Regatta Day Information Table: A Success!

Spurwink Island Path

Gord Follett

Aug 6, 2009

Regatta Day Information Table: A Success!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

The first Regatta Day ECTA Information Table was a success in several respects:
* Awesome turn-out from members to staff the booth
* Recruitment and Renewals
* Great exposure for ECTA and the Trail
* Product sales
* Sharing with FOVP

Thanks so much to the Members who volunteered
The volunteer turn out to staff the table was awesome! Thanks! Twelve ECTA members shared the staffing of the table throughout the day. The shifts were supposed to be 2 hours each, but we had a couple of scheduling glitches. An extra thanks to the keeners who didn’t leave me in the lurch and put in extra time.

Recruitment and Renewals
Our enthusiasm and love of the trail showed through as we described the Trail and the Association to the visitors to our table! We signed up 4 new members, facilitated a membership renewal and we signed up several people that are interested in joining our volunteer maintenance group. Not bad for our first time at the Regatta.

ECTA got Great Exposure
We not only talked to hundreds of people, locals and tourists, we were also interviewed and received both radio and television coverage. Robbie Hicks was interviewed for CBC’s Newfoundland Living television show and that interview ended up on the radio as well. We can’t afford to buy advertising like that, so that as unexpected bonus of our trip to the Regatta.

We also benefited from a prime location. Our booth was located down past the marquee a ways. Being away from the big noisy crowds made it easy to talk to people who visited the table. We were also located right at a break in the tents which created a walk-though point. This meant that 3 sides of our booth were exposed giving us lots of cross traffic and ample room to mingle with our visitors.

Product Sales were decent, too
We sold 5 full map sets and 3 books both of which are our big ticket items. Our close proximity to the Sugar Loaf Path encouraged visitors to purchase a few single maps of that portion of trail. The classic East Coast Trail Patch and our new spiffy coffee mugs proved to be quite popular as we sold 9 patches and 5 mugs. We also picked up over twenty dollars in cash donations. Our total revenue through product sales, memberships and donations came to just under $500 dollars which beat my goal of covering our $113 dollar table registration fee.

Thanks to Friends of Victoria Park
Our booth was made possible by creating a partnership with The Friends of Victoria Park Lantern Festival group. We shared the booth with this organization which not only made the registration fee more palatable by cutting it in half, it also gave us the equipment to have a booth. The FOVP provided the booth tent, the tables and the chairs.

In my opinion it was a beautiful partnership as the Lantern display was quite colourful and attracted a lot of people to our table for a closer look. Once they got closer, they were intrigued by the spectacular pictures of the trail and came even closer.

It was fun
It was a long day, but it was fun. I personally got to meet a bunch of ECTA members and chat with lots of people interested in our Trail. Being close to the buoys that mark the short turning point gave us a great view of the boat races. I really enjoyed the final races which I would not have stayed for had we not been waiting for the road to re-open. Our truck driver was also patiently waiting for the road to re-open so she could get back in to pick us up.

I hope to see more of you at the 2010 Regatta. I would also like to know if you have ideas about how to make the table better. We will definitely need a bigger and better banner to show off our booth. Some charities really go for some serious revenues and I think we could, too.

Special Thanks to our Great Team of Volunteers
Angie O’Brien, Albert Sutton, Bob Brink, Robbie Hicks, Slivia Warkentin, Karla Bradbury, Carol Ann Griffin, Alice Graesser, Anna Kralik and Phil McCarthy

And a very big extra special thanks to Linda Cohen and her brother for being our very patient truck drivers and to Anna and Phil for staying past your shift and waiting for the road to re-open.

Also, thanks to the Friends of Victoria Park.

Tali Smith
Photo Credits: Carol Ann Griffin and Tali Smith