Podcast Episode 011: Baby Shows
They are big and can take you all day to see everything but the girls have some tips on how the spend your time at a baby show.
Transcript: Baby Shows
Andrew: How are you Vicki?
Vicki: I’m good Andrew, and how are you?
Andrew: Excellent. How are you Vashti?
Vashti: Oh wonderful, thanks Andrew.
Vashti: It’s good to see you again.
Andrew: Yes, it’s been … How long’s it been?
Vicki: About 24 hours. It must be at least.
Andrew: At least 24 hours. That’s right.
Vashti: Oh, no, only 22 actually.
Andrew: 22. Yeah true. Today-
Vicki: It makes [00:00:30] it sound like you’re having an affair with my husband.
Andrew: That’s [crosstalk 00:00:36]. Well, actually, we should say hello to your fan girls.
Vashti: Hailey and Sonya.
Andrew: Hello Hailey and Sonya. Yes.
Vashti: Thank you so much for your help in the shop. That was amazing.
Vicki: Dating this podcast now, aren’t we?
Andrew: That’s right. Yes. Actually, we’re going to date it even further actually, because today I wanted to talk about baby shows, and you guys [00:01:00] just came back from a baby show. By the time this podcast goes to air, you probably would have been back-
Vashti: Two more.
Andrew: … and forth to two more.
Vicki: One or two more.
Andrew: One or two more, yeah.
Vashti: Well, at least one, because we’ve got the Brisbane one coming up.
Vicki: Mm-hmm. And then Adelaide
Vashti: Adelaide’s not until April.
Vashti: Yeah. It’s early April.
Vicki: It’s early April.
Vashti: Okay. Yeah, this might come in-
Andrew: Yeah, because this podcast goes out-
Vicki: Yeah, she might be-
Andrew: … 15th of April. Yeah.
Vicki: … in Adelaide.
Vashti: Yeah, there you go.
Andrew: I’ve dated it now. We’ve definitely got to release it on the 15th of April.
Vicki: [00:01:30] Today is the first day of autumn.
Vashti: See, this is how long it takes us to do all … Takes Andrew to do all the editing and stuff like that, because we stuff around so much chatting.
Andrew: That’s right. We sat down to record this podcast over an hour ago, and we’re just getting to it now.
It’s an off the subject topic. It’s not directly related to cloth nappies, but I thought it might help everybody if we spoke about baby shows. [00:02:00] What can you expect when you go to a baby show?
Vicki: A lot of crap that you actually don’t need.
Vashti: It’s very consumerist.
Vicki: It’s very, very, yeah.
Vashti: There’s a lot of company will sit there and say you need this and you need that and you need this special, round weighted bucket to bathe your baby in and a special towel that does up behind your neck to dry your baby. You need these sleeping aids, and these clothes and …
Vicki: It’s heavily marketed to first time parents.
Vicki: Who [00:02:30] well, just don’t know. You don’t know what you don’t know. It’s really funny when you go after you’ve had a child, and you go around a baby expo. Well, I’ve had three, so I go around a baby expo and go, “Yeah, don’t need that, that, that, or that.”
Vashti: All, you actually need, and I had a customer today in the shop telling me this, all she needs for her little one that’s due in a couple of weeks is somewhere for the baby to sleep, some nappies, and something for the baby to eat.
Vicki: And a bit of love.
Vashti: Yeah, aw.
Vicki: [00:03:00] That’s it.
Vashti: Yeah, definitely.
Andrew: Can’t buy that.
Vicki: No. And some clothes, although this is Brisbane, so we’ve made-
Vicki: … clothes optional, 38 degrees this afternoon.
Vashti: Was it really?
Andrew: Just put the nappy on, they’re fine.
Vicki: Yeah. Nappy and a singlet.
Andrew: You’re all set. Do you learn anything in the baby show? Because I’ve been to the Bubblebubs stand, and I’ve stood there chatting to people and stuff like that. It’s bit of a madhouse. A lot of people when they walk up to you they’re like, “Ah.”
Vicki: Especially towards the end of the day, they have this really glazed look on their face.
Vashti: It’s information overload.
Vicki: Generally, by the time someone comes to us like that, [00:03:30] we give them a very, very brief rundown and just say, “You know what, take a step back.” Quite often, I’ll … Brisbane expo’s easy, because I can just say, “Oh, go see Vashti in the shop, in a bricks and mortar-
Andrew: I tell you what-
Vicki: … environment.”
Andrew: … when you say that to them, they have this look of relief-
Vicki: They do.
Andrew: … come across their face.
Vicki: They do that they don’t have to make a decision then and there.
Andrew: That’s right.
Vashti: I’m big, especially if it’s a three day expo on day one and day two and just about all the expos [00:04:00] you can get a pass out, so you can go home, look over all the information, and then head back in the next day or send your partner or your parents in or something with a list of what to buy. That gives you that breathing space to think about it. I’m big on telling people to go and sit down and think about it.
Vicki: Because there is this whole, high pressure of, “Oh my god, you’ve got to get it now, because it’s an expo special,” all of this sort of stuff. You can actually see there’s this worry on people’s faces that they’re going [00:04:30] to get it wrong. Really there is no right or wrong. If you do your best, there is no right or wrong.
Andrew: [inaudible 00:04:36] internet connected phones have really helped that, because you talk to them, and they say, yes, we’re wonderful, we’re wonderful, wonderful. They go off-
Vicki: And they google.
Andrew: … and they check online to make sure that I’m telling the truth. They come back, “Yeah, no I also take that.” Check out-
Vicki: I’ve done-
Andrew: … your reviews.
Vicki: that in store myself. I’ll be The Good Guys or something like that, and I’m trying to compare say two toasters or something like that. I fell in love with this beautiful black and rose gold toaster. Remember I sent you the picture [00:05:00] of it in Myers. I’m like, “Oh my god, this toaster is beautiful.” I googled the reviews, and it got like two star reviews. I was like-
Andrew: [crosstalk 00:05:07]-
Vicki: No. I came home with a white one.
Andrew: Came home with a pink one. No, it was pink, wasn’t it?
Vicki: Oh, it was too. The white, oh that’s right. The white one was for the warehouse, because it matches the black and white furniture.
Vashti: Vicki loves pink. If you haven’t noticed.
Vicki: I do.
Vashti: That’s why she normally has pink hair.
Andrew: That’s why you see her pink watch in all of her videos.
What tips would you give someone? Like you’re going to this to see a good cross of all the things that [00:05:30] you’re going to need. Now all of the baby shows, they do limit the number of companies selling the same thing, which is a good thing. You’re never ever going to walk into a baby show that’s got 150 nappy brands. You’re going to get a good mix of all the things that you need. So you’re going to see prams, and I love the fact that when you look at prams, they’ve even got a test track.
Vicki: They do.
Vashti: They do.
Andrew: That you can drive the pram around, go up and down stairs and over the rocky roads. It’s such a good thing. I don’t need prams anymore. I just like to drive the trucks.
They’ve got a [00:06:00] good mix of everything. They limit the number of companies that can go there selling the same things. But what tips would you give to somebody going to a baby show, so they’re not so overwhelmed?
Vashti: Talk to the people on the stand. Doesn’t matter what stand it is. Doesn’t matter what product it is, talk to the people that sell that product. Get the information, see what they say. If there’s several different companies selling a similar product, say with nappies, if there’s several stands, go around and talk to all the nappy companies. [00:06:30] See what they’ve got. Touch and feel their products. Have a play with them, and then go away and look at all of the products side by side, their brochures, their information. Google their reviews. If you have to, go home that night and talk to family about it and come back the next day. Just talk and touch the products and see what the differences are between the different brands.
If like with nappies you can buy a couple or a trial [00:07:00] pack or one or two brands and then take them home and play with them, that’s a great option. If it’s a pram or a car seat or a cot or something like that, well you can’t really buy more than one of those, but definitely have a-
Vicki: I don’t know. My best friend, five, I think, she ended up with prams.
Vicki: Yeah, yeah. She … You think cloth nappy, you can have a cloth nappy add … You can have a pram addiction too.
Vashti: Well, actually I have three, because we had the pram that we bought for [Braith 00:07:28] when he was first born, which was [00:07:30] supposed to be the be all and the end all. As he was coming into toddlering, I bought a stroller, because it was much easier just a little umbrella stroller. Then we fell pregnant with [Michaela 00:07:40], and it was well, Braith was still a baby as well. I ended up with a double pram, which would suit both of them. I could have both of them in a pram. We had three prams.
Vicki: Yeah. We did too. No, we had, sorry … We had two prams, but that was just the pram that we had for Abbi, and then we moved on to the stroller-style, [00:08:00] but that stroller-style … Also we had the teeniest, tiniest little car. We had Andrew’s little, mid-life crisis car. It was a 323 Astina.
Andrew: Yeah, I remember us as a young couple. Buying our first-
Vicki: First pram.
Andrew: … pram, and buying our first baby toy. We get this beautiful pram. It has gears, everything, USB ports, everything a guy wants, and we get it [00:08:30] back to the car-
Vashti: USB ports!
Andrew: We get it back to the car, and it doesn’t fit.
Vashti: Do you know what though? It’s actually not a silly idea having a USB port in your pram. There is-
Vicki: Charge it.
Vashti: … nappy bags these days that have USB ports and battery packs in them and stuff. Which mean that you can charge your phone from it, charge your iPad from it. You can even get a little bottle warmer that you-
Vashti: … can charge the bottle warmer, or you can plug into your nappy bag and warm a bottle in your [00:09:00] nappy bag.
Vicki: Didn’t we just start this podcast saying that expos were incredibly consumeristic?
Vashti: They are.
Vashti: It’s really … These are the sort of things that you can buy at expos.
Andrew: Can you imagine a pram with solar cells on the roof, USB ports in the [inaudible 00:09:19]?
Vicki: Yeah, that would be funny. Yeah, the pram we ended up buying a capsule for Bella, and then the capsule went on the pram. It was just [00:09:30] a stroller, and even though we ended up upgrading cars eventually and getting a family-sized car, the prams got smaller. Because I just wasn’t one of those people that had to have a Bugaboo or something. Don’t get me wrong, they’re beautiful, but it just wasn’t my thing.
Vashti: We ended up-
Vicki: Nappies were my thing.
Vashti: We ended up with phil&teds for Braith and Michaela, but that was because I could buy the toddler seat, and I could have Michaela in the little bassinet area and the toddler seat [00:10:00] on top, so I could have both the kids in there. That was really good.
At that time, we lived in a small country town where I wasn’t driving a lot. I was walking to my friend’s place and walking to the shops. I spent a lot time walking, and I needed a good quality pram.
Vicki: Whereas me, I’m just lazy.
Vicki: Do I have to walk? Really it’s 300 metres. Do I have to walk that far? Which is the exact opposite to what we did in [00:10:30] Melbourne.
Vashti: Oh, the walking we did in Melbourne that was-
Andrew: How was that baby show in Melbourne?
Vashti: It was good.
Vicki: Crazy. It was so busy from dawn to dusk. I’ve never seen an expo that big before.
Andrew: That was just a two-day expo wasn’t it?
Vicki: It was.
Andrew: Some of them are two-day, some of them three-days.
Vashti: The expo runs from 10:00 … Well, the one we just came back from runs from 10:00 until 5:00 Saturday and Sunday. We were a fair way back from the main doors. You normally expect if you’re back from the main doors, you’re not going to get customers through fairly [00:11:00] quickly. We had people on the stand from about quarter past ten all the way through until after five o’clock both days.
Vicki: It didn’t stop. Normally, you get lulls especially three o’clock. You can usually go wee.
Vashti: Vicki and I hardly left the stand all weekend. We didn’t get … Well, Saturday, I didn’t leave the stand at all.
Vicki: Nor did I.
Vashti: Sunday, I think you dashed off for coffee. You got us both coffee, and that would have been after three o’clock on Sunday. Then I dashed off at 4:30 [00:11:30] to use the toilet, because I had no choice.
Andrew: You’re scaring people that want go to a baby show.
Vicki: No. Well, that’s what it’s like to work on the stand. Come Saturday night, we’re back in the hotel, and it’s like, “Vashti don’t say a word to me. Don’t talk to me. I don’t want to talk to anyone. Just leave me alone.” Because you’re just talking constantly.
If you ever have the opportunity to be on a stand, because quite often brands will put a call out to get helpers on the stand, it’s pretty cool though. [00:12:00] It’s pretty cool having somebody come up who has never even considered using cloth, and they walk away 100% confident that yup, they’re going to do cloth nappies, and you’ve converted them over to the dark side. That buzz gets you through the busyness and that sort of thing.
Andrew: Am I right in saying there’s two brands of baby shows?
Andrew: What are the two brands?
Vicki: Two brands that do the major.
Vashti: There’s the Parents, Babies, and Children’s Expo, [00:12:30] and they’ve been operating for over 20 years. They were the first ones here in Australia. They’ve really got it down pat. They’re amazing, and then the Essential Baby & Toddler Show.
Vicki: That’s owned by Fairfax.
Vashti: They’ve been around for 10 years this year.
Vicki: They’ve changed hands a couple of times, but now Fairfax is running it, but it’s a much smoother operation.
Vashti: It is. They’re doing really well, and then you get your little, small like, MommyCons on in Melbourne this weekend.
Vicki: Well, technically it will be a few weeks ago.
Vashti: It will be like several weeks ago. [00:13:00] Casey City Council in Victoria does-
Vicki: Quite often they do them.
Vashti: … they do an eco expo a couple of times a year. That’s just a one-day event. There are other-
Vicki: Regional expos. There’s a Toowoomba expo coming up.
Andrew: There’s a big difference between these expos, and the ones that you go up [inaudible 00:13:20] You do the local ones. I remember the one we did in Buderim. Once we did one in Buderim.
Vicki: That’s markets.
Andrew: Markets? Yeah. That’s just. Yeah. We were [00:13:30] cloth nappies, but then next door you got somebody’s whose making stuff out of paper. Glueing it together and selling it for $50. Somebody on the other side selling something [inaudible 00:13:38] as well.
Vicki: I actually think that was just before … I know the one you’re talking about. Which is quite random, but that was actually just before I fell pregnant with Gabriel. I remember that expo.
Andrew: Just for those listeners at home, she’s just made a symbol that she’s never going to go back there again.
Vashti: You’re coming [00:14:00] up to nearly … Gabriel’s seven this year, isn’t he?
Vicki: Not until the end of the year, the 19th of December.
Vicki: He’s just turned six.
Vashti: Do you know what …
Andrew: The baby is seven-
Vashti: This is actually the right time for you to get what happened to me. You can fall pregnant now, and then you’ve got a seven year gap between kids.
Vicki: Hell, no. Do you know what? You only ever have … Gabriel was our little surprise. He was an anniversary baby. We had fertility treatment to have the girls. We thought, “Oh, [00:14:30] we don’t need contraception.” I tell you what, you only ever have that one surprise baby, because afterwards …
Vashti: No. All three of mine were surprises.
Vicki: If you really don’t want to have a surprise you have a [inaudible 00:14:43]. You have an ablation, and you make your husband get the snip.
Andrew: [crosstalk 00:14:47].
Vicki: I’ll not be falling pregnant any time soon. I’m too old.
Vashti: You know what works as well, abstinence. Abstinence works really well for contraception. We shouldn’t be scaring you like this. No, children are [00:15:00] wonderful.
Andrew: Going to China.
Vashti: Yeah. Children are absolutely wonderful. We adore all of our kids.
Vicki: When they’re not with us.
Vashti: It’s when you’re done, you’re done.
Vicki: You’re done. You know. You know when you’ve finished having kids.
Andrew: There’s two brands, and they’re pretty much … Is there just one in each capital city they do per year, or do they visit a couple of capital cities twice?
Vashti: No. The PBC does a couple of-
Vicki: Melbourne and Sydney [00:15:30] twice.
Vashti: Melbourne and Sydney, they do twice. They do the major one, which is the three days, and then they do a mini one probably halfway through the year.
Andrew: Yeah, that’s something I wanted to ask too. There’s a two-day one and a three-day one. The three-day one, which is the best day to go?
Vashti: It really depends. We normally find Friday.
Vicki: Fridays are certainly the quietest day.
Vashti: Yeah, but Friday is a lot of the time it’s mums-
Vashti: … coming with their mums groups and stuff like that, and then they bring their partners back on the weekend to actually look further into it.
Andrew: On the Saturday and Sunday one, which is the best day?
Andrew: [00:16:00] For both?
Vashti: Yeah. It really … Yeah, there’s no …
Vicki: Look, after … If you want to … I hear so many people saying we’re going to get there at nine o’clock so we beat the crowds. No, that’s the opposite. If you want to beat the crowds or miss the crowds come after lunch, because especially on the weekends when a lot of families are bringing their young toddlers, by lunch time they have had absolutely enough. They tend to be leaving. In the afternoons, it’s usually a lot quieter especially [00:16:30] after 3:00.
Andrew: Is that the toddler or is that the father that’s saying that?
Vicki: Well, six to one half a dozen to the other.
Andrew: Yeah, remember the last baby show I did in Brisbane like walking and walking and walking and still not getting to the front of the line. There were just so many people lined up before it opened. It was amazing.
Vashti: I’ve done shows here in Brisbane-
Vicki: Did I forget to give you a ticket to get in, did I?
Andrew: [inaudible 00:16:52].
Vicki: Oh, okay.
Vashti: But you lined up?
Andrew: No, no. I didn’t line up. I just walked in. Yeah, I saw [inaudible 00:16:58].
Vicki: You saw all of the people lining up.
Andrew: I saw all of the people lining up. It was before …
Vicki: I thought you were [00:17:00] waiting in line.
Andrew: No, no. It was before opening time, and yeah, just walking up.
Vashti: The Brisbane expo … Well, I’ve seen it in other cities as well, but I remember the Brisbane one. because that’s the one I’ve done the most. You look outside the doors just before opening, and there’s people lined up from like eight o’clock in the morning. The doors don’t open until 10:00.
Vicki: You’re not going to miss out. Don’t have any FOMO about missing some special or that sort of stuff. If I was in-
Andrew: [00:17:30] Doesn’t one of them give a little plastic duck away to the first 100 people or something?
Vicki: Really? A plastic duck. Do you know what? I see people line up on the Huggies stand for their … and I mean line up-
Vashti: [crosstalk 00:17:40] S-26-
Vicki: … for their free sample. I think, “Hmm, no, my time’s worth way more than that.” It’s-
Vashti: [crosstalk 00:17:47] At the Brisbane expo last year, because I was there representing GroVia, we were just across the way from the S-26 stand, and S-26 was giving away entire tins of formula.
Vicki: [00:18:00] Wow.
Vashti: Which is actually against the law. They’re not supposed to do that for starters, but, yeah, there was families getting three and four tins for free.
Vicki: Well, yeah, like that I can understand. A little sample sachet that’s a little bit too … enough for one bottle. I wouldn’t-
Andrew: Those tins are expensive. They’re like 20, 25 bucks a can.
Vicki: Yeah, yeah. If I had a formula-fed, I would have lined up for a free tin of formula, but for a free sachet sample, yeah, not so much.
Vashti: Or some nappy or something like that.
Vicki: Yeah, yeah, no, like save [00:18:30] 50 cents by getting a free Huggies nappy.
Vashti: The other thing you’ll find is they have change rooms or parenting rooms. They’ve got all the change tables set up, and they’ve got nice, comfy chair for you to sit in and feed your baby. [inaudible 00:18:43]-
Andrew: Yeah. That was like half of the expo space was used up there.
Vashti: These massive change areas.
Andrew: Never not going to find a place to change your baby at the baby expo.
Vashti: In those change tables, they quite regularly will give you a free disposable nappy and a little sample packet of disposable wipes.
Vicki: Yeah, that’s true.
Andrew: I remember one of the ones that was supported by I think Woolworths, or Kohl? [00:19:00] I think it was Woolworths actually.
Vashti: It was.
Vicki: Yeah, they were giving away the Woollies nappies.
Andrew: Yeah, when you went in to change your baby’s nappy, they’d give you a nappy there [crosstalk 00:19:09]-
Vicki: They gave you food as well, baby … the pouches as well.
Vashti: Yeah, the pouches.
Andrew: Yeah, I didn’t like that taste. Tasted like baby food.
Vashti: I gave [Kylin 00:19:20] one recently, because he came into the shop with me. We’ve got the [inaudible 00:19:24] bags, the sample bags, which has like a parenting magazine and a few samples. He didn’t want any of [00:19:30] the food I’d brought in. I said, “Well, here try this,” and gave him a sample pouch. He took one taste of it and went, “Ew, yuck.” He was spitting it out. I’m like, “Okay.”
Andrew: You should have said, “What did you expect for free?”
Vashti: The joys of three year olds. Do you know another thing I like about the expos though is that they generally have a children’s play area. There’s KinderGym or something like that.
Andrew: No, no, they sell those.
Vashti: Yeah. Well, they do that. They’ll have an area set up that [00:20:00] is Playgroup Australia sets up a little area, so there’ll be play areas for your toddlers all the way around the expo.
Andrew: Yeah, Fisher Paykel have that-
Vicki: On the flip side of that, if you happen to not look at the map properly when you go to book your stand, and you book your stand opposite Peppa Pig, can I tell you by the end of three god damn days of Peppa Pig, you’re ready to slice her up with the bacon.
Vashti: I’ve had some awesome photos taken at expos. [00:20:30] I did a-
Vicki: Big red car, wasn’t it?
Vashti: Yeah, I’ve done the big red car at one of the expos.
Andrew: Yeah, I’ve got a picture taken in the big red car.
Vashti: I got a photo taken with Pinkie Pie at an expo down in Melbourne, and that was the same year I went to Europe, and while we were visiting Stonehenge, Rainbow Dash was there. I got a photo with Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash.
Vicki: Okay, you’re talking about my Little Ponies?
Vicki: Right, okay.
Vashti: Sorry. My Little Pony. Perfect because my daughter at the time was deeply into My Little Pony, so she thought I was [00:21:00] the bees knees getting photos with Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash. I had to go to England to Stonehenge to see Rainbow Dash.
Vicki: Doesn’t beat the guy who you took that photo in China. Do you remember? What was he dressed up … It was for the theatre or something.
Vashti: Yeah, it was traditional Chinese garb. He had the swords and the hair.
Vicki: He looked really good.
Vashti: He looked awesome.
Vicki: Did we see any other …
Vashti: Not really.
Vicki: That might have been the only person dressed up that we saw.
Vashti: That was in Hangzhou when we went out for [00:21:30] wander one night on the weekend.
Vicki: Was right before we had the best pedicure ever.
Vashti: That was the best.
Vicki: It was amazing.
Andrew: Yeah, I think you paid double you should have done.
Vashti: We probably did. You know what? It was worth it.
Andrew: What’s your favourite … I know it’s hard for you guys, because you’re actually there working, but do you guys go to see anything while you’re there? Is there anything you like to [inaudible 00:21:49]-
Vicki: I bought a car seat last when I was-
Andrew: That’s right you did buy a car seat.
Vicki: Yeah. Last Sydney or Melbourne last time. Nuna. [00:22:00] Because I a needed a new booster seat for Gabriel, because his was coming up for 10 years old, because it had been through a couple kids. And yeah, Nuna, a brand that I’d never, ever heard of. It seems to be when they do birth to toddler car seats, but the booster seats everyone seems to not pay much attention to them. Anyway, this Nuna seat was really cool, because it had an adjustable height, but it also had an adjustable seat, so-
Vashti: How nice.
Vicki: … because they get longer. It [00:22:30] still supported underneath his legs, but then also the seat got wider as well, so there’s side bits on … I’ll have to show it to you. It is actually really cool.
Vashti: Well, Kylin’s almost out of his zero to four like the second car seat. We’ve got the six months to eight years one in my car, but the zero to four in [Brett’s 00:22:48] car. He’s nearly out of the zero to four, so we’re going to be up for another car seat soon.
Vicki: Yeah, no. I was just really, really impressed with this one, and I managed to pick it up in Brisbane.
Vashti: Well, [inaudible 00:22:57] at the Brisbane expo, I might have to have a look at car seats.
Vicki: [00:23:00] You do realise they were opposite us last week.
Vashti: Oh, were they?
Vicki: Yeah, that was-
Andrew: Because she didn’t have time to look up.
Vashti: I didn’t look. I honestly did not look. I had these grand plans, because I’m representing GroVia in Brisbane again, I had these grand plans of going over and doing a live video with Cassie and GroVia to promote the expo exclusives that I’m going to have. I didn’t get over there.
Vicki: Didn’t I … See I really chained you to the stand, didn’t I?
Vashti: You did.
Vicki: No, you can’t have lunch a [00:23:30] terrible boss.
Vashti: You whipped me into shape.
Andrew: That’s one of the good things about the expo is all the companies are there. They’re usually … The big companies they get a lot of space like Fisher and Paykel, they get a big space-
Vashti: Fisher and Paykel aren’t actually there these days.
Andrew: Aren’t they there?
Andrew: How many years has it been since I’ve been to one?
Vicki: Fisher and Paykel. Do you mean Fisher-Price?
Andrew: Fisher and Paykel do-
Andrew: Oh, they do fridges.
Vicki: … like life goods and stuff. I was like, huh?
Vashti: Fisher-Price, but even they don’t have stands. They normally [00:24:00] send … They’ve got products with Baby Bunting or something like that. Baby Bunting will have a huge stand.
Vicki: Steelcraft will have a big stand.
Vashti: Steelcraft will have a massive stand.
Vicki: They have cars. Why do they have cars at expos?
Vashti: Because people need to upgrade their cars, and they want to see how a car seat will fit in it.
Andrew: Because they’ve just bought a pram over the other side. They’ve got no space, and it doesn’t fit in their car! [inaudible 00:24:23] buy a car!
Vashti: You can’t actually drive a car out of the expo.
Andrew: No, but I bet [00:24:30] you can pick it up in a few hours, if you play your cards right.
Vashti: They actually have great deals. I know a lot of them will do, if you pre-book your tickets, there will be … Or you pre-register to enter, they will have give-aways. You go into the draw for a give-away. There’s also … You can pretty much, if you pre-register your tickets, you’ll get free tickets, if you book prior to the expo.
Vicki: It’s easier [00:25:00] to then enter the competitions on the stands, because it’s just a QR code. That you scan on each of the stands.
Andrew: That’s right.
Vicki: I give away a $200 nappy pack. Ours went out today. It was an eight pack of Pebbles.
Vashti: How nice.
Vicki: It went to a guy in Melbourne. Yeah, we were in Melbourne. Yeah. We took on Melbourne. [inaudible 00:25:19] was nice.
Andrew: Has he got a baby yet?
Vicki: Oh, no due … I think his due date was like September, or his partner’s due date was September ish.
Andrew: Wow, that’s not that far [00:25:30] away.
Vicki: No, it’s really not.
Vashti: Can you believe we’re in March for when this airs we’ll be in April?
Vicki: Oh, will we?
Andrew: Yeah. This is April’s episode.
Vicki: This is April.
Andrew: Because [inaudible 00:25:38]. It’s got to be April’s episode. We may have to quickly do an episode before then.
Any tips you’ve got?
Vashti: I think, as I said, talk.
Andrew: Don’t worry about getting there early.
Vicki: I’d get there late-
Andrew: Get there-
Vicki: … in the afternoon, after lunch.
Andrew: Yeah, because everybody just goes for … and also the car [inaudible 00:25:59] the last [00:26:00] one that I went to was at Brisbane Convention Centre.
Vashti: Oh, the car parks are chockers.
Andrew: Well, the car park was chockers not just because of the baby expo, but they had the boat show next door, so you know? Easy way to get your husband out of the house. Well, you can go to the boat show before we finish the baby expo. That was a strike of genius that one. Yeah, car parks fill up pretty quickly. Yeah, go after lunch. You pretty much get straight in.
Vicki: I’m sure … I only really know Brisbane, and the train station is right on South Bank anyway. It’s not far from the convention [00:26:30] centre.
Vashti: Look all-
Vicki: They all have public transports.
Vashti: … of the expos have easy public transport access. I think Perth is probably the only one, because it’s out at the showgrounds, but I’m pretty sure that Perth locals would work out the public transport there. There’s heaps of parking at the Perth. There’s no chance-
Vicki: Parking always costs so much too.
Vashti: No, the Perth one doesn’t. It’s free parking at the Perth one.
Vicki: Oh, nice. Well-
Vashti: Well, at least it was.
Vicki: … I know at Homebush, Sydney like it’s just insane like $60 for the day.
Vashti: [00:27:00] Yeah.
Vicki: Which is better to Uber it.
Vashti: Yeah, look I honestly think that-
Andrew: Or Lyft. Let’s be fair. Mention the other brands as well.
Andrew: Shebah, yeah, that’s right.
Vashti: Are there other rideshares?
Vicki: Yeah, absolutely.
Andrew: Well, because-
Vicki: Shebah is for women.
Vashti: Oh, yes I did hear of that one.
Vicki: I have a friend who drives for Shebah and for Uber, and she prefers Shebah, because well, women drivers don’t necessarily feel safe doing night time.
Vashti: Males [crosstalk 00:27:28].
Vicki: It’s vice versa too, [00:27:30] like somebody who’s been out drinking all night like a women is going to feel a little bit safer.
Vashti: It’s interesting the way society works like that.
Vicki: I wouldn’t want to be a man. What’s it like to be a man, Andrew?
Andrew: I’m sorry, I can’t give you an answer to that.
Vicki: You have nothing to compare it.
Andrew: Yeah, that’s right, I have not tried it out. I’ve got a friend who’s trying it out, but I personally have not tried it out.
Vashti: We’ll have to ask that friend what they think.
Vicki: I think she prefers being [00:28:00] a woman.
Vicki: She does.
Vashti: I honestly think you’re best tips are to take it slow. Don’t rush.
Vicki: Don’t feel pressured.
Vashti: Don’t feel pressured.
Vicki: Just don’t fall for it. It is a sales-thing. It’s actually … The one thing I try not to do on the stand in particular is sell to sell. I’d rather give the information and let somebody make the right decision for them, because I can’t tell somebody what [00:28:30] solution to use. Also because I sell a premium product too, I can’t expect everybody to be able to afford a premium product.
Andrew: You basically do it for awareness?
Vicki: Yeah, there’s a … Well, this is where it comes down to the ANA stuff. Half my job is advocacy, and I think if you advocate for cloth … It’s about empowering. If you empower someone to be able to make the right decision by giving them all the information that they need, they’re going to have a more successful [00:29:00] cloth journey. Rather than me just trying to sell them the product and pigeonhole them, and say, “This product’s going to fit into your lifestyle.” Because I’ve only got a finite range of products, and I don’t think for a second that my products are perfect for everybody.
Vashti: I think that’s the big thing about expos. It is about empowerment.
Vashti: If you have the information, you are empowered to make the decision that is right for you and your family.
Vicki: [00:29:30] Yeah, because you’re the only one who can actually know. That’s the way I approach it. Whether others approach it like that well, I don’t know. That’s how I like to.
Vashti: That’s why Vicki and I get along so well, because we approach it the-
Vicki: It’s business ethics, isn’t it?
Vashti: … same way.
Andrew: Because it’s like, as I said before, they do limit the number of companies selling the same thing, but there’s still like six other cloth nappy brands in there, isn’t there?
Vicki: Well, of course, of course.
Vashti: I know at the height when I used to be the [00:30:00] expo coordinator for Itty at the height of the cloth nappy in the expo world, we had up to 16 cloth nappy brands.
Vashti: There were 16-
Vicki: Holy dooley.
Vashti: … at one expo.
Vicki: That’s insane.
Vashti: The expo coordinator actually turned around and said, “No, that’s it.” A cloth nappy company [inaudible 00:30:20], “Well no, you’re restricting my ability to sell, and now we’re going to take them for fair trading.” Because there was nothing in the expo coordinator’s policy [00:30:30] about restricting-
Vicki: Yeah, limiting it.
Vashti: … limiting brands or limiting products-
Vicki: It’s the same with photography. They had the same limitations with photography.
Andrew: Every corner has got a photography place when you’re walking around at an expo.
Vashti: Yeah, no. They’re very cautious. They’ve changed all of their policies now in regards to it, so that they do have policies in place to restrict the number of companies in that category or that product category.
Vicki: Well, all that would do is confuse [00:31:00] people. They end up going, “Oh my god, this is too hard. I’m just going to use disposables.” We see that so often, don’t we?
Vashti: That’s what we found at the height there. It was it got too confusing for people, and they really didn’t know what the difference was between one brand or another.
Andrew: That’s what the ANA was invented for though, wasn’t it?
Vashti: It was.
Andrew: It was to bring everything in line, and take all the information that was out there and put it all in one spot and make just all the good information [00:31:30] in one spot just to make it simpler so everybody’s not out there trying to reinvent the wheel every time they make a new-
Vicki: That’s why we try to make this as unbranded as possible. We can give you the information that you need to be able to make a decision rather than … Because not everybody has the opportunity to go to an expo or go to a real life bricks and mortar store, so you’re relying on images and text on a web page.
If you don’t know what the difference between bamboo and bamboo charcoal [00:32:00] is, and you go, “Oh my god, this is a $5 insert, and this is a $15 insert, but they’re both bamboo.” You’re just going to go … Anybody would just go with the cheaper one. But if we … In previous episodes, we’ve gone over bamboo and charcoal a couple of times. We give you that information. Well, then you can compare apples with apples.
That’s what you can really do at expos. Is when you’re touching and feeling, you can see the difference between a $10 nappy, a $15 nappy, a $30 nappy [00:32:30] just by touching and feeling. It becomes very, very clear.
Andrew: Yeah, because on a web page, they all look the same.
Vicki: Oh, they’re all photoshopped, and they look pretty. That’s the whole idea of an online store is that it’s there to sell. You want your images to be beautiful, and you want your product description to sound as wonderful as possible.
Andrew: I’ve had that on the stand too when somebody comes up to me and says, “Why’s that one so much more expensive.” “Feel it.” They go, “Okay, yeah I get it.”
Vicki: Yeah, yeah.
Andrew: [00:33:00] That’s the advantage of having a baby show. You’ve got all the different brands there of different, not just nappy brands, but all of pram brands and lots of stuff. Keep in mind though, because they do limit you, that doesn’t mean that the expo has-
Vicki: All the brands.
Andrew: … all the brands. It only has the brands that were able to pay the sometimes exorbitant fee to actually be there. Sometimes you’re just seeing the rich brands.
Vashti: [crosstalk 00:33:24].
Vicki: Or the bigger brands any way.
Vashti: I mean there are companies like Baby Bunting, who is a big box [00:33:30] baby store that will take several brands with them. They won’t just limit themselves to one or two brands. They will try and give a good cross-section of all of the brands that they stock. There’s a few companies like that.
Vicki: That’s the advantage of … Well, like you’re own retail store. Where you’ve got 20 brands see. Quite often, I’ll get customers come to me and say, “I want … ” Okay, let’s say someone came to me and said, “I want a pocket.” Well, I can’t help you with that, or they want [00:34:00] a small fitting newborn cover. Well, I don’t have one. Sure, I can sell my newborn cover, but you’re not going to be happy. I’ll send them off to one of my retailers, or a business that I have confidence is going to service the customer and actually give them what they want, not just what I have to sell them.
Vashti: I still do that as well. Even though I sell a range of different products, if somebody asks for something that I don’t stock, then I will send them to one of my competitors.
Andrew: It’s difficult for you to keep everything in stock [00:34:30] though, isn’t it?
Vashti: It is. I have to be very particular about the brands that I stock. They have to do the job that I want them to do. They have to suit a broad cross-section, and they also have to fit with my ethics. I’m very particular about the brands that I stock that they are ethically produced and-
Vicki: Your business ethics, we have this conversation all the time. My god, ethics getting in the way of business.
Vashti: My ethics are really, really crappy. No, [00:35:00] they’re not crappy. They’re really, really good, but as far as business-wise, they’re crappy.
Andrew: One thing that I do remember too is that one of the baby shows we went to they had a green aisle, was it called a green aisle?
Vicki: Yeah, yeah.
Andrew: Eco-friendly aisle, yeah. Where they had this terrible green grass at the front of all the stands that you couldn’t push your prams through.
Vashti: Oh really, I missed that one.
Vicki: Yes, it was right at the front of our stand. I made them rip it up on the third day. I’m like, “Come on, everybody whinges about this. People were tripping over it.” I didn’t realise that was the word I had to say. “Did you know [00:35:30] that somebody just tripped on this?”
Vicki: Straight up.
Vashti: I missed that expo.
Andrew: Well, yeah, some companies really just put more double sided tape on it, but now they talk about … Running out of questions for you, but here’s another one for you. How long do you think it would take to see everything in the baby show?
Vashti: It depends on how many stands you want to talk to. If you just want to wander up and down the aisles, you can do it all in a couple of hours. If you want to stop and talk to each of the stands that you have an interest in, you can be there [00:36:00] all day sometimes into the second day and still not see everything though.
I spend on average probably 20 to 25 minutes with a customer in an expo. That might not be one customer that might be three or four customers that come in and listen to the whole demo that I do. When you take that into consideration, you’ve got 20 to 25 minutes on our stand, and then you’ve got 5 minutes walking time going to the next stand that you’re going to find and stuff. It can be sometimes, it can be quite squishy in those aisles as well, so [00:36:30] trying to manoeuvre around-
Vicki: Oh my god, there’s a tip. If you can avoid taking your pram, avoid it.
Andrew: That’s so, because everybody’s got a pram.
Vicki: Everyone has a pram especially on Saturday and Sunday. If you can avoid … If you’ve got an ergo carrier or a wrap or anything or better still just [inaudible 00:36:49].
Andrew: Well, actually or have a pram that you can easily get up stairs, because a lot of those lifts in those expos, they only will hold-
Vicki: Oh my gosh.
Vashti: The lifts-
Andrew: … two prams at a time.
Vashti: The lifts actually are manned [00:37:00] during the expos, so you won’t get like … It’s up and down all day, and it stops at every level. Well, here in Brisbane that’s only like three levels, but they man them, so that you can’t just come and go as you want. They will just sit there and stop at every level, the way up and then all the way back down. Yeah, definitely grab yourself a good carrier, if you are taking your toddlers or your newborns-
Andrew: I don’t remember doing that.
Vicki: Lots of snacks, lots of snacks too for the kids.
Vashti: It’s a lot … This is probably the big [00:37:30] thing, if you are planning on taking your kids, it is lot of sensory overload. There’s a lot of noise, a lot of lights. There’s bright colours. There’s people shoving balloons in their face, and there’s stands that have chocolates on lollies on there. Kids just, “I want that, I want this.”
Andrew: As far as things for kids to play with, there’s plenty of things for kids to play with.
Vashti: [crosstalk 00:37:53]. I know the PBC does a nursery animal farm.
Vicki: Whilst you’re with the kids in the animal farm, [00:38:00] you can’t be on the stands as well. It’s a bit about having realistic expectations for your kids too. A two-year-old’s just not going to-
Andrew: You can’t leave them in the animal stand too, because the chickens might eat them.
Vicki: Or roosters. But was that your brother?
Andrew: That’s my brother.
Vicki: The roosters used to chase him.
Vashti: No, but it is definitely a lot of sensory overload for kids. Just be aware of that, because they can get to their limit and just-
Vicki: Very quickly too.
Vashti: … lose it, really, really easily.
Andrew: Oh, yeah. I think you see a meltdown every five minutes.
Vashti: [00:38:30] Yeah.
Vicki: If you’re fairly heavily pregnant just be aware there’s not a great deal of chairs like on the stand. Sure there’s places to sit down and stuff like that but expect to be on your feet all day.
If you’re quite heavily pregnant … I remember that [Marika 00:38:47], I think it was, we ended up grabbing her a chair to sit down. The poor thing, I think she was 38 weeks pregnant, and she just looked like-
Vicki: … she was about to.
Vashti: But that was too-
Vicki: … She also worked on-
Vashti: On the Saturday.
Vicki: [00:39:00] No, she’d been working-
Vashti: Oh, okay.
Vicki: … on a stand in the morning.
Vashti: There you go.
Vicki: Then she’d been walking around the expo in the afternoon. Yeah, it’s a big, big day, if you’re pregnant.
Vashti: You can get your step count up. Well, Vicki and I were getting our 10,000 steps just on the stand, and that’s a three by three stand.
Vicki: I know right.
Vashti: Our hotel room was seriously across the road. We looked out our hotel window-
Vicki: I wanted to drive, but she wouldn’t let me.
Vashti: We looked out our hotel window at the loading dock of the exhibition centre.
Andrew: She wants to pay 60 bucks for parking. I’m going to pay 60 bucks, but oh, I live there.
Vashti: [00:39:30] Yeah, we were easily getting our 10,000 steps up just in that three by three stand.
Vicki: Yeah, I think that day when we walked around with our suitcases everywhere, it was like 17,000 steps that day. That was just on the other side of the convention centre. That place is huge.
Vashti: It is. It’s a big convention centre.
Vicki: It is.
Andrew: Yeah, as far as if you’re heavily pregnant, [00:40:00] there’s chairs there, but the distance between those chairs is quite big. You’re not going to be able to sit down every few minutes.
Vashti: It’s not that the distance between chairs is quite big, it’s the fact that there isn’t a space on most of the stands to sit down. A lot of the stands are quite full of stock and products and stuff like that. They just don’t have the space to have chairs as well.
Andrew: Yeah, because everything that you’re going to sell has got to be, for those three days, has got to be in a three by two metre area, and you’ve got to fit people [00:40:30] in there too. Yeah, they’re quite crowded.
Vicki: Jenga. Oh, no not Jenga, what is it? Tetris.
Vicki: It’s very much Tetris setting up for an expo.
Andrew: It’s Tetris watching the prams going up and down the aisles, that’s for sure. Any last minute tips girls? I think we can wrap it up.
Vicki: Well, actually we recorded a video the other day, which was the demo that I give people at the expos. We might actually pop a link on that, so if you don’t get the opportunity to go to any of the expos.
Andrew: If you’re too far away from a capital city, and you want [00:41:00] to see the demo that Vicki gives people when they pop in to see her baby stand, we’ll put a link in the show notes that are at the end of it.
Vicki: We never ever do that. [crosstalk 00:41:08] We say we’re going to do it-
Vicki: … and we never-
Andrew: I’ll put them in the show notes-
Vicki: … ever do it.
Andrew: … [inaudible 00:41:12] the show notes. We’ll put a link somewhere on the site or just do a search. That’s how you find everything these days. Just do a search.
Vashti: You know what we could do with the Brisbane expo that’s coming up-
Vicki: We could do a live.
Vashti: We can do a live, or we can-
Vashti: … we can actually do a quick wander around the expo. A two or three minute video and just [00:41:30] give you a bit of a demo or bit of example of what you would see at a standard expo. We might do something like that.
Andrew: We’d have to do it while it was closed, because they’d never hear us if we tried to do it while they’re open.
Vashti: No, or we could do it while it’s open, so you can see how busy it is.
Vicki: You can actually see. Yeah.
Vicki: Well, see the row of people lining up before.
Vashti: We’ll grab some footage of the Brisbane expo in a couple of weeks, so we can add it to the-
Andrew: Not to scare you.
Vashti: [crosstalk 00:41:54] time.
Andrew: Not to scare you just to keep you informed.
Andrew: Thank you, [00:42:00] Vashti.
Vashti: Thanks, Andrew.
Andrew: Thanks, Vicki.
Vicki: Thanks, Andrew.
Andrew: Bye everybody.
Vicki Simpson is the current president of the Australian Nappy Association and has been making and selling cloth nappies for 13 years. You can contact Vicki through her website bubblebubs.com.au or call (1300) 792 232.
Vashti Wadwell is the member secretary of the Australian Nappy Association and is the owner of Australia’s first bricks and mortar nappy store, Nest Nappies, in Brisbane, Australia. She has [00:42:30] been using cloth nappies for 12 years and currently has one child still in nappies. You can contact Vashti through her website nestnappies.com.au or phone 07 3217 5200.
If you have any comments about the podcast you can email us at email@example.com.
If you found this podcast helpful then the way to thank us is to leave feedback in the iTunes store. I am your host, Andrew Simpson.