How I spent Thursday afternoon....

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Jun 6, 2006
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Sacramento, CA. Outside w/ Southeast Exposure
I learned this weekend just why Orchid Societies have a hard time holding on to willing volunteers. Don't get me wrong, I love my society. However, although we are one of the most active in our region, with a lot of people who are willing to take on responsibilities, we were thrown a loop this year when our President and Chief Display Organizer up and moved on us!

I helped her at the MOS show and agreed to "help" for our show on Thursday.
The person I thought I was helping was our show chair. Note to orchid societies: Never rely on the show chair to be around to do the display. They have just TOO many other things going on to have to worry about that too.

After waiting around for a while because we had no props or risers (past pres. took them with her. Note to Orchid Societies -don't rely on what another person regards as their own props!) I ate some lunch and waited around for a little while longer. It was approaching 2pm when I decided I couldn't wait around any more and started messing around with the plants. A brand new member and another board member who were hanging around jumped in and the three of us - none having ever done a display on our own before, put the exhibit together.

It was really stressful. Thank god for that "I'm doing a display, what should I bring" thread - I had brought things like snips and floral tape. I did not bring scissors, extra pots, and stakes, which we desperately could have used. We borrowed things from Kelly's Korner, and didn't have enough plants, and so had to borrow plants from Green River Orchids. I stole things from the trash! It was quite comical.

It came together, we were fairly pleased. I got home around 8:30 pm.
The only issue arose the next day when, during the judging, the team doing masdevalias noticed that several of the large specimen masdies in our exhibt had aphids! So the plants were pulled. (Note to orchid growers GROOM YOUR PLANTS! don't leave it to the people doing the show display!)

You'll see some big gaps in these pictures. Just picture a few large orange and yellow masdies where those holes are. :)

All in all it was a good experience and I learned an immense amount. I will even agree to do it again, but not without a show display committee and some advance planning!!

Here are a few photos of my first disply.




Oh Heather -what a mess but all in all you did real well.I've never noticed pests on masd before--just spotted & yellow leaves.Your anxiety level must have gone out the roof!
As in any society there are those who will help & those who love to do nothing but sit back & criticize.
Good Job--so when are you volunteering to be the Chief Display Person?
When are you going to answer my email of long ago? :)
Congradulations, You truly showed how the show must go on. Just looking at your photo brightens my day. It looks like an amazing display for only 3 people to pull off.
I hope you rewarded your with some new plants.
Good growing
Hey, I'm serious. Now you know the ropes, and you've put together a good, and successful display.

Same thing (or similar thing) happened to the person who was in charge of our display this weekend. First time for him, and he really did a great job.

It's called "baptism by fire..."
Display looked great Heather.

I just had my first experience with working an orchid show (Miami Valley Orchid Society) last week. What an experience. Our society had been asking for a show chair for several months, and no one would step up. i was still pretty new to the group, but wanted to get involved. I ended up offering to take the role of chair / co-chair, if they could show me the ropes. Boy was that stupid...just kidding - sort of. Fortunately, there was a core group of members that have been doing this for a while, so most things came together OK. We did have monthly committee meetings, which helped a lot. ITs still nerve racking though. More than once, i regretted my decision. There are so many things that have to come together (many at the last minute) to be successful. Im so thankful that everyone who said they would do one thing or another followed through (almost all). I can now say im glad i did it.

Prior to this, i had only gone to shows as a visitor, unaware of all the drama and sagas behind the shows. Most of the people are nice and fun to work with. You get to meet so many people, spend time with vendors, and gain insight into the 'orchid world' that one would otherwise not see. But, as with anything in life, there is always someone whos purpose in life seems to be 'drama creation'. One bad apple doesnt....

I learned a lot, and know what to better expect. It really boils down to having a good foundation built within the local society. Which we seem to have. From there, a good team of volunteers will come forward and do the necessary things to host a good show.
Looks great Heather, and I see plenty of ribbons in it.

Your story is pretty much par for the course for many societies. Overall, It just gets done. Just try to have a good time too the next time.
Well done Heather!

I was lucky enough to be surrounded by people who were veterans longer than I'd been alive when I did my first display and who had props galore to choose from. You've definitely got the eye for it, and I must say I'm very proud of you!! I'm definitely looking forward to your next display!

Thanks all.

Dave B. My word!! Hat's off to you! We had two new members (like, they joined in Jan.) who jumped into the show (like I did last year!) and mind you I musta thanked them 4 thousand times!

It is a labor of love, no doubt.

I really wanted to hear from Jon and Wendy in this thread. I know Wendy gives a talk on this sort of thing and mine you, I am going to push for our society to bring here in next fall if we still have openings.

It was the complete lack of planning that made me crazy. We would/could have done SO much better had we known that we three were it.

Next year, we will be SO much better. :)

On the other hand, I loooove shows. I worked all over the place, but working for a vendor was the best! You get to educate, sell, help out when busy. I have a strong (really strong) retail background, so jumping in to help at a show is like working retail Christmas. I had a blast! I would do it again ANY day!
the heat of the moment is always full of pressure, but after all is over it is worth it