NOW THAT OUR LIST OF FAVOURITE ONE OF A KIND SHOW VENDORS HAS WHET YOUR APPETITE FOR HOLIDAY SHOPPING, HERE ARE FIVE TIPS TO HELP YOU VISIT THE ONE OF A KIND SHOW—THE CONSUMER CRAFT EXPO OPENS NOVEMBER 26—WITHOUT GETTING OVERWHELMED
1 Dress appropriately. The Enercare Centre is a massive space and the One of a Kind Show fills a significant amount of the building. The show floor is concrete, so wear comfortable shoes. You don’t want to have to cut your shopping short because of aching feet. Also, it’s likely cold outside and you’ve donned a heavy winter coat, scarf, hat and gloves to get to the show; take advantage of the coat check and offload some layers. (I don’t know about you, but being overheated makes me cranky.) Alternatively, if you drive to the show, park underground for direct access to the Enercare Centre—and the opportunity to leave your outerwear in the car.
2 Bring a backpack or some sort of carryall for your purchases. If you buy a lot of items (as I inevitably do), you’ll end up with numerous bags in different sizes and shapes. It’s much easier to put everything together in one larger carrier. Plus, your hands will remain free to peruse the goods.
3 Start at one end of the exhibit hall and work your way back. And don’t try to simultaneously browse both sides of the aisle. There will be lots of people at the show no matter what time you go; trying to criss-cross an aisle will inevitably mean you miss a booth or two. I like to start in aisle Z and work my way back to A. The food vendors are usually at the beginning of the alphabet, and because I typically buy a lot of food items there, I don’t want to have to lug heavy jars of jam or sauce as I walk the rest of the show.
4 Pick up a program when you enter the show. That way you can easily take note of the vendors you want to go back to later. (Alternately, a tech-savvier method is to take cell-phone photos of the booth numbers and items you like.) Unless you have a photographic memory, you’ll end up forgetting which aisle or booth carried that piece you really liked but perhaps weren’t quite ready to buy before seeing everything else in the show.
5 Give yourself time. After all, there are more than 800 vendors at the show. And if you can’t see them all in one visit, rest assured that your entry ticket entitles you to free re-admission on another day (make sure to fill out a voucher on your way out).