Getting the Word out via Wood Related Shows and Gatherings Eric Krum#9467 & Mark Peet#9804L
In this year of action to increase the membership of the society several of us are working to get word out to the public about the society by participating in wood related shows and gatherings. Results have been positive with many people showing an interest in wood during the show and subsequently joining the society. Setting up an IWCS booth with a display was easy with help from Elaine Hunt and Dennis Wilson. Dennis Wilson recently assumed the job of Show Coordinator, if you know of a show or fair in your area contact Dennis at .
Many wood related shows are annual events held the same time each year. The three shows we recently had a display at were completely different venues for different wood communities, but each brought in people who were interested in wood. The 12th annual Festival of Wood http://www.greytowers.org/festival-of-wood/ in Milford, PA celebrates the start of the US Forest Service and the natural and cultural heritage of wood. The organizers of the festival offered us two tables in the tent set aside for the non-profit organizations. Mark and I discussed what we could do to gain people's attention and to get them to stop at the table. As shown in the photo we used a display rack (built from a Scarlet Oak from Eric's yard) for standard IWCS wood samples to get people's attention which it succeeded in doing. To support both kids and adults viewing, the rack held samples from the ground up. In addition, we laid out a display of IWCS related publications like past issues of the World of Wood (WoW), books by members and the IWCS Tri-fold brochures. A binder listing the hardest, densest and lightest woods with pieces of wood people could pick up and examine was on display, along with a set of seventeen (17) samples of White Ash (Fraxinus americana) used to illustrate the diversity of colors and grain patterns within a single species.
The second show was the first annual Mid-Atlantic Region of the American Association of Woodturners (AAW) Symposium held in Lancaster, PA. The symposium organizers were unsure of their financial situation and would not provide free entrance for IWCS members to man the table. So we decided to set up a display and set out IWCS Tri-folds for symposium participants to pick up. About fifty (50) of the tri-folds disappeared off the table the first day and about 15 more the second day of the symposium. Since the symposium sold out this year the organizers think the IWCS should be able to get free access to the next symposium to man the table. The below photo is the display area on the morning of the second day before replenishing the stock of IWCS Tri-folds.
Mid-Atlantic Woodturners Symposium
The third show was an open house at Hearne's Hardwoods in Oxford, PA (http://www.hearnehardwoods.com/z.monthlynewsletter/2016openhouse/2016_open_house.html) that supported raising money for the Habitat for Humanity. On behalf of the IWCS Eric made and donated a turned end grain box of curly Brazilian Rosewood (Dalbergia nigra) and two sets of wine stoppers in a stand for the charity raffle. The below pictures are from the Hearne's Facebook page for the event. Art Lee joined us at the IWCS display for one of the days and was a great help telling visitors of the many benefits of being a member of the IWCS.
Figure 3 - IWCS Raffle Donations
Here is Mark Peet, the Northeast Trustee USA , maning the IWCS table at Hearnes Hardwoods open.
Figure 4 - Hearne's Hardwoods Open House
Here are some ideas for display set up you could use for a show near you. To get people's attention and bring them to the booth was the IWCS banner that is available to anyone working a show. Contact Dennis Wilson to schedule the use of a banner for your display and to get copies of the IWCS Tri-Fold brochures and past issues of the WoW. Be sure to coordinate with the people running the show to know if you need to bring a stand to mount the banner on or if the show will provide a way to mount the banner. Fastening it to the front of your table is always an option as well. Of the three (3) shows we participated in this September, one stated we would have to provide a stand for the banner.
At the two shows where we manned the table, we had a lot of visitors none of which had heard of the IWCS before visiting our display. We had many good conversations with people stopping by the display, about the number and diversity of different species of wood and the hobby of collecting and working with wood. At each event we had people who offered a credit card to join the society right then and there. Unfortunately, we could not process accepting credit card / debit funds at the show to complete the registration process. The ability to accept and process membership requests during a show is being addressed by the IWCS leadership and maybe possible for future shows.
It took very little effort to get the banner and other IWCS show supplies to set up a display. Talking to a great diversity of people about wood and the society was fun and each day went by fast as a result. Dennis Wilson the IWCS show coordinator, has lined up another show for us to display at in January 2017. Mark Peet, Art Lee and Eric are looking forward to another fun weekend where they can introduce people to the benefits of joining the IWCS. Take a look at the wood related shows near you and think about helping to get the word out to the public about the benefits and fun of being an IWCS member. If you think you have a worthy candidate, contact Dennis and let him know. If you would like to work a show, likewise, contact Dennis, there might be one lurking in your own back yard. Dennis Wilson#2324L .