I feel like I have a good handle on what things I still need for the baby but I also feel like I’m not qualified to feel like I have a handle on things yet. Because of that, I thought it would be worthwhile to go to a baby show in Atlanta over the weekend.
I had some trouble finding the location. It was in a ballroom on the sixth floor of a building, but the building with the address had legal offices on the bottom floor and they wouldn’t let you go through them (also they probably didn’t have access). Instead you were supposed to go down around the corner and take the elevator inside a separate parking garage to the sky bridge to the ballroom. I did two laps around the block before I asked for more specific directions.
Once inside the parking garage’s elevator, there was a sign unhelpfully telling you to 1) navigate to that location and then 2) take it to the sixth floor. Well, yeah, but some signage outside would have been more helpful than watching men and women in various stages of pregnancy wander around looking lost and confused. I like to think I look more pregnant than fat at this point but I had a couple of other women blatantly staring at my stomach area so possibly not.
Once inside, I checked in and got two big reusable shopping bags full of different samples. Also, because I show up to things early, I got a third big bag full of MeadJohnson samples. If you’re not familiar with MeadJohnson, welcome to the club I vacated just a day ago – they’re the folks who manufacture Enfamil, a well-known infant formula. I also stopped by the La Croix booth to try a new flavor. I really want to like La Croix and I just really don’t. I’ve tried pamplemousse and lime so far and yesterday I tried cranberry-apple (can we just call it cranapple already?) and had a similar reaction. I just don’t like La Croix…but I do like free drinks and it was hot and humid so I wanted to drink something.
They had different levels of admission with different add-ons for each. Silver and Gold got baby carriers, and mine (Bronze) I got to enter 30 minutes early and an extra gift bag.
The expo part wasn’t bad as far as quality of the vendors, it was just disappointing how few there were. I was also disappointed in the lack of informational sessions they offered, there were only a couple, one on cloth diapering and one on baby wearing. I would have liked to have seen more sessions, even just on the products themselves or on other topics.
They raffled off one of these babies. It was pretty sweet, but I can’t justify $250 for a temporary bed, even if it does play music and vibrate.
I was done looking at all the vendors in about 45 minutes and they didn’t do the raffle for prizes until 3:30 pm so I had a ton of time to kill. I took my gift bags back to my car and went to a Microsoft store in a mall nearby to ask some questions about discounts on their OS (spoiler: they didn’t know and it’s cheaper elsewhere). I had some lunch and then took the Atlanta MARTA back to the convention.
The crowd wasn’t big so I thought my odds were pretty good
I was pretty impressed with the prizes they raffled off. It was everything from pacifier sets to bottle sample packs to a Stokke high chair and even a Halo bassinet. Sadly, I was not a winner of any raffle prizes, though I did get an entire case of Enfagrow from the MeadJohnson rep as he was packing to leave. I don’t have any plans on keeping a toddler milk drink in my pantry for 18ish months so I’m going to take it over to the local food bank later this week.
Not shown: case of Enfagrow
In summary, was it worth it? Maybe. I *did* like the free samples I got, but I thought overall the show could have been a lot better. There is a bigger show that happens every year in April, which I didn’t go to (obviously) because I wasn’t pregnant then and I’m unsure whether I’ll go to it next year since Mini-K will be 2 months old and I’m not sure I want to try to do that with an infant. I think I’d be willing to go to another baby show, but I would likely do some more research to see the number and quality of vendors and classes they’re offering before I committed.