since there is not even a indicator telling the distributors where to go. The party begins and no a single is demonstrating up. You are imagining it’s possible it is a sluggish start out but no a single was there. The 3,000 to 5,000 persons that were being promised, there were being it’s possible 300. It was distributors buying from every other because absolutely everyone was so bored.”

Jenna and Pari agreed with Megan.

The group suggests they quickly questioned no matter whether the Colorado Springs Women’s Expo was even set alongside one another by locals.

Even with “Colorado Springs” being pictured on the prime of the firm’s event symbol, we found Donnell Productions is essentially based in Connecticut, in accordance to BBB information.

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We started out achieving out to Donnell quite a few months back. We called and despatched 3 independent e-mail concerning January and April. We had hoped to speak with Donnell about her promoting and advertising tactics as nicely as address the complaints that had been lifted.

Donnell did not react.

Now, News 5 Investigates has discovered the company is promotion its newest Women’s Expo right below in Colorado Springs afterwards this 12 months.

“We would like them not to arrive again to Colorado Springs,” Pari stated.

For each their contractual agreements, there are “no refunds” and the $600 fee each and every small business operator paid out assured a booth at the celebration.

Ahead of you signal a agreement:

-Make guaranteed you read the good print just before signing

-When paying out cash up front, it’s significant to comprehend what companies you are obtaining

-If you see a “local identify” in a business enterprise emblem or ad, do not automatically think a small business is local. You can validate a company handle by means of the Secretary of State’s internet web page or Far better Small business Bureau

Have a tale strategy or dilemma you would like Information 5 Investigates to glimpse into? E-mail: [email protected]