Ola!!!!! SO...I thought I'd write about the Toronto Gift Show that I went to this past weekend because my article won't really be able to talk about my own personal experience while there.
The morning started off quite early, which for me wasn't so fun considering it was my weekend "off" from my other jobs. I had to be at an awards show by 8:30 which meant that I had to set my alarm...which meant I had to hear my alarm...which meant I had to wake up. It could be a hit or miss generally. I decided to bypass the walking my dog part of the morning which for her was not very good and perhaps not a very good mommy thing to do, but I needed to function and get all the sleep I could get!!! I didn't eat breakfast because I thought I'd only go for a couple of hours and was hoping there would be snacks there. I read the media sheet briefly to see where I was supposed to go and started my journey to The International Centre in Mississauga. When I arrived and went through the front doors of Hall 5, it was clear that I should have probably read the media sheet a little closer. I was supposed to be in an entirely different building to check-in. Oops. They were very accommodating however, and gave me a different coloured media pass until they could print me off a new one later on in the day. I just chatted with the girl in the lobby until my pass was given to me. I tried to fit in and pretend that I knew what this whole gift world was about but eff man that wasn't happening. What a world it is! The awards show itself was pretty cool as it was showcasing the 10 best products on the market for 2011 within different categories. I personally enjoyed the notebook made of limestone from Made By Humans. Pretty cool concept!!! The pages are water resistant! which is perfect for a water whore like me who spills shit on her papers all the time at work! When the awards show was over I sauntered into one of the halls where the general gifts were. I ran into a lady who made inspirational cards which is exactly what I wanted to do prior to doing this event gig. She said she was looking for writers so I'm going to jump on that!! SCORE! (check out her webpage at www.soultalk.ca). I went to a couple more booths but couldn't handle the amount of things to look at so I went to the media lounge and grabbed a coffee. By then I was debating whether or not I should go to the Congress Centre to view the rest of the booths. I decided to go based on the fact that there were free samples from all the different food vendors. Easy decision. Duh. Plus there was someone I met briefly before, running a stationary booth, so on I drove to the next venue. This venue was even more overwhelming than the last. There were so many rooms to visit! Blah! I squeezed my car in between two others which was a bad idea as it had been raining for a bit while I was driving over, which got my car wet, which in turn made my blue skirt wet on my ass as I got out of the car! Not a great impression as I'm trying to look professional as a media person. It looked like I was either sweating a lot or that I peed myself. First order of business when I stepped into the building was to dry my skirt. The walk to the washroom was really long and by the time I got there, there was hardly any wet spots on my skirt so I touched up my make up and started my walk to the food section. Wicked Gourmet was my first spot and they had fabulous dips! I tried all of them which was my breakfast for the morning. The Garlic Box was my second order of business which also had many dips and I tried all of those as well and discussed the many uses of garlic with the president of the company. If you ever get to Whole Foods try their garlic mashed potato mix!!! Amazing!!!!! And if you ever have a wart, use garlic and duck tape. Over the course of probably...10...minutes, I tried some amazing hazelnut truffles and almond gingerbread caramels from Saxon Chocolates (which I may have gone back to for seconds and talked to the president about his journey to getting to where he is now...www.saxonchocolates.com.), tried some butter tart samples from Rootham Gourmet (freaking amazing - www.roothamsgourmet.com), tried some cashew brittle from the Fudgery Shoppe, and some smoked salmon from Seachange Canadian Gifts. Their product has gone to space so obviously that needed to be eaten. I also found out one woman (who made amazing mustard's and sauces...and had chips with these sauces that obviously had to be eaten), secretly had a love of fonts. We discussed this for 20 minutes and the font choice for her bottles. There were many other stations as well, but I'm trying to avoid looking like a major pig.
My next stop was Dave's booth which was impossible to find mainly because I can't read it seems. He works for Papere.clips which is a stationary company based out of North York. He does the graphic design there and it was neat to see all the products available that are sold within the big chains we shop at. Check out www.papereclips.com for any other information :) It was a pretty large display that looked like the size of a store!
The entire experience of the Gift Show really showed me how hard it is to run a business, and sustain a business!!! There is so much competition out there! It's crazy! Good on you people for trying!! It's definitely a lot of work and you have to be passionate about it. I learned a lot about the whole trading part of retail, and really can say that I don't want to be a part of it!!! but thank you for letting me eat your food :)
Until next time people!!! Check out www.cgta.org if you want to learn more about the Toronto Gift Show and perhaps enter your own business as an exhibitor next year.