Mini exhibition at shopping mall.

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Mini exhibition at shopping mall.

Post  Jaco Kriek on Thu May 06, 2010 8:31 am

Our Kai was requested by the management of a shopping mall for a mini exhibition. With limited time for planning and limited space this is what we came up with. As South Africa is going into winter it is also not the ideal time of the year. The pictures aren’t great due to the difficulty with the background in the open area that we had available for the exhibition. The members doing duty at the exhibition also worked on trees to show interested members from the public something about bonsai. We had approximately 20 trees on ‘show’.
Regards










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mini exibition

Post  alex e on Thu May 06, 2010 8:50 am

Hi Jaco great PR, our club " New Dawn Bonsai" here in S Wales uk is doing something similar
in a few weeks this the second time for us , it always attracts great interest and its a great
way to promote Bonsai & recruit new members not to mention dispelling some of the myths
of bonsai ThumbsUp

regards Alex e

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Re: Mini exhibition at shopping mall.

Post  Tony on Thu May 06, 2010 9:12 am

alex e wrote:Hi Jaco great PR, our club " New Dawn Bonsai" here in S Wales uk is doing something similar
in a few weeks this the second time for us , it always attracts great interest and its a great
way to promote Bonsai & recruit new members not to mention dispelling some of the myths
of bonsai ThumbsUp

regards Alex e

Wow I agree with Alex!

Tony

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Re: Mini exhibition at shopping mall.

Post  Ian Young on Thu May 06, 2010 10:18 am

Agree, excellent way to get new members. We did it here a few years ago and it's a hard days graft fielding all the usual questions!
Love the tree styled with the high canopy like it's straight from the savannah. I can nearly picture elephants ripping off all the lower branches :-) Always nice to see local influence. Some more photos of those trees would be nice.

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Re: Mini exhibition at shopping mall.

Post  fiona on Thu May 06, 2010 10:49 am

I quite agree with the idea of bonsai groups, associations, study groups etc getting out there and getting what we do into the public eye, and hats off to your group Jaco, and any other group that does so. BUT, I'm adding a rider. Having been part of a group who did lots of these "public events", I would have to say that it is important to be very clear what the purpose of the event is. Here's the reason why:

For me the principal focus of spending six hours in a mall (I'm not a "normal" wumman - I hate these places like poison!) is to educate and inform. Sadly the group I belonged to lost out on brilliant opportunities to do so because it was so hell-bent on getting new members. The invariable result of that was disappointment because of the ten who sounded interested, only one or two turned up at the next group meeting but seldom returned for a second one. Don't get me wrong - on occasion such events threw up a brilliant new member or two and that is great. But in speaking to such members it became apparent they would have found us anyway.

This sounds negative, and may even sound like a side-swipe at those who take part in these events. It isn't meant to be that at all - it is merely my experience based on a group who didn't always do these things as well as they could or should have.

What I mean is that I will happily spend hours in a hell-hole (sorry, a mall) but I see my role as one of education, information and to an extent entertainment. What I hope will come across as the sum of those parts is inspiration. It was being inspired by my visit to the National Bonsai and Penjing Museum in Washington DC in 2003 that really got me involved in bonsai. No-one chased me around waving a membership form, but I was inspired enough by the displays to approach the curator Jack Sustic and wangled an invitation "backstage" to meet the volunteers. It was their willingness to share information, knowledge and skill that got me riding on my bonsai high. When I do public events, I would really like to think that inspiration is what I am passing on to the public - not just a membership form.

I'm not at all against using public interfaces such as malls as a way of attracting new members - indeed I recognise that for some clubs it is essential that they try everything to keep themselves afloat numbers (and often finances) wise, and I wish anyone who has the go-ahead to do these events all the luck in the world. All I'm saying is that IMHO getting new members should not be the prinicpal thrust. There will be the occasional bit of new blood comes through this route, but in my experience you have to kiss a helluva lot of frogs to find the princes.


Last edited by fiona on Thu May 06, 2010 12:38 pm; edited 1 time in total

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mini exibition

Post  alex e on Thu May 06, 2010 11:33 am

Hi Fiona, my personal feeling is membership is a bi-product of firstly dispelling
the myths with education & inspiration,if you had £1 [A REAL PAPER ONE Laughing ]
for every "why are"? " how old" had one but it died comment eh!! perhaps I gave
the impression that membership was the end product No but as you rightly say
some clubs depend on it financially,suppose its like any hobby there are the complete
bampots like us and there are the turn up to get away from the wife brigade and
talk about golf or some other Sleep Sleep ken what a mean!but oh what joy when
another bampot emerges from all the chaff!! to coin a phrase Cool [apologies to any golfers]

peace Alex e

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Re: Mini exhibition at shopping mall.

Post  RichLewis on Thu May 06, 2010 12:41 pm

Awesome display! Doesn't hurt to bring the art into the public eye.

Alex, tell me more about your bonsai club?!

Cheers

Richard

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Re: Mini exhibition at shopping mall.

Post  JimLewis on Thu May 06, 2010 1:39 pm

Glad your exhibit was a success, Jaco.

BUT . . .

I tend to be with Fiona here -- not necessarily about Malls, though. I kinda like 'em. GREAT people watching, and I enjoy watching people feed their greed. Twisted Evil

But malls are places people go to BUY things or to meet their friends in the case of teeners, not to SEE things. The people walking by a table setup in a mall have only one thing in mind. They may stop for a moment and show brief interest, but they're not, generally speaking, the kinds of folks who go in for contemplative sports like bonsai.

And then there are the untended kids -- up to and including some of the erstwhile adults! They have to touch everything! Mobs passing by all sides of the display, grubby hands out to touch the needles or leaves -- and heaven help you if you've put out any small trees! Your whole damned club better be there to guard the trees and to shout Keep your grubby paws off my tree! Oh, and I forgot the smaller kids who rush blindly hither and yon down the hallways and are as likely to crash into a bonsai table as not.

My club is having a small show at the end of this month; we're setting it up in a popular nature-education center in the education building. It has been fairly well advertised, and I'd guess the folks we get there -- while not the masses of humanity that pass by a table in the mall -- will be those who are much more likely to have a real interest.

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Re: Mini exhibition at shopping mall.

Post  fiona on Thu May 06, 2010 2:00 pm

Ha ha. You've lost a mame this way as well, I guess. Not nice.

Of late, any groups I've been involved in have targetted horticultural societies (where we know the folk have some sort of interst in plants), and garden centres (same premise but with the proviso that these are now not catering only for planstpeople but all the other side-shows our garden centres are full of - gift shops, coffee rooms/restaurants etc.). But the most successful one we did was as part of a Japanese culture week in an Inverclyde Museum and Art Gallery. I am taken by Tony's experience over in his own thread as this seems to me to be a good public to captivate.

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mini exibition

Post  alex e on Thu May 06, 2010 3:33 pm

RichLewis wrote:Awesome display! Doesn't hurt to bring the art into the public eye.

Alex, tell me more about your bonsai club?!

Cheers

Richard
Hi Rich,our club is based in the Pencoed Garden centre Nr Bridgend 2mins of the M4
I note you are from S wales so I guess you know the area !we are about twenty strong and meet
every Sunday for workshops from 10;30am til 4;30pm this facility is available 7days a week in our
fully purpose fitted Chalet attached to a little Japanese type gravel and water feature garden,our
club is only 2 years old but already we are being recognised for the displays we put on, our most
recent accolade" Best Club Display" Swindon show this year,our members are all ages and from all
walks of life and we believe we have some of the best trees in Wales especially Yamadori. we have
our major 3 day club show on the 9th 10th & 11th of July its like a mini version of the Royal Welsh.
we visit the major shows up & down the UK,we also do the Noelanders Trophy Belgium where one of
our members was privileged to exhibit ,we couple this with a trip to the Hoka -en bonsai nursery in
Holland[ Lodders], we have a great laugh as a club which is MANDATORY and in our constitution
accompanied by copious amounts of alcohol and a currie :lol!:all this for £20 a year "BARGAIN"!!!Very Happy
everyone is welcome especially from other clubs all we do is Bonsai,we even have our very own caterer
who supplies us with tea coffee,cakes sarnies and her speciality hot sausages mmmmmmmm!!! and my vital
stats are Laughing Laughing come and join us anytime.

regards Alex e
Is that the phone I hear lol! lol!


Last edited by alex e on Thu May 06, 2010 4:47 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : missing txt)

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Re: Mini exhibition at shopping mall.

Post  Ian Warhurst on Thu May 06, 2010 3:49 pm

Unfortunately couldn`t really see us setting up in the local mall, wouldn`t be much left by the time we`d finished and what was left would probably be burnt to the ground . You gotta laugh though.

Ian.

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Re: Mini exhibition at shopping mall.

Post  Jaco Kriek on Fri May 07, 2010 9:31 am

Thank you for all the comments. This is definitely not a usual for us, exhibiting at a shopping mall. We did experience the irritating ‘interference’ as mentioned by Fiona and Jim. Touching of trees to feel if they are real, etc etc. We did however also informed the public about the art of bonsai. The exhibition was definitely not intended to attract new members. Although we had a flyer with information about the kai we did not canvas for members and did not have any membership forms at hand. I must admit that I got involved in bonsai after an exhibition such as this. Maybe one of the few people you talk about Fiona.
Our kai has a larger exhibition once a year in spring at a garden centre / nursery which we believe is a more appropriate venue. Even there we sometimes have the irritations of people touching trees etc.

Ian, I did not really take pictures of the individual trees due to the background as mentioned. I did take a picture of the tree you mentioned. It is an Acacia and is styled in one of the African styles which we call Pierneef or it could also go through as the flat crown. Here is the tree and two sketches of what I mean by the styles mentioned.




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