Kimber here. I will be posting this on thebabywearer.com shortly. Please please, go post at the babywearer if you are involved in the planning of this conference so people there can get to know your name.
Britt is out of town, but she did give me permission to post this.
*** First off, if you are in Idaho, particularly SE Idaho, we welcome anyone wo wants to help. Please check the bwing blog (I'll put it in my siggy in a sec) and get in touch with us.
Now, on to the nitty gritty so far:
Who: Idaho Babywearing Conference 2010 (that is our organizations name and we have out tax exempt crap going right now)
What: A family babywearing conference (more on the family part in a bit) with an expo at the end (more on that too)
When: The 2nd week of June, Wed-Sat (hold on, I'm giving reasons in a sec)
Where: Rigby, Idaho (seriously hold on!)
Why: Okay... here we go.
This is the general plan for the conference.
Tues will not be a class day, BUT we are going to put on a Yellowstone Nat Park babywearing day for all the families. You don't have to go with us, but we bet we'll get a good group rate. This will be great time to bw together, go on a great family trip. socialize and hugely promote the bwing love! We will be photographing and blogging this as fast as we can upload to our computers.
Wed-Fri there will be classes from 9am-4pm with a larger either speaker as the last class or a group round table class. So, smaller classes earlier on, big class at the end. We will also be opening up certain classes to medical professionals, professional midwives, pediatricians, nurses, childbirth educators, doulas, etc at a different rate in order to enlighten the medical community both locally and not so much local. I promise, we will be posting more on classes later on, so fear not.
All late afternoons/evenings we will be hosting cheap to free family activities at different places that a nearby. A few we are working on (but we are not commiting to any of these just yet): Bearworld, Heise Hot Springs, a rodeo... there are more, but these just pop to my mind right now.
Saturday will be a great day for advocacy. Here in Rigby we have Stampede days the same week as the conference (we're doing this on purpose!). about 6000 people will be coming for the morning parade. This is a traditional small town parade, right down to the tractors and ponies. Bring a bag, because we throw a lot of candy to the kids! Our (well my first and now everyone's, lol) dream is this: At the beginning of the parade, all the conference members walk the route (it's not that long, promise) whilst wearing their babies. The news will be there of course (they are every year). We can hand out literature and so on. Think of the sight of a hundred (my personal wish is for 100) bwing families walking together, united in bwing. Seriously I get so excited just thinking about it. Think of the chance to make that impact on thousands of people!
Right after the parade is the fair/carnival at the city park down the street. Vendors, this is your place. The fee will be through the city most likely (no promises yet) and will be $25-$50. We're still working on that as needing tables and such will make it closer to $50,but still, I believe that is an okay price for a vendor. Again, the news will be there, there will be music, all sorts of fun family activites going on and then you go home.
We know there will be some arguments, here are out responses so far.
Date. We know. We know. We have been agonizing. We even asked the city if they would be willing to push back Stampede Days and shockingly, they didn't laugh at us. But, it was a no go, and we feel strongly that the opportunity to show thousands of people babywearing (plus the thousands more who will come when we're done beating the news to death with the BIG story of the conference coming here) is just too important. Also, if we work around the city schedule, it will be cheaper for the vendors and that is key if we are to have vendors at all. We are sorry, truly, but we have to stick to that week.
Location. We know again. Rigby. But... here's the deal. We can put on a cheaper conference if it is literally in our backyard. That translates into cheaper for vendors, for attendees... Idaho is going to be more expensive to travel too no matter what, but if we keep the cost down in attendance and such, we hope it won't be too prohibitive. Also, we are aching to show so many of you our beautiful tiny town! (But we are a bit afraid you won't leave once you find it...) Another reason, we will be able to work very closely with the city government, local businesses and local law enforcement for a few reasons: We know them, we're married to them, we are them! This makes our planning easier and the city more hospitable for you. Finally, because this town is going to make all of you feel like rockstars. This is a big deal and people are already thrilled that you are coming. They plan to put on their purty dresses, curl their hair and put in their teeth!
Travel. Yes, it won't be as easy as a big city. I suggest renting a car if you are willing to drive. Or, rent a car after you get off your plain. We live in the west and public transportation isn't really common here. We're asking around, but we're giving a heads up now that a car should be in your plan. However, when you get to the conference, you will be able to park for FREE and walk everywhere you need to go for the day. Food places are within walking distance, the grocery store, fabric and craft stores, realtors (I kid, kinda), parks, our houses. All walking distance.
Family aspect. Okay, this is a biggie to us. For a lot of you, it sounds like this NEEDS to be a family deal. We love that. While you are in class, we plan to have a list of fun cheap or free things to do. Golfing, fishing, swimming, parks, zoos... We are family oriented and we want this to be a family friendly affair. For the menfolk, we are working on some fishing guides, because this really is the best fishing!
Lodging. there are a ton of hotels nearby and we are working on discounts for you. Also, there are several great campgrounds, one at Rigby Lake which is lovely and not too expensive. We strongly urge you to get in touch with your inner mountain woman/man and enjoy the outdoors!
Conference cost. We are working on the price of where the confernce will be and honestly, that will make the biggest impact on price. (Another bonus to hosting here in Rigby is that the cost will be lower than at a lot of bigger places). We are shooting for less than I spend on groceries in a month and if you know me, that is CHEAP. We will keep you updated on that.
I need special things type requests. We love ya'll, we do. But, here's the deal. To keep conference costs low, we will not be doing any sort of special catering. For Real. We will be handicap accessible of course, but that is where it has to end. We are sorry, but we have to draw that line in the sand right this second so we don't get overwhelmed down the road. We hope you are cool with that.
So, there you have it. What we have to show so far. We are having monthly inperson meetings, we are moving along and we are excited.
More in the next threads.