I have been contacted and asked if Brisbane Local Food would like to have an "information stall" at the Ekka, in the horticultural area.
We could put together some printed info on all sorts of things, not the least of which would be to advertise our exclusive but wonderful network here. Whilst I'm not big on giving out complements, you folks have wonderful garden visits, heaps of knowledge and info, and actually are a pretty darn fine bunch.
Some of you have products - mulch and the like. Others offer teaching and free video instructions (me). Some have links with amazing community orgs and gardens that might like the publicity.
However, it might also mean that we might have to staff said stall. I will seek further clarification of this when I contact them again.
My initial question is: are you interested? Would you donate a shift to support it? Do you think an info stall for our site makes sense?
Give me an indication of your thoughts please. It might be a terrific way to boost our network but.....
Right Andy … having been involved in staffing an info stall: 10 days at 12 hours per day. Means a LOT of people. Travelling expenses, time; you may get a few free entry tickets but not enough. Info stalls are not allowed to sell stuff, either; mightn't be relevant for us.
Our site has 3000 members the vast majority of whom do not participate. RANA (a frog club I was a member of) got a promo on Burke's Backyard. They got 1000 members from all over Aus. Next year it was back to the usual 100. They had nothing to offer these new members.
We have something to offer certainly. However even the garden visits are getting just a tad crowded. Most ordinary house blocks cannot accommodate 30 people really …
I would not like to see us be overwhelmed - and you very well could be - we are getting word-of-mouth members and Googlers. We have enough publicity imho.
Interesting feedback from Elaine. And quite a valid point too.
I tend to think all advertising is good, but then I come from a retail background, but Elaine has made me think about the down side.
I would have no objection to the stall being held - it should be tried at least once to see what the outcome could be. I personally don't go anywhere near the RNA show - crowds and bustle aren't my thing. Manning the stall would be one issue. Coming up with the information flyer another.
Is there a cost?
I think it's wonderful that BLF have received the recognition to be asked to have an information stall at the Ekka.
Valid points made by both Elaine, Lissa & Sophie. I am one of those 3000 members who have dropped off the page for awhile, due to construction and my gardens being moved around our small yard & family issues. I think I'm getting organised again, fingers crossed, so I'm back. Yippee.
I'm with Lissa on the issue of crowds. Do not like crowds, but I would man a stall for short periods.
Who would erect the stall or is one supplied? Cost of erecting same.
Advertising material: Flyers, posters to decorate the stall, signs, plants for display, computer set up to show visitors that BLF is based on the Web only.
People to man the stall, cost of travel, entrance to Ekka and purchase of food & drinks if you don't take your own.
There is one way to eliminate people manning the stall, that is to have a computer (chained down) projecting onto a large screen the BLF web site. i.e. slideshow of images and videos running continuously. Oh! the expense of setting it up ?
Wow after all that it sounds like a lot of hard work and expensive. Saying that, it is a great idea and I'm proud BLF got the invitation.
I'll try to get more info soon.
I could also whip up some kind of one pager for us that could be used on someone else's stall.
I too was chuffed at the invite but put off by the practicalities.
That's a good idea Andy.
I like Kathryn's idea of showcasing the site on a computer. Not keen myself on staffing the stall, having done more than my share of that sort of the thing in a past life, but happy for others to do it if they would enjoy it.
Hi Andy, initially, I thought GREAT!! But after reading everyone's points, I do think it might be tough going. That said, I would definitely offer my time though mine would have to be weekend or the Ekka day as I work full time days. I'm wondering if something like the Garden expo might be more doable (as they are usually only over one weekend) and perhaps more targeted? Some ideas as to what I think we could display if we go ahead with the idea -> photo's of the garden visits, mini-wicking pots with herbs/strawberries along with flyers on proper wicking beds with links to sites and some of our very own set ups, you could bring your quails and eggs to display, I could bring some of the chickens with blue aracauna eggs, I could bring some honey comb, pictures of the hive and do a little flyer about how I harvest the top bar hive honey and where to get them from, some people could donate for the week their fruit trees in pots and we could ask Dianne if we could borrow her pretty herb pots with the labels and maybe show how to make the labels, perhaps we could also do some demonstrations on preparing jams, pickles or cheeses (you for that one :) Anyway, that's my two cents worth.
Sounds like very sensible suggestions, Susan. Unless it happens that the invitation was for a 1 day stand at the Ekka … but if it is for the whole duration, a project too far imho.
A 1-day or 2-day Garden show is far more likely to be 'doable' since it takes far less resources to mount it. We would need plenty of 'staff' though coz they will be answering questions ALL day if the Frog Days that I had a bit to do with are anything to go by.
I wonder though if we could handle the resulting increase in membership. Onsite of course, that's no problem. The challenge is the GVs and accommodating 20 and up people for 2 hours in a suburban backyard.
Well actually Elaine online is a problem as it adds to the cost of maintaining the site (I believe). So perhaps we need to do some serious site administration clean-up before jumping into a possible membership recruitment activity. Also, based on my short experience on BLF I think only a fraction of new members go to GVs so I'm not sure if your worries will be realised. Of course as this hasn't been tried before I could be completely wrong.
We cannot say what will or will not work until we give it a whirl. Not necessarily recruiting for membership as such, but there probably will be lots of people wanting to know how to join. I don't know about the cost of running the site, so far the ads have paid for it but I am not privy to the details of what we pay or why.