Babes-in-arms, tiny tots and their older siblings and parents had a day to remember at the second annual Huggies Yeah Baby! Family Expo last Saturday.
The indoor family day, from 9am to 5pm, held in The Grand Ballroom at the Ritz-Carlton, boasted a host of child-related stalls and fun activities. The free event included a storytelling zone, face painting, finger painting, make-up booths, children’s bedding, a host of samples and giveaways as well as information stalls and the obligatory bouncy castle.
The one-stop shop for child-related products, information and services proved an ideal venue for vendors to meet parents directly and to familiarise attendees with their merchandise.
Particular favourites, judging by attendee feedback, were the TCBY ice cream stand, the Huggies stall giving away free wipes, pull-ups and diapers and the Quench Cayman kiosk with its samples and brisk sales of locally-grown and bottled low-sugar fruit juices.
Organised by dms Broadcasting, the expo had 20 kiosks with services and traders as diverse as Boatswain’s Beach with its baby turtles and rescue Parrot Coco Plum, the Early Learning Centre with specials on after-school tuition and Touch of Thai day spa where visitors enjoyed massages and colourful face art for a discounted price.
The George Town Public Library won over another generation by hosting three storytelling sessions interspersing local tales with those by international authors.
This year the show had a well-used Jungle Lounge designed by Lions Productions. Decked out in African themed animal prints and statues and raffia seating, it offered a stylish chill out area for families taking some time out from the crowds.
As with the previous year, the expo’s Gerber Boogie Baby dance and Huggies Diaper Derby contests were particularly popular draws.
The dance-off was by necessity a freestyle event and saw young competitors put down some pretty hot moves much to the delight of the crowds and their parents. The event was won by Lulama Jones, Jonathan Ramirez and Lexandra Bavis. Each winner got two bulky goody bags courtesy of Gerber crammed with cereal bars and sundry food items from the baby products giant.
The diaper derby was staged in several races which involved decisive wins by the quickest crawlers and the fleet of foot. Some contestants crossed lanes, others refused to race and others threw tantrums. The winners were Qyntina Moraes, Azaliah Howell and Karying Pak, who all went home with Huggies gift baskets.
Phil Vinciullo, promotions and marketing manager at dms Broadcasting, reckoned that around 5,000 people attended the expo. ‘We estimate that last year we got 2,500 visitors. It looks like we easily double that earlier figure,’ he said.
‘This year’s Yeah Baby! Family Expo was a huge success, not only meeting, but exceeding our expectations.’
Chloe Hill, co-host of The Morning X on X107.1FM, was also delighted at the turnout.
‘We were very excited to see so many happy, smiling faces waiting for the day to begin,’ she said. ‘To be a part of bringing an event of this calibre to our loyal listeners was an absolute privilege for us at dms Broadcasting.’
Plans are already being made for the third annual Yeah Baby! event next year.
Sponsors for the 2009 Yeah Baby! Family Expo included Blinds Unlimited & Design, Boatswain’s Beach, Cayman Learning Centre, The Cayman Islands Girl’s Football Organisation, Dolphin Cove, Generali Worldwide Insurance Company Ltd., Gerber, Gino’s Pizzeria, Huggies, It’s Your Party, J & M Electronics, Learning Breakthrough, Maedac Supply Co. Ltd., Margaritaville, National Trust, New Wings, Public Library, Purple Dragon School of Martial Arts, Quench Cayman, Seven Seas, Smyles Play Time Paradise, Tangles Kids Salon, TCBY, The Wellness Centre, Tiny Tots Academy and Touch of Thai.