Caribbean Gifts & Craft Show: 15th Anniversary – Organisational Hiccoughs at Opening Ceremony, unnecessary & avoidable

This regional show is important and beneficial between all members of Caricom, I have no doubt nor ignorance of that, but the main objective is to encourage sales in the end. Therefore, I will not bore you as to how, but simply THAT… The speeches were too LONG! Only PM David Thompson seemed to get the idea to list all your pertinent comments in a format of 5 minutes and under!

Mr Thompson’s concern is that Barbados spent $5.3 million in 2007 with IMPORTING souvenirs to use for Visitors to take away and remember HERE! He sees not merely entrepreneurship, but creating one’s own niche in the job theatre as the way to maintain survival even in the wake of the USA‘s bailout frenzy, by 2016 the Bajan leader wants to see entrepreneurs here increase from 10 to 20 per cent of the job-force. At the moment, this country has only 106 active artisans who constantly have to fight a lack of raw materials and a limited capacity to display their goods.

The Prime Minister also wants to upgrade Pelican Village in Fontabelle as a means of allowing artisans a better chance at displaying their wares, he also wishes to see more training made available for entrepreneurs and to develop Agriculture as a form of manufacturing and entrepreneurship. Mr Thompson, in light of the Craft & Gift Show, extended the Duty Free exemptions’ capacity for exhibitors to ply their trade more easily – this was a packed yet concise presentation, pity the others could not learn!

The prayer from the Anglican Reverend Merlene Lucas should have been 30 seconds if so much, but seemed like over five minutes (I have always loved for saying Grace,Good God, Good Food/ Good Lord, Let’s Eat! Couldn’t want any more to the point than that…) – but here is an intriguing point, why do we always have a Christian do prayer for Openings? The Caribbean also has Hindu and Islamic folk, are there no Imams or Pundits who would not officiate? In fact, do we really have to have a prayer at all? Would not dropping that section speed up the process? Look at Oscars in the USA, if you can’t do your thanks in 90 seconds they will LITERALLY drag your sorry butt off the stage to get ready for the next category.

Philip Williams, Caribbean Export’s Executive Director was way too long in his comments and he admitted his transgression too! All he did was to explain the back-history of the trade fair; Oliver Jordan, the Director of the Belizean, Barbadian and OECS branches of 1st C’bean Int’l Bank also was stretched in his breeze, sponsor or not! His salient point is that First-C’bean ATM cards can be used between island to island! The longest part it seemed was the Vote of Thanks from Ms Veona Maloney, who’s the Manager for this show.

This Opening Ceremony started at 5:30 in the afternoon, so people’s mouths were getting white in the corners and real sticky – no dinner nor any water to wet a beak! I even see Mr Thompson beg for a glass of water after his precise remarks… But us peasants had to groan and endure! (PM Thompson & his retinue went for early cocktails at 7:00 pm during the fashion)

Then, before cocktails, there was a tattoo or Drumology and a Caribbean poem from Adrian Green celebrating our differences that unite to make the region what it is with 3 dancers of varying hues and 1 Amerindian drummer, it was powerful and not drawn out. The choreography reminded me of some of the more ambitious moves from Cirque Du Soleil.

Some folk started to move, but there was a fashion show (There’s another fashion show at 6:00 pm on Saturday, plus two business seminars on Sunday) with 19 designers and each had four creations!It should have been ten designers and three creations each…

However, the Play of the Day was one outfit dropped off the shoulder of the lass and there was her areola for all to examine with schadenfreude glee!

Now I know all the fashionistas are going to want it stated who did what and what each outfit was – no, this is NOT Elsa Klensch! This is a News-Blog, and I do it MY way, not yours! What I will state is that with 19 displays of 4 samples, meant the models raced like greyhounds – if it was a controlled setting like I said before… Ten designers and 3 outfits each, then the models could properly stroll the catwalk and demand their ownership of the pathway. It would also allow for better pictures taken and more appreciation of the designs made!

12 for one day and 12 for the next could also work, since there is another fashion show for Saturday evening at six!

Finally the cocktails… Oh, dear! You ever watched Jurassic Park? When they introduced the Velociraptors? They had a full-grown bull in a harness and they dropped him into the cage… All you hear is snarls, screams and a bleating moo after that, SILENCE – then they haul back up the harness which is now in shreds!

You have a host of folk who were there from 5:30 pm (Probably straight from work, I had the luxury of being on holiday from the Day-Job) and this is now minutes to eight… What do you think happened? Feeding frenzy! No matter their appearance – as in suited dignitaries or polo-shirted exhibitors, those velociraptors waited at the door for food to appear! I only heard one guy say he’s not gonna fight all that mess, he’s going straight for dinner! Servers eventually kind of had to run and try to get across to the other side of the room, yet folk chased them and practically threw flying tackles down to hold the waiting staff down to grab fishcakes and samosas and the like!

This is poor planning – limit the prayer to 60 seconds at worst; all speakers to 4 minutes and under; have an intermission and spread cocktails THEN hit the Caribbean drama and fashion! Or do the fashion WHILE cocktails are served – there’s room upstairs at Sherbourne (You can call it by the long name, is still Sherbourne for me and also it’s still Trafalgar Square in the CityDWD: dun wid dat!) and it can be utilised! It just needs a little imagination…

(For my view, even the entire sturm und drang of the Budget can be done in a day – limit the PM and Opposition Leader to 45 minutes each, with the remaining 28 MP’s at 5 minutes each, and the PM’s Final Rebuttal can be 30 minutes only!)

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  1. I thank you and he audience for being supportive. VICTORIA MONERVILLE (MODEL)


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