Now, I'm not usually an expo kind of girl but honestly after going to the show on Sunday 4 May at the Melbourne Showgrounds, I was incredibly impressed with the thorough, professional, super interesting and 'something for everyone' event they put together.
Arriving at the venue on a very rainy Melbourne Sunday, we took a ride on a covered golf cart, whose driver was taking attendees from the car park right to the door of the expo, providing support for people with limited mobility or for those poor suckers with no umbrella - like me!
Once inside, we went straight for our favourite component of any large scale event - the food! The outdoor section of the event hosted row upon row of local fresh food producers serving their scrumptious samples. Hearty beef stroganoff, divine cheeses of all sorts, smoothly flavoured olive oils - it was a foodie's paradise. There was also plenty of food to purchase should your appetite grow as a result of those sample teasers.
Then came the delightful Dr Harry Cooper doing a live presentation on the outdoor stage. Far more lovely and charismatic than expected, Dr Harry knows how to draw a crowd - there was not a seat to spare to watch his presentation.
Once back inside, we noticed how well spaced out the whole venue and display booths were. It was absolutely teeming with people but there wasn't a moment it felt too cramped or difficult to manouvre around.
The range of booths was hugely impressive. To name just a few, I remember seeing displays for gardening products, photography, indoor and outdoor decor, picture framing, vacuum and carpet cleaners, gutter cleaning, candles, household disinfectants, bonding foam, caravans, pet food, tools, pots and pans, watches, beds, bedding, cutting boards, kitchen utensils, clothing, spices, tote bags, garden furniture, loans and financial services, lighting, natural health products and construction training companies.
We wanted to check out every booth so there wasn't a row we missed. I really liked how the organisers put booths side by side that were completely different types of displays, so all vendors were exposed to the same amount of traffic. Picture framing booths were next to gutter cleaning booths. Tool demonstrations were beside the cutting board display. I thought it was a great way to spark interest amongst attendees in all there was on offer, covering a huge range of products.
The expo presented products that can't be purchased in stores, demonstrating them (ie power tools, cooking equipment etc) wherever possible. If you were in the mood for a spot of shopping, you could well and truly get your fix with all the goodies for sale. Dozens of people walked out the doors with big bags and big smiles.
Knowing full well just how many people were there to see their favourite Better Homes and Garden stars in the flesh, the show put on a packed day of demonstrations with the whole crew:
Tara Dennis and Rob Palmer hosted the DIY and decor workshops;
Karen Martini and Fast Ed presented the cooking demonstrations;
Graham Ross and Jason Hodges hosted the gardening workshops;
Pet demos featured Dr Harry;
There were also 'Meet the Team' photo and signing opportunities, as well as craft and 'make and take' workshops.