Sunday, February 21, 2010

Baby + Kids Extravaganza (and Discotheque)

Yesterday, Geoff + I decided to take Briony to go check out the Baby + Kids Show here in Winnipeg. Since then, I've been trying to figure out what I would say about it. I'm still not entirely sure, because I'm processing it from both a marketing perspective and a mommy perspective.

But here's a collection of related thoughts, in no particular order...

There were lots of babies there. And kids. And parents. It was hilarious to me to be standing in a looong line to get in, surrounded by exactly Those Parents who would usually be making some kind of huge fuss about being forced to wait in line with small children... But this time, EVERYONE in the line had small children. And so they were forced to suffer, sans special treatment. It was pretty funny.

There were lots of financial companies giving away random toys and branded backpacks, but only one with a draw to give away an RESP. I thought that was super weird, because that prize seemed pretty obvious to me. I seriously don't want a backpack with your company's name on it. Seriously, seriously not. But I'm all over winning a boost toward our savings for Briony's future education.

There were lots of booths for cloth diapers, fabric baby slings, and ribbon pacifier clips and barrettes. But they were not as good as Kari-Ann's stuff, and no one was offering anything more than that. That was a small hint for next year :)

There were lots of things missing. Obviously, a good portion of the booths were set up for people who were expecting or people with very small babies. But there were so many things - particularly for toddlers - that were just simply overlooked. Where was the City of Winnipeg promoting all their Leisure Guide programs? Where were the myriad businesses that offer pre- and post-natal fitness? There were a few, but not many. Where were all the toddler music and dance and gymnastic programs? Again, seriously underrepresented. Where were the book stores with all their parenting and kids' books on display (with a family reading corner), or the music stores with all their kids' CDs that parents aren't sick of yet, or the malls promoting some kind of mallwalking programs for moms with kids in strollers? And one (kind of lame) keynote speaker? Really? SIGH.

There were lots of local baby stores set up, which probably would have been more interesting to someone who doesn't regularly stop by to see what's new. Or if they had done something more original with their spaces than just recreating a small representation of their store in a booth. Or if they had shown any imagination at all.

Which brings us to our almost-final point. There were lots of non-ideas there. It was pitiful, actually. It's a show all about BABIES and KIDS. So freaking have some fun. Come up with something unique and a little bit crazy. At least TRY to get my attention (or Briony's).

Overall, contrary to what this review probably suggests, it wasn't a waste of time. I came away with a few new things to check out and got a few questions answered by visiting some of the booths. But it certainly didn't rock my world.

We were just finishing up our tour when I hit two booths in five minutes where middle-aged women either congratulated me on Baby #2. That pretty much brought the fun and games to a SCREECHING HALT. I mean, seriously... WHY. I've been trying to shake it off ever since, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't burst into tears almost immediately. Well, immediately after I did everything in my power to try to make sure the offender didn't feel bad about what she said. Again, WHY.

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At February 21, 2010 8:28 PM, Blogger Allison Friesen said...

We were there yesterday too. I found much of the information completely useless and/or geared only towards expectant parents. The children's area was really geared towards older children (like 3+) and babies aged 6-12 months. There wasn't really much for Carter to do. Though, he was thrilled to get his free fireman hat. I did really enjoy talking to the "Sling Sisters" and the women at AMP Diapers. So I got what I wanted out of it, but I don't know if I'd go back.

SIdenote: Carter was so thrilled with his fireman hat that he insisted on wearing it to Church today!

At February 22, 2010 3:46 PM, Blogger Nikki + Shane said...

Ooh this makes me think that perhaps my girlfriend who is a personal trainer should be there next year!

At February 22, 2010 11:14 PM, Blogger ka said...

I almost came in out of curiosity. Then my daughter pooped on the potty Saturday morning and I opted to stay home and see if we were onto something. Judging from your synposis, I'd say my decision was probably sound.

Oh, and thanks for the kind words review of the website stuff. There are WAY too many people making poor quality soother clips and charging WAY too much for them. But that's a rant for another day.

At February 23, 2010 3:57 PM, Blogger Lindsay said...

Allison - I'm not surprised that you had the same experience. There was a major gap between pregnancy stuff and 'big kid' stuff that really frustrated me.

Nicole - That's a great idea! I hate how there are tons of postnatal programs for moms with babies who aren't mobile yet, but almost nothing for after that (when we actually have the time and energy to start THINKING about getting back into shape).

KA - Yup. It's funny, because after using and loving your stuff, everything else looks like CRAP to me. And the things I've bought because they were 'good enough' have been such a massive disappointment and sense of frustration to me.


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