Show Wrap-up from Gary VanGelder
What a great show we had this year. It was well attended and the glitches we had were minor. Our deepest thanks goes out to all the committee chairs and the volunteers who made it happen. We also want to thank all who put up posters, distributed bookmarks, and publicized the show in many other ways. It paid off. We explored a few options this year to see if it would be possible to shorten the volunteer commitment by a day in the future. This exploration indicated that would not be feasible, so we will likely stay with layout on Wednesday, main setup on Thursdays, and judging on Fridays going forward. Registration took place on Thursday. We allowed plants to be registered up until almost 11PM. This created too much of a rush effort to organize the books afterwards. Therefore, next year, we will establish a significantly earlier cutoff time. Anything later will require special arrangements with the registrar. This year we saw another drop in show entries with only 229 being registered; not a big drop, but down from an average of around 240 the past few years. We were in the high 300's ten years ago. We are exploring options to make it easier for members who only have a few plants to enter them next year, so we can begin to move these numbers in the other direction. We had 14 exhibits this year. All were wonderful. Ribbon and trophy judging started about 1PM on Friday. Clerking went well. Reducing the teams a bit this year made a big difference in congestion during the judging. Although there were a few minor glitches, the ribbon judging went remarkably smooth. The specific details of the show trophies are elsewhere in this newsletter. AOS judging followed the ribbon judging. Many plants were pulled, but only four of them received awards. One of these was a CCM that went to Sheila Nathanson for her magnificent Rth. Afternoon Delight. Also, the OSWP society display received the AOS Show Trophy, Silver Certificate and the Orchid Digest awards. Although, these awards gave well deserved recognition to those who put it together, we need to work on having a greater involvement by more members in the society exhibit going forward. There did not seem to be much negative feedback regarding our decision to do away with a preview party on Friday evening. We offered an early shopping hour to members only instead on Saturday. There were only a few members who took advantage of it, but they greatly appreciated the opportunity to shop before the crowds hit, and hit they did. It was as busy as I can ever remember in the exhibit area and the sales areas all weekend long. There were no individuals who took advantage of the exhibit photography opportunity on Sunday morning. We experimented with having the photography entries judged as a people’s choice this year. This worked very well as it appeared the public, and especially children, were far more involved in looking at the photographs. Doing this meant the welcome table had to give out two tickets to each guest. This worked out well and did not add confusion. The biggest issue we had with the photography exhibits is those entering photos need to do better at letting the photography chair know ahead of time what they are bringing. Even with the larger crowds, the welcome table managed to do a good job of greeting all the continued page 4 Page 3Type your paragraph here. guests. Donations were good. The raffle table was also a great success. We had 13 items donated. Phipps donated several blooming pink phalaenopsis, each vendor donated an item and a few members made donations as well. Thanks to the members who volunteered to sit and sell tickets and help keep it all on track. Same for the welcome table. Both areas could really use a few fresh faces next year. Probably one of the biggest growth aspects we had this year was the repotting. We featured it in much of our advertising and set it up on the stage. It was almost too well received as you could not get near the stage at times. It appears we tripled the number of plants repotted over last year. We almost ran the Roberts out of bark mix. The line of people waiting was almost unmanageable at times, but we succeeded with a smile. We will have to make some adjustments next year to better manage the line when it gets crowded and also consider putting a maximum limit of plants for each individual. These are good problems to be dealing with. The food brought in for hospitality was wonderful as always, but we could really use some fresh volunteers in the future for coordinating this aspect of the show. Although the number of plants brought in for society sales was down a bit from the past few years, the dollar amount sold was close to past years. Some of our lectures were not as well attended as past years as we tried mixing in a few more advance topics. That did not work, so we will move back to a greater focus on beginner topics. Feedback from all the vendors indicated they all had wonderful sales both days. Our observations of how few plants they took home confirmed this. The employees of the Garden Center made things so much easier with their help as always. It was a wonderful long weekend, and again, thanks to all!
Gary VanGelder & Sheila Nathanson OSWP 2017 Spring Show Co-Chairs