April 5, 2009

The Baby Time Show

Yesterday my mom and I made our way to the International Centre near Toronto’s Pearson Airport for the Baby Time Show. It’s a tradeshow-style 3 day event that happens twice a year. It was my first baby show.

Since my mom had an appointment in the morning, we didn’t arrive as early as I wanted. It wasn’t until around 2:15 pm that we made it past admissions. (More on the why it took so long below). By that point, I missed the cloth diapering seminar that I was interested in, and the Quinny Fashion Show. Although we arrived at the main stage not long after getting there, I expected to catch the tail-end of it. There was no sign that it even happened! Can someone tell me if this was a 10 minute show or something??

But I digress… The event. We spent the rest of the afternoon – until after 5:00 pm navigating our way through exhibitor booths, and purchasing a few things. That included a few pregnant momma rests and potty breaks. Overall the day had some positives and negatives. Thought I’d share my thoughts with blog-land.

On a positive note, the Baby Time Show was a great opportunity to see a number of different exhibitors, including baby retailers large and small, baby gear manufacturers large and small, and a whole lot of services. I had a chance to ask questions and get advice from a few of the booths that we stopped at.

However, since I am only 2 weeks away from my due date, it wasn’t the most beneficial for me. I would recommend the show for someone earlier in the pregnancy, as an opportunity to do a little bit of research. Definitely check it out before you start your baby registries. There were great offers from The Bay, Sears, Babies R US for moms who started their registry at the event. A few other booths, like Savvymom.ca had great giveaway contests for dream nurseries and other stuff. Luckily I already signed up online here.

I went to the event looking for more info and advice on cloth diapers, but was disappointed that there didn’t seem to be more than 2 or 3 exhibitors – either cloth diaper manufacturer or retailers. I was also hoping to score an amazing deal on photography. My dream of being “discovered” while walking the street and getting a great offer for some free shots, hasn’t quite materialized. And I really want to book a photographer for the baby’s first pictures. I did pick up a few cards from photographers at the show that I’ll have to look into further.

And now the “negatives”: Probably no fault of the Baby Time Show, maybe more of the International Centre’s. It was a logistical nightmare getting into the show. The International Centre seemed to have a few different tradeshows happening this weekend and the parking situation was a nightmare. As my mom and I were approaching the centre on Airport Road, the backup of traffic was crazy. Blocks of cars were waiting to get into the main driveway. As we got closer we saw the “Lot Full” signage. They seemed to be letting in one car for every car that was leaving. Most people were turning around and looking for street parking or free parking lots at the businesses a few blocks away.

Now as you know, I’m 38 weeks pregnant. And while I feel great, in great shape and pretty mobile all things considered, the last thing that I wanted to do was walk. I did think at that very moment, looking up at the “Lot Full” sign, that we should turn around and head home. We ended up finding a parking lot nearby and walking in. To my dismay, as we were approaching the side of the building where the Baby Time Show was held, there are spots all over the place. After I freaking walked my fat butt blocks to get there. Do they not know their audience?!

And for an event that charged $15 admission, I didn’t think that there were the deals or free stuff to make it worth it. The whole idea of paying admission to a place where people were trying to sell us things, was counter-intuitive. I opened my wallet with expectations that the show organizers really had to impress me. With a few exhibitors selling their merchandise without tax or similar types of minimal “show specials”, it wasn’t really impressive. Here are a few pictures of the “swag” that we picked up and despite all the reuseable bags that I received, and a few magazines, I really could have done without the other “freebies”.

So for ways to spend a Saturday afternoon pre-baby it gets a 2 out 5. I should have used that $15 for a manicure.


C on 10:21:00 AM said...

Hey! Sounds like lots of fun! Great goodies too! Did you already sign up online at Nestle Babies Canada? You get samples as well as a free diaper bag (backpack). I've got a few other links for more free baby stuff if you want me to send them to you.

I still have something for you that I haven't mailed yet. I'd better get my butt in gear because your little one will be here soon!!!

I miss our vists when I was in the hospital with Little One! You are going to be such an amazing Mommy! I'm so excited for you! I cannot believe you've only got 2 weeks to go!!! Time just flew by! Happy first day of Mat Leave!! XOXO

Anonymous said...

I signed up for Nestle Babies Canada way back in like September... and never received my freebies from them >:[ Fail!

I'm sorry that the baby show wasn't as great as you wanted it to be :\ I knew it was going on, and I was interested in going, but unfortunately it happened on a weekend when Chris was working so transportation would have been frustrating to work out.

Are you still deciding between cloth and disposable diapers? I was leaning towards a cloth diaper service for awhile, but now I'm so grateful for disposable. I know they're not great for the environment, but I can be "green" in other ways and keep disposables to make my life easier ;)

humpsNbump on 10:41:00 PM said...

C - So great to hear from you. And yes it was great being able to visit you in the hospital when little one was born. From your blog, it sounds like motherhood is treating you so well!!

It's funny I work for a division of Nestle so I know their baby program very well. It's great.

But I haven't really signed up for the freebies. If you have any good ones, let me know.

humpsNbump on 10:45:00 PM said...

VeryGoodYear -

You should definitely call Nestle and see what they can do about your baby bag!

I think that I am pretty set on cloth diapers. My philosophy is that it doesn't have to be all or nothing. I'll probably do cloth as much as I can at home and use disposables for outings, grandmas house, etc.

Now trying to figure out all the styles and brands. I'll have to do a post on that. :)

~ humps

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