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Chch debrief

Posted: Sun May 03, 2009 9:37 pm
by Kaz
So where do we start, any thoughts?

I'm off to bed will add more tomorrow :wink:

I'm back :D

We had approx 50 people through the door over a 3hr time frame, not very many at all.

I liked the layout and the extra rooms. Not a lot of potential walk-in traffic. Nice big carpark. Only problem really is that it didn't have easy pram access.

If DIY was just a display a table in the main hall would be fine. I think there would have been too much background noise for people to talk had it been in the main hall. Although most people were told as they came in that the DIY was in the other room. Really nice setup and lots of things to look at - possibly too much? Is it worth having the display like previous years and being in the central area and focussing on getting people to the workshop? Is it worth having the main focus of advertising on a workshop being held and therefore people come a little more prepared to have-a-go/ ask questions etc?

This is the first time we have paid for advertising. I think one of the main problems was Tots to Teens didn't publish the event (not sure why as it was in before the deadline). I think the advertising needs to be split into 3 categories: radio, print, posters/help agencies etc.
I think we also need a budget for advertising and a priority list on how it is spent. Would printed flyers in Midwives waiting areas be a better use of money?

I think we lacked IRL meetings, it is something that is difficult to accomodate but extremely important. I think meetings help to assertain whose responsibility each area of advertising, communication etc is. It also helps to gauge interest from helpers and hopefully spread the load.

We need to have a predetermined budget. We need to know all the likely outgoings at the beginning so we don't end up chasing money and getting stressed about it.

Afternoon tea
Nice idea, but I don't think it served any real purpose for capturing or retaining people. It was great for the helpers though. I personally wouldn't bother doing it again. Maybe have some water available for the preggy ladies :)

Preloved nappies
Worked out quite well and needs at least one dedicated person to run it. Would be worth leaving on the list of things to do.

Lack of momentum and cohesion. My fault really for not holding a meeting or 2. Ideas that came up in the last week should have been discussed at least a month earlier. Things that had been discussed (and my fault again) at nappicinos not being transferred to the forum and then coming back at the last minute. (Preloved table in particular, had been deemed outside the number of volunteers and had been shelved. Fortunately Laura took it on and low numbers meant we weren't as stretched as in previous years.) A list of help agencies/midwives needs to be put together ahead of time so we can give them plenty of notice.

Advertising was left a little late in most instances. Not sure if it is worthwhile putting ads in the newspapers. Some of the advetising that was expected also didn't happen eg Tots to Teens and Family times(don't have a community section anymore) - These have both happened in previous years.

Retailers: We had a few pull out at the last minute and one not turn up - what can we do about this? Do we take a non-refundable deposit?

It wasn't as successful as previous years. Advertising or even the weather could have played a part in this. Our most successful events have been at the Riccarton Library (is this a location thing?) Lyttelton felt busy, but most of that was due to the guerilla marketing happening down the road. Without that I feel we would have had a similar turnout to this year. Do we want to do that again?

After this event I think there was very little gain for the amount of effort put in. It is nice to see the numbers who have signed up for the sewing workshop. Was it around 4 for the 24th and 3 for later?

Hall hire is another consideration. Do we want to utilise free spaces available and be non comercial - with no selling. How much is reasonable for hall hire? Last year it was $60 and this year $50 (which we only just managed to pay for from retailer fees)

Are people more aware/educated about cloth nappies? Is a Nappy Expo the way to go or do we have a larger Baby Expo with a cloth nappy focus? That way we get people in the door and then convert them :wink:

Still processing will come back later if needed :roll:

Posted: Mon May 04, 2009 8:12 am
by Dunners
Did anyone spark up conversations and find out how the people found out about the Expo?

There were STACKS of preggy women - by the sound of it some of them all went to the same homebirthing antenatal class, and due in the next month (so some of them despite being keen for the sew-a-pocket class decided to sign up for the "interest" list instead of that class). (Yay HB antenatal, thanks!).

Given the number of pregnant women, I think we should do a huge MW/antenatal drive next time. Hopefully we'll be able to track down email addresses and send out a bulk email with poster attached to make our jobs easier.

I also think that we should be firing up our advertising a month or so in advance. Although contact was made with the Budgetting places, etc, I suspect that a bit more warning would be more useful to them too.

I thought about Pregnancy Help on Friday night - a bit too late to do anything about it.

Ads were in the Star & The Press as requested, not sure how effective they were, but at least we tried (we can't sit back and wish we'd tried ;))

With regards to foot traffic, I wonder if the venue was a bit hidden away? It was a bit further up Harewood Road than I pictured in my mind, so I suspect we didn't get much (if any) foot traffic from the shops. It seemed like there was more foot traffic at our Lyttelton one (RNW '08) with the benefit of the markets up the road (and the fringe locals ;)) The facilities were fantastic. We would have happily have used more space for the DIY stuff, but we coped fine. There probably was room for us in the main hall (I suspect a few people dare not venture into a small room with a small group of women chatty incessantly :oops: , whereas in the main hall it may have been less threatening?)

Preloved nappies
$25 made for TNN ($15 commission, $10 for a nappy). I've come home with lots still, not sure what I'll do with them (probably store them away until next time :lol: ) Thanks Laura for running that all for us, and sorting it out so efficiently!

DIY stuff
The classes were of interest, and I have some very keen participants signed up. Some interested were due the class date, so they are on the "next class" list. There were lots of questions, I think we managed to convince everyone they could make them ;) Seeing the snap press in action was a bonus. I had a fun afternoon, so thanks ladies for a great time.

Thanks for the lovely baking too, that was a really special touch!

That's it from me for now. Comments from others?

Posted: Mon May 04, 2009 9:24 am
by karmiec
I'll put my offical TNN hat on for a brief moment.

Firstly you had ads in the paper! Well done!! (the quotes we got in auckland were :shock: )

If there is any feedback / discussion you don't want to have on the public board I'm interested to hear it.

And what help do you need from TNN ?

Posted: Mon May 04, 2009 9:42 am
by Goldilocks
I thought the church was such a great size!It's a shame we didn't set up the diy in the main area as I think there would have been plenty of room for us. We were a bit too separate from everything, people either didn't know we were in the side room, or felt shy to come in unfortunately!

Had fun though! :D

Posted: Mon May 04, 2009 12:22 pm
by kryddle
i think the location needed probably a bit more signage to entice people from Papanui road. We put up 4 signs but I'm not sure if people in cars would have seen them. I also found the hall was tucked around the back of the church and maybe we should have had signs directing people where to come?

At the front door most people seemed keen to learn to sew a nappy so we tried to send them through to the DIY room... hope they went in :D

I'm thinking next time a venue that is on one of the busier roads may be better? Also maybe advertising in baby factory etc?

Posted: Mon May 04, 2009 12:22 pm
by kryddle
double post :oops:

Posted: Mon May 04, 2009 12:49 pm
by Amethyst
From the noise POV, I think the DIY is better off being somewhere seperate as if all the machines were going it could have hampered conversation :)
Kaz was trying to rally people to help organise in early Feb, but I think for some people that was a bit too far in advance to be of any interest.
I didn't ask anyone how they heard about the event.

It was an awesome size, great facilities, good parking, pity more retailers couldn't make it.

Attendance was poor, although those that did come seemed quite interested. I think we definitely need to look at being somewhere much more visible next year. Kaz and I were talking about it while she was here earlier so I'll let her fill in the blanks :).

Posted: Mon May 04, 2009 1:10 pm
by macca
I believe location and advertising are the keys.

Location wasn't the best. Needed to be on the main road somewhere - I could have suggested our Church if I had known where this one was - as ours is right on Main North Road. :roll: Maybe next year.
The advertising needs to be a bit bolder - the stuff out on the street was not easy to see - also maybe need to think about big signs around town a few weeks in advance to warn people. There were not very many retailers which was a shame and I think maybe more stock was needed. Should also be a good place to pick up some specials if we are trying to encourage people into cloth nappies. Maybe more signage and advertising is needed on the stalls with what the specials are etc.
The DIY display was in a good place - I agree with the noise level in the main part as it would also be quite echoey ( don't know if that's a word but just made it up :lol: ) Maybe it just needed to be signposted better. Also maybe needed to be better set up with a table across the length of the room that clearly had the steps happening in order - as when I came in found it difficult to know where I was supposed to be standing and what I was needing to look at --IYKWIM

will think some more.

Posted: Mon May 04, 2009 1:18 pm
by Kaz
Just to add on to what I put earlier :roll:

Not many posters were printed and put up as I only had 6 people ask for the PDF. Did anyone else send it out?

I'm not sure we need signs on the road directing people. If the location is good people should be able to find it :wink: I agree that it would be good to have signs up around town before the event, but we would need to find out how much that would cost.

Posted: Mon May 04, 2009 1:19 pm
by gabes
Dunners wrote:
Given the number of pregnant women, I think we should do a huge MW/antenatal drive next time. Hopefully we'll be able to track down email addresses and send out a bulk email with poster attached to make our jobs easier.

I also think that we should be firing up our advertising a month or so in advance. Although contact was made with the Budgetting places, etc, I suspect that a bit more warning would be more useful to them too.

I thought about Pregnancy Help on Friday night - a bit too late to do anything about it.

2 of the pregnant mums were bookings from my hire kits (as I emailed everyone I had bookings from.)

re - advertising. A bigger budget would allow us to put ads in the weekends before. Its a pity it costs so much

LISA - I would like to see TNN Inc have a budget for RNW for allocation to centres so we can budget for advertising and etc costs

Generally in respect to advertising I did feel like it was just a couple of people doing everything. Leanne/Kaz and I did the print ads (which were also paid for with our own money). Did anyone ring the 2 remaining radio stations? Because it was the same people ringing the other radio stations too. Did someone contact The Mail? Perhaps the person who already had been in contact with them could have done that? I think advertising is hte key to making these events work and get people in the door. I definitely think next year it needs to be done earlier but you will probably find no one volunteers to do it, it gets left to the last minute and then the same few people try to do their best with what ever time they have left - and this year it was a bit of rushed job the week before. More advertising is great, but it does need people to do it and help out.

THank you to everyone who put up posters (especially those people who couldnt come on the day but helped spread the word)

The signs down Papanui Rd looked good so thanks for the people that helped with that. It would be so good to have a permanent sign for ChCh TNN we could bring to these sorts of events each time.

Posted: Mon May 04, 2009 1:22 pm
by Amethyst
Did anyone send out a press release to try to get a story out for it, or was it just contact for advertising. (Why on earth didn't I think of that earlier?? :roll: )

Posted: Mon May 04, 2009 1:30 pm
by rootoo
I think the table with the different kinds of nappies could be better organised, along the lines of each type set up with all the bits you need and a sign with pros and cons:
ie: AIO, nothing else needed, pros: easy to use,cons: drying time
pocket, insert, pros:fast drying (depending on insert) etc etc etc
as I felt that me and Krystle were going through this with people over and over (and we didn't even have that many people!). Then maybe people could look through that and then ask us their questions, rather than us trying to explain everything at once and probably just confusing them!

Maybe also a big sign (like a2 kinda size) with the myths/reality of cloth nappies? One lady was going to use cloth, but was leaning towards fitteds and covers over pockets as she read somewhere that pockets MUST be washed in hot water. But then that same lady was going to put all her nappies in the dryer rather than in front of fire or heatpump cos she 'wasn't turning her house into a chinese laundry'....

More signs, and easier to read signs would be good, or having a venue that was on a main road and easy to find. This venue was great with the seperate rooms etc, but whilst I found the church easily, the hall being tucked away right at the back was a little tricky.

Press ad was great :) I also thought of pregnancy help at the last minute :lol:

Baking was a really nice touch I think, and also the free door/spot prizes.

Just an idea but maybe next year they get a spot prize ticket in exchange for doing a very short survey along the lines of:
How did you hear about the expo?
How many babies they have in cloth, and if they already use cloth or are definately going to or just considering it?
Only needs to be a few questions, nothing personal etc, but to give us a better idea of where we should concentrate advertising etc, and how into cloth the attendees are for future expos?

And in hind sight I should probably have been taking a tally on numbers at the door :oops: I was away hanging signs on Papanui Rd at 1, so things got a little bit messed up at the door and with prizes etc, so I'm sorry about that. Going by spot prize tickets though, we had around 30 people, give or take 10 or so :lol: (and then do count each person or each 'group' is husband/wife, or mother/daughter?)

Ok I'll shut up now :wink:

Posted: Mon May 04, 2009 1:44 pm
by Kaz
Having the nappy samples on the table to help inititate conversation and to point out the differences was the intend. Most people don't stop to read the information, so I didn't put it out. Plus it adds a personal touch :D It is easier to address misconceptions during the course of a conversation as people tend not to ask stupid questions but will make stupid comments :lol: Also very hard to make enough posters to cover ever misconception about cloth :smt005

The TNN brochure you were handing out has a run down of nappy types and covers a few of the misconceptions and pros/cons of cloth :wink: Hopefully people will read it and get a better understanding or come here for more info.

We do have posters with some of the myths/ realities of using cloth - it came down to me being a bit disorganised and not having anything to stick them up with. - mental note to self to get blutack.

We have done survey forms in the past with very little consequence for the very little information gleened they are a PITA to organise and collate (or maybe I should have delegated)

Posted: Mon May 04, 2009 1:51 pm
by gabes
Volunteers - thank you to everyone who came along. I thought we had a good number of helpers and floaters ;) Also thank you to Nicky who couldnt be there but gave me a whole lot of stuff to bring along.

Laura please thank your Mum for helping us, it was great to have someone looking after the food stuff. (which was great for the volunteers yes but maybe we flag it int he future, most people pop in and out within 30 mins so its probably just another thing to organise we could do without)

Venue - I thought the hall itself was good, especially liked the offshoot rooms for DIY/kids/severy. Good parking. Location wise, not so sure, I would have thought we might have got some people coming off Papanui Rd however the hall being tucked away round the back may not have helped. Maybe we need to think about somewhere really prominent for next year. Somewhere with foot traffic we can have people outside with flyers etc

You might remember we booked the hall in February because it was going to be free. Then a week before we find its $10/hr. I have no issue at all with paying a hire fee but I do think finding out the week before the event is pretty poor communication. Especially as we ended up with less retailers = less income. I know TNN Inc is now paying Leanne and I back for the advertising however its more the principle of the matter. If its going to cost we need to know from the outset - we could have looked for another actually free venue, or we could have done fundraising or whatever beforehand, organised a raffle etc to cover this cost.
I was also disappointed there werent more retailers, again they were contacted (and recontacted) in Feb - I would have thought 3 or so months is enough time to get organised.

I know I sound all bitchy and moany, I actually thought it went quite well and the people we had there seemed interested and keen so while the numbers were pretty low I do think we had the right people there, kwim.

I did feel quite frustrated with the organisational side of things , hence my grumbling now, I agree Karen, IRL meetings might have ironed out some of the issues earlier. Cant expect everyone to be on the forum 24/7 but basic courtesy answering questions would have been good.
There were times when I felt like I was talking to myself. If someone asks for feedback please post yes /no / whatever not just nod at your computer screen ;)

I don't know about everyone else but I personally think maybe moving on from a nappy expo might be good for next year

Posted: Mon May 04, 2009 3:13 pm
by macca
I think you are right gabes that there needed to be more IRL meetings and more people to do the work - I am gutted that I couldn't have helped as I really enjoyed doing the Timaru one last year -and I sort of kept my nose out of things because I felt like I couldn't help. Perhaps next year we start in Feb and start with meetings then to get things sorted. The more time people have the better we can organise things too. [/img]