Love Local Porirua Expo – Debrief and Feedback

By VP Public Relations 2022-23 Dale

Blog Post #8

What did Spinnaker club members think of the Expo, and what could we do better next time?

Spinnaker club members held an Expo debrief and feedback session at our club meeting on 2 August.

Dale opened the session by thanking everyone who assisted, either behind the scenes, at the setup, or on the day.

She believed the Expo was a stunning success and a great team building event. Our booth looked amazing and received many compliments!

We achieved our goal of collecting names to follow up over the next two weeks to invite them to our open meeting on Tuesday 16 August, and to promote Toastmasters in general.  Even though the weather was not too great, several thousand people visited the Expo during the day.

We also had visits from past Division Director Pauline Cook, current Program Quality Director Glen Pearce and current Division Director Murray Ingram, so it was great to see the District team supporting us.

We also want to thank the PCC Events team who did a wonderful job of setting up the Arena and providing assistance during the event.

Here’s a summary of the feedback:

Communication

Everyone thought the communication from the VP Public Relations (Dale) and PCC about the Expo was excellent. Everyone understood what needed to be done and their roles. Jacqui thought the goal of getting names for our Open Meeting was key, and Ron had the idea of making up info packs to give out at the next event.  This could consist of a club flier, invitation, a Toastmasters fridge magnet and a Toastmasters pen.  This is to get something useful into everyone’s hands as a reminder, not just a piece of paper people could screw up and throw in the next rubbish bin. 

Booth setup and resources

Darrell thought that the Arena Events team were very helpful in unloading our gear and getting it to our booth, and thought that the height advantage Albertus had was crucial in the higher-up pinning tasks.

While we ended up with a lot of brilliant resources – both Toastmasters and club – the feeling is that we need to keep it simple and concentrate on producing key resources as handouts.  We thought the Toastmasters resources were nice and colourful with good messages and formed a great backdrop, but the club ones were more focussed and targeted and easier to handle.

Our resources table – with Toastmasters and Club fliers, pens, and lollies

Expo crew

Everyone said they found it easy to talk to people, to raise awareness of Toastmasters and of our club.  Angela said the people who stopped and talked to us were genuinely interested and it didn’t take long to find a common point or need that a Toastmasters club could help them with.  Our visually attractive booth was inviting and the District posters certainly brought the booth alive.

Our colourful booth with Toastmasters banners, our lectern and some pot plants for decoration

Future events

Katina thought that attending an Expo or other community event to promote Toastmasters and the Spinnaker club should be a regular item on the club’s PR calendar.  We could develop a range of simple resources that could be used at each event.  At least we’ve got an idea what is needed now.

What didn’t go so well?

We have to be honest, sometimes things don’t go as well as expected.

Not many people were keen to take a “selfie at our lectern”.  In the future, we need a defined space and an added incentive for people to do this.

The animated Spinnaker videos playing on the TV didn’t have the impact we thought they might, and with the TV screen being placed near the back of the booth, it wasn’t the eye-catcher we’d hoped for.

What’s next?

In our next blog post, we’ll update you on the results of our Open Meeting on Tuesday 16 August.  We’re hoping to have a full house of visitors, and some of us will do some baking!

Everyone is welcome to come along, including any mystery guests (hint Gary).

See previous blog posts:

Blog post #1 – The Proposal

Blog post #2 – Approval and Funding

Blog post #3 – Research and Planning

Blog post #4 – Warm-up Activity

Blog post #5 – Resources roundup

Blog post #6 – Setup and testing

Blog post #7 – Expo Day

About Toastmasters

Toastmasters International is a non-profit educational organisation that teaches public speaking and leadership skills through a worldwide network of clubs. Headquartered in Englewood, Colorado, the organisation’s membership exceeds 300,000 in more than 15,800 clubs in 149 countries. Since 1924, Toastmasters International has helped people from diverse backgrounds become more confident speakers, communicators, and leaders.

About Spinnaker Toastmasters Club

Spinnaker Toastmasters Club chartered on 18 September 1990, and originally met in Whitby.  Now the club meets in Plimmerton on the first and third Tuesdays of the month.  The club has 12 active members and is looking to increase that to at least 20, the desired size for an active and dynamic Toastmasters club.

About the author

Dale is a Distinguished Toastmaster and a member of Spinnaker Toastmasters Club since 1998.   She has received a Presidential Citation for her work as District 72 New Zealand Webmaster, and helped charter three other clubs.  She has completed the Presentation Mastery educational Pathway and is currently working on the Motivational Strategies Pathway.  Dale is the VP Public Relations for 2022-23.

About this blog series

The purpose of this blog series is to fulfil the requirements of the Level 4 Elective “Write a Compelling Blog” in the Motivational Strategies Pathway.  She has chosen to document the process of organising and presenting a booth at the Love Local Porirua 2022 Expo being held in Porirua on 30 July.  The target audience is her fellow Toastmasters who may have an opportunity to run a similar activity at a future event.  To do this, a minimum of 8 blog posts must be created and published.  Club members will be asked for feedback, and when done, Dale will deliver a short speech on her blogging experiences.

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