Feedback about the Toddycats combined booth setup for the National Environment Agency’s launch of “Why waste plastic bags, choose reusable bags” campaign at Parkway Parade Shopping Centre on Saturday, 11 Feb 2006. By Lim Chen Kee.
At conceptualization, we have clearly stated our objectives and the theme of the exhibition, which we then designed our posters based on our objectives and theme. This is important because I realized when our booth is finally set up, our posters immediately became the focal point of the booth, making our booth relevant to the theme of the exhibitions.
The posters are well designed and suited for our objectives for the exhibition. The large pictures captured a lot of attention of by-passers especially the photograph of the turtle biting the plastics. However we should have stand-alone photographs of plastic litter for display and decoration.
What sort of people stopped by and what were their reactions?
More teachers and students from green clubs stopped by our booth than the general public. Since most of the former had not heard of ICCS, we used the opportunity to inform them about the cleanup and promote off-peak cleanups, which they could customise as small-group student projects with enhanced post-cleanup activities.
The general public was mostly attracted by the photo of the turtle on our posters, so we used that to initiate a conversation. Most of them were interested enough to want to be involved. However we were unable to attract the younger-aged public to our booth.
How effective was it?
We did not promote the message of reducing usage and recycling of plastics, as our focus was how marine litter, especially plastics, are harmful to nature and the environment. This focus did help to create an awareness as to why reducing plastics consumption and recycling would contribute to the protection of oceans, seas and shores and the animal life there. This was needed since it was not covered by other groups.
Was it worth it?
Yes, it is worth it. By being there, not only did we make the presence of the ICCS known; we also provided an avenue for groups who want to do more.
What did you learn from the other booths? What could we have done, had we more time?
Booths with bigger crowds used quizzes, puzzles and free gifts for the public. I don’t like the idea of using free gifts to entice the public [a Toddycats outlook], but I do think we should think about interactive activities in future. This will increase the effectiveness in spreading the message. We can also take a booth and with more space expand on the message.
What did you learn from the process?
I learned that if the audience is attracted by the posters and stopped to take a look, and there is someone who approaches them to talk to them, they would usually stay and listen. I missed a lot of opportunities by not engaging the split-second onlookers.
I have a lot of fun and I think we did well for the exhibit in such a short time. To me, I feel that the mobile exhibits that we had discussed before can be done successfully and prove to be an effective tool to help spread environmental awareness if we plan well.