It was, in the immortal words of Ed Sullivan, "A really big shew."
Hundreds of new moms and dads, and new moms and dads to be, braved rush hour traffic to came to the Skirball Center in Los Angeles.
They came to see and learn about the latest and greatest offerings in the baby world,
from more than a dozen speakers, and nearly a hundred companies.
And they were all having a very good time
at the "Big City Mom's BIGGEST Baby Shower!
Fourteen stroller companies were here, which is why StrollerQueen had to be here.
There was Mima,
Phil and Ted's, Mountain Buggy,
And Peg Perego!
(I'm going to post some video updates on some of these tomorrow.)
There were also several car seat and carrier companies there, like Lillebaby,
Beco, Baby Bjorn, Ergo Baby, Britax, Diono, and Maxi Cosi.
I find it fascinating to see the way the marketing of baby products has evolved.
For years, companies just posted ads in the same baby magazines, sent out their regional reps to all of the local retailers, and attended a trade show or two.
Then came mass market discount stores. High-priced boutiques began to crumble. Then internet sales, no tax, and free shipping became the buzz words.
More brick and mortars closed up shop, because they couldn't compete.
Then came 2008. The end-game. Magazine sales dropped, advertising crashed, more baby stores moved out and boarded up, stroller companies began disappearing.
So what does it take to stay alive? Women are still having babies, and companies still have a product to sell.
How do they get out the word? How can someone see, touch, and play with a stroller, if there are no baby stores in town?
So along comes Social Media, and bloggers. A veritable army of them. Thousands. Hundreds of thousands. Millions.
Well, not really. But there are way more than you can count. How do you know who to trust? And there is still a void, because reading about a product will never replace trying it out in real life.
Suddenly, regional expos start popping up all over the place. At first, I didn't have much interest, because they seemed to be run by mass market chains, with lower quality merchandise. Ah, but there are still lots of discriminating parents out there, who are looking for the best for their babies.
So now we witness the birth of...drumroll please..."MOM'S CLUBS!"
They throw parties, festivals, events, and baby showers. And you have to pay to attend. Plebian tickets may start at $65, and VIP tickets run up into the hundreds. (For those, you get access to the red carpet and celebrities.) So essentially, you are now paying for the information stores used to provide for free. But, in a much nicer venue, with yummy treats, massages, entertaining and informed speakers, and swag galore.
And OH the swag! Think big here. Really big.
high chair, car seat, play yard,
baby carrier, baby monitor, diaper bag, clothing, bedding, bottles,
baby foods, baby books, baby videos, and all kinds of miscellaneous stuff you never knew you needed. Because everyone gets something. Either in a raffle, or game, or random giveaway. Or because the high priced tickets include a high priced baby essential. It could be a stroller, which is often times worth more than the price you pay for the ticket! Which means that for you, it winds up being free! WHEEEEEE!
The companies benefit because they get to connect with moms and dads, and to spread the word about their baby gear.
The event organizers fill a niche, and they profit because they're selling tickets. (Of course, there are a lot of expenses involved, like food, labor, and venue rental.) And they throw one heck of a party. In the immortal words of Charlie Sheen, "Winner winner, chicken dinner."
If you need help finding the best stroller for you, click on "Consultations" up top. And to see all of the 2014 stroller models, go to StrollerQueen.Net